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Farm risk 'must be managed'

By Hector MacKenzie

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Adrian Hodkinson.
Adrian Hodkinson.

KEY worker farmers in Ross-shire who have been fighting the ‘invisible’ danger of coronavirus are being asked to heed pitfalls in plain sight.

The appeal during coincides with research showing agriculture continuing to have one of the poorest safety records from any occupation in the UK.

The Farm Safety Foundation has welcomed signs that poor attitudes to safety and risk-taking behaviours may finally be improving but warns that agriculture still has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors.

The Health and Safety Executive Farm released a report at the start of Farm Safety Week revealing that over the past year a total of 21 people in England, Scotland and Wales were killed in agriculture – 20 agriculture workers and one member of the public, a four-year-old child. The biggest cause of these fatalities was farm transport. Workers over the age of 55 were disproportionately at risk of death following an incident.

“Agriculture is a vitally important part of our economy,” said HSE head of agriculture, Adrian Hodkinson. “But every year we report that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK. It is a very sad fact that most of the deaths and life-changing injuries are completely avoidable and the causes well known. The precautions to prevent people being killed and/or really seriously injured on farms are usually straightforward. It is not acceptable that agriculture continues to fail to manage risk.”

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