Health and Safety Executive statistics reveal alarming facts about the rate of accidents in agriculture. The 2008/09 figures confirm that agriculture remains the industry with the highest proportion of fatal injuries, at 5.7 per 100,000.
Speaking recently, Mike Walters, the Principal Inspector for HSE Kent put this statistic into perspective, stating that, “On average, one person every week in Great Britain dies while working in agriculture.” Despite the fact that only 1.5% of the population work in agriculture, the industry accounts for 20% of the total work-related deaths in the UK each year.
In response to the worrying statistics, the HSE organised a safety event in Kent this month, at which 300 farmers from Kent, Surrey and Sussex met to discuss safety in the industry. Trained instructors offered advice on minimising the risk of accidents in agriculture with the core aim of saving lives.
Michael Jefferies of Accident Claims Solicitors, First Personal Injury, welcomes the move and believes such events should be held across a number of industries up and down the country. He comments that, “Any initiative that could go some way to lowering the frightening work related accidents toll is positive. Similar schemes nationwide, covering as many industries as possible could have the potential to raise awareness of the dangers millions of us face on a daily basis while at work. “
The accident claims industry is no stranger to dealing with work related accident claims in cases where the accident is down to the liability of the employer. Michael Jefferies believes that such events could also be used to highlight legal Health and Safety requirements to employees, pointing out that “This could also be an opportunity to make sure that employees know their rights in the workplace and know what responsibility their employer has to make the workplace as safe as possible. If every single employee was fully aware of the safety measures that should be in place, perhaps any lacking measures could be addressed before they lead to injuries.”
In 2008/09, the HSE and OSR prosecuted 1245 Health and Safety related offences, with local authorities prosecuting a further 329.
If you have suffered an accident at work and you believe you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim, you can contact First Personal Injury on 0800 014 1629 to obtain professional advice.
First Personal Injury
0800 014 1629