Did You Know: Farming Is One of the Most Dangerous Industries
When you think about dangerous industries, what comes to your mind? Most people will mention oil and gas, security, mechanics, etc. That’s perfectly fine; these economic sectors can indeed be risky. Now, imagine something different: when you picture a tranquil, calm industry, does anything come to mind? Many people will answer farming. Working surrounded by trees and birds chirping sounds quite idyllic. Here comes the surprise: farming is one of the riskiest industries in the UK. Keep reading to understand why.
Risks Associated With Farming Equipment and Machinery
Farming machinery and equipment are key reasons the industry is so dangerous. Tractors, ploughs, and combine harvesters, essential for various agricultural tasks, are massive and immensely powerful. This combination of size and strength poses a potential risk, as mishandling these machines can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities.
Their complexity and the demand for precise operation further contribute to the hazards faced by those working in the agricultural sector. The likelihood of accidents increases when farmers, often working long hours, become tired or distracted. Poorly maintained machinery can malfunction, leading to accidents.
Tractor rollovers are a frequent and hazardous occurrence. They typically happen when an operator drives over uneven ground or makes a turn too sharply. This risk is exceptionally high if the tractor lacks a rollover protection structure (ROPS), a system designed to safeguard the operator.
Additionally, farm machinery often uses various attachments for different tasks, such as ploughs, seeders, or sprayers. Attaching and detaching these devices carries its own risks if not done correctly.
Transporting large, slow-moving equipment on public roads is also problematic. The interaction between heavy, slow-moving agricultural machinery and regular traffic leads to risky situations.
Weather and Environmental Hazards
Farming is inherently tied to the outdoors, exposing producers to various weather conditions that are extreme and unpredictable. Working in the scorching heat during summer can lead to heatstroke or dehydration, while cold conditions in winter raise the risk of hypothermia or frostbite.
Environmental factors like pollen, dust, and mould may cause or exacerbate respiratory issues and allergies. These conditions often go unnoticed but have long-term health implications.
The use of chemicals and pesticides also poses health risks. Prolonged exposure or mishandling of these substances leads to poisoning and respiratory problems.
The Dangers of Manual Labour in Farming
Agriculture isn’t solely about operating machinery or supervising the growth of crops; it encompasses significant manual labour that is physically demanding. Agricultural workers frequently engage in strenuous tasks such as lifting heavy sacks of seeds or food, persistently bending and stooping during planting or weed control, and executing repetitive actions like dairy farming. These exertions strain the body substantially, particularly affecting the back, shoulders, and knee joints. Prolonged engagement in such activities can culminate in persistent discomfort, musculoskeletal disorders, and injuries.
The Complexities of Animal Handling
Managing livestock constitutes a crucial aspect of agricultural work, yet it carries inherent risks and challenges. Animals are, by their intrinsic nature, prone to unpredictability. Even typically docile creatures may pose hazards when frightened, injured, or safeguarding their babies. The possibility of sustaining injuries from kicks, bites, or being crushed is a tangible threat in such scenarios.
Additionally, there is the peril of zoonotic diseases – illnesses transmissible from animals to humans. Furthermore, overseeing livestock frequently entails strenuous activities such as corralling, hoisting, or restraining animals for health interventions or transport. These tasks, which require both strength and technique, have the potential to result in severe physical injuries.
The Risks in Numbers
According to the Health and Safety Executive’s report for 2022/23, there were 27 deaths resulting from farming and other agriculture-related activities in Great Britain. Being injured by animals, particularly cattle, was the most common cause of death. The report also noted that agriculture has the highest rate of worker fatal injury of all major industry sectors, with the annual average injury rate over the last five years being about 21 times higher than the all-industry rate.
In the spring of 2023 alone, 12 people died in farm accidents in Great Britain. This accounted for over 40% of workplace fatalities across all industries. Farmers Weekly estimates that the fatal accident rate in UK farming has reached its highest level in 25 years.
Support and Compensation for Families Affected
For those who have lost a loved one to a farming accident, the impact is profound and far-reaching. It’s not just the emotional loss; there are often financial implications, especially if the deceased was a primary income earner. Victims and their families can file farm accident claims in these cases.
Such agricultural accident claims help address various economic burdens that often follow tragic mishaps. This includes farm accident compensation for the pain and suffering experienced, loss of earnings, and the cost of funerals and medical treatment. While no amount of compensation can replace a family member, it provides some financial relief during a challenging time.
Fatal Accident Claims offer specialised support in such situations. We provide advice specifically tailored to workplace accidents, including those in the farming sector.
Reaching out to professionals who understand the nuances of such cases makes a significant difference. We will navigate the complexities of legal proceedings, allowing you to focus on grieving or healing. If you find yourself in this heartbreaking situation, remember that you are not alone. There are resources available to help you through this challenging period.
Contact us to speak to a solicitor today and start your farming accident claim.
Posted: November 20, 2023 at 3:30 pm