The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) and FUW Insurance Services Ltd. are urging the farming community to carefully consider the risks on farms as figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) point to an increase in farm fatalities over the last year.
According to provisional data released by the HSE, agriculture, forestry and fishing recorded 34 fatal injuries in 2020/21, an increase of 13 from the 21 fatalities recorded the previous year. The five-year average for fatal injuries in the sector now stands at 28.
Included in these fatalities were seven fatal deaths in Wales within agriculture, forestry and fishing in 2020/21. The report highlights that, taking account of differing employment levels between sectors, the rate of fatal injury per 100,000 workers is greatest in agriculture, forestry and fishing and waste and recycling.
Speaking from his Carmarthenshire farm on the first day of farm safety week, FUW Deputy President Ian Rickman said: “It saddens me that despite efforts to highlight the dangers on farms time and time again, we have still not seen a decrease in these figures and of course they don’t include the near misses and life changing injuries.
“Together with our partners in the Wales Farm Safety Partnership, we are working on raising awareness and reducing the risk of harm faced by those in our industry and I urge the farming community to take this problem seriously and really think about whether the risks they are taking are justified.”
The FUW, as part of the Wales Farm Safety Partnership, is committed to make farming a safer industry by working together and providing advice and guidance in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive in order to improve the situation and to save lives on our farms.
Tony Succamore,Sales and Operations Director of FUW Insurance Services Ltd added: “Agriculture is known to be one of the most dangerous professions, which often sees farmers and farm workers working in solitude, challenging weather conditions and in stressful situations.
“The risks on farms are all well-known and readily managed, but all too often farmers and farm workers put themselves in situations where one slip can have life changing or even fatal consequences.
“There are too many people dying on farms across the UK, and I urge the industry not to be complacent - your safety and that of your family must be your priority.”