Health, Safety & Environment Consultants

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing Safety


The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector remain the highest risk workplace in the UK despite only accounting for around 1% of the workforce in Great Britain. According to government statistics, last year saw 27 people killed, 13,000 suffer from non-fatal injuries and 15,000 suffering from work-related ill health. In fact, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector has the highest rate of ill health of all industries with 46% of ill health cases arising from musculoskeletal injuries, and the remainder being made up of occupational lung disease, occupational asthma, skin disease and occupational cancer. Occupational asthma amongst the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector is twice the national average.

However, it does not just stop at ill health. In 2016/17 there were 27 fatal injuries within the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector. When looking at the trend over the last 5 years, over half of all worker fatalities were caused by just three accident kinds: being struck by moving vehicle, fall from height and being injured by an animal. Of the non-fatal injuries almost half were caused by three accident kinds: slip and trip injuries, injuries involving animals and manual handling injuries (lifting and handling).

The statistics make eye-watering reading. So what can be done to improve the safety performance within the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector? Current safe systems of work must be reviewed to ensure they are adequate. Where no safe systems of work exist, business owners should look to establish an effective health and safety policy where workplace hazards have been identified, risks have been assessed and suitable mitigation measures put in place. Developing a safe system of work also includes the implementation of the safe system of work. This includes training of workers to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and procedures for undertaking the work they are carrying out, and if there are any specific training and certification requirements for the work being carried out.

For many in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector this will sound like a huge ordeal, but these safe systems of work really do save lives and prevent injuries. If a business owner feels they need assistance, they should engage a health and safety consultant to assist them in improving or developing a safe system of work. Apart from the moral and legal obligations, effective management of the health and safety of the workforce makes financial sense.  Financially the cost of health and safety infringements can be huge. These costs include fines, civil claims, sick pay, hiring and training costs, decreased production, time and costs for incident investigation, increased insurance premiums and damage to business reputation. Taking the time to ensure you have an effective health and safety management system greatly reduces the likelihood of these financial burdens.

If you need help with any part of your health and safety management system, contact us to find out how we can help you: or 01843 6399711.

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