Agriculture – Britain’s riskiest profession?

Farming has always been a staple of the British economy. The land holds promise for rearing animals and crops and seemingly will always have a place in British life. It does however often go unreported that this historic job does hold a place as the UK’s most dangerous profession statistically.

Brits and farming

The agriculture industry in the UK has always been a popular source of economic prosperity. With 75% of the UK’s landmass used for farming, it helps supply over two thirds of the nation’s food, from meat and poultry, to fruit and veg. Being an island nation, farming has been a failsafe industry since the dawn of civilisation, allowing us to stay supplied during both World Wars and giving the UK a strong trade out into the world.

From the early days of horse drawn ploughs and farm hands sowing crops; cultivating the land by hand, there has always been plenty of labour available in farming.

Revolution & change

With the industrial revolution adding new machinery and methods of farming, came greater risk of serious injury in the daily life of a farm worker. Farming has always seen incidents of serious injury, including workers becoming entrapped in machinery, being mauled by animals or falling from height working on the buildings.

According to current statistics, farming is still at the top of the tree for injuries and fatalities in the UK workplace. With heavy machinery including a variety of tractors, industrial size machines for collecting and processing crops and the fact that the overall amount of livestock kept rising, it is no surprise that farming does still carry risks of serious injury (and even fatalities).

Farming has the highest rate of serious injury incidents in the UK

Farming safely & what next?

With so many risks of injury, it is imperative anybody involved in farming not only has adequate protection in the form of PPE and working tested equipment, but also to be properly educated on having a safe working environment. This is exactly what one company in Oxfordshire has done by offering training and education for all areas of farm work. It is often overlooked by those that work in the more labour intensive side of farming, but proper education is one step to avoiding unnecessary incidents.

Sincere Law has experienced a myriad of farming related injuries arising from the provision of poor education and inadequate PPE. The cost of an accident working on a farm can far outweigh that of being injured in many other professions, construction and manufacturing included.

With life changing injuries seen including amputations, loss of hearing, loss of sight, 3rd degree burns and broken bones, Sincere Law Partner, Lucie Illingworth, actively welcomes the new resources and challenges other companies to provide the same. Lucie said of the new courses:

“It often goes unnoticed just how badly an injury caused working in agriculture can change a person’s life. Any claims we deal with in this sector go far beyond simply providing a means of compensation. The rebuilding process can take months and years to come close to making a recovery (if at all). The more protection provided for farmers, the fewer lives we are likely to see affected by injuries at work. I’d like to see many more of these initiatives launched to protect UK agricultural workers”.

Will the enhanced education have an effect on the rate of serious injury and fatalities in UK farming? Only time will tell. Until we know for sure, farming is likely to retain its place as one of the UK’s most dangerous jobs.