Three hundred and fifty farmers from the Somerset area have been given advice on how to improve safety at work and cut fatal accidents.
Recent figures, released by the Health and Safety Executive – the regulatory body for workplace safety in Britain – reveal shocking accident rates amongst farm and agricultural workers. One in five deaths from accidents at work occurred amongst farm workers, with a disheartening 38 deaths in the agricultural industry. Around 180 people died at work in 2008/09, around 20% of them were agricultural workers. This is a staggering fact when you consider that just 1.5 percent of the population work in the industry.
These figures have led the HSE to conclude that farming is the most dangerous occupation in the UK, and as such they have begun work to improve safety awareness in the farming community. They recently put on a safety awareness day in Somerset which was attended by some 350 local farmers. While they were there, they watched demonstrations on correct machinery maintenance and working at height safety procedures. They also had a demonstration on quad bike safety.
A spokesperson for the HSE stated that organising the event showed the Executive’s commitment to improving safety and cutting fatal accidents at work. They also stated that research showed that a majority of farmers attending the event would implement new safety procedures.