Is Working on the Farm the UK’s Most Dangerous Job?

The latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics have confirmed that the Agricultural sector is one of the most dangerous to work in.

Whilst the number of fatal accidents was the second lowest on record it is still one of the highest of any sector, topped marginally only by the construction industry. The table below shows the most common causes of fatal injuries.

PI - UKs most dangerous job -Non-Fatal Accident table

In terms of non-fatal work related injuries, the agricultural sector has the highest rate of any industry with nearly 4% of workers sustaining a reported injury (3,960 reported injuries per 100,000 workers). Again, the table below shows the most common causes of injury.

PI - UKs most dangerous job -Fatal Accident table

Injuries are not the end of the story. The agricultural sector also had the second highest rate of self-reported work related illness of all industries. Nearly half (46%) were musculoskeletal disorders, such as sprains or ligament damage.  The balance primarily related to farmer’s lung (caused by breathing in dusts found in hay and mould spores), occupational asthma, skin disease and occupational cancer (for instance skin cancer due to sun exposure).

Whilst the rate of accidents and illnesses seems to be decreasing, albeit by diminishing degrees, there are still some basic precautions that can be taken in farm management that could help minimise the risks. Click on the image below for a short NFU Mutual video offering some simple guidance.

Some agricultural injuries could not have been easily prevented and are simply tragic accidents. However, many could have been prevented if not for the negligence of another person or entity. Examples of negligence include (but are not limited to):

  • Inadequate training in the use of machinery and equipment and safe conduct in the agricultural environment.
  • Faulty or broken equipment provided by an employer.
  • Inadequate warnings of dangers provided by agricultural equipment suppliers.
  • Defective equipment provided by equipment suppliers.
  • Risk assessments for agricultural processes and the use of machinery and equipment not carried out and causing avoidable accidents.

If you have been injured or have contracted an industrial disease, such as farmer’s lung, whilst working in an agricultural environment you may be entitled to compensation. To find out if you are able to make a claim talk to one of our personal injury specialists to arrange a free compensation claim meeting. Call Russell or James on Plymouth 01752 668246 or send an email by clicking here.

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Russell Pearce
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James Bedford
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