Too many accidents still arising from agriculture

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Latest statistics show a fall in the number of fatal accidents for the second year in a row but agriculture remains the industry with the highest rate of fatal accidents.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures, published during Farm Safety Week, chart a fall in fatal accidents this year to 27 workers – down from 29 workers in 2012/13.

But the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) recognised that there is still plenty of work to do to improve the UK’s farm safety record.

Guy Smith, the NFU’s vice president, said: “While any drop in the statistics is welcome news, we must not forget that every number represents many shattered lives. The NFU is actively working to help raise awareness of health and safety issues across the industry.”

The Farm Safety Partnership, which is chaired by the NFU, is an industry-led initiative committed to improving agriculture’s safety record and to help reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries.

Mr Smith said: “Just taking a moment to stop and think about what could go wrong could save your life. Farm Safety Week is designed to raise awareness of health and safety and advise of simple steps that everyone can take. I would urge everyone to check equipment such as machinery and ladders for faults, wear appropriate footwear particularly when dealing with livestock to prevent crush injuries and make sure that you carry a mobile phone on you in a secure chest pocket - calling 999 or 112 will work wherever there is any mobile coverage.

“We’re committed to helping to reduce these accident statistics and believe that a good safety record is proof of a professional, modern industry.”