When the sun is shining, the fields are green, and the birds are singing, working on a farm may seem idyllic, but it remains the most dangerous profession in Britain.
According to new figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) agriculture continues to account for the largest share of fatal injuries with 32 deaths occurring in 2018/19 – more than a fifth of the total deaths across all sectors.
Among the key risks are; working with heavy machinery, lone working, extended activity following periods of inclement weather conditions and working with unpredictable animals.
This month Farm Safety Week, which runs from July 15-19, is encouraging farmers to share their safety improvement success stories to inspire others and effect wider change. In addition, the Scottish Farm Safety Partnership continues to raise awareness of the importance of prioritising safety to reduce the risk of ill health, injury and death.
Scotland has one of the poorest safety records in the UK.
Over the past decade 80 people, including men, women and children, have lost their lives on Scottish farms. According to HSE figures, 26 of the 80 killed on Scottish farms were in a vehicle that overturned or was struck by a vehicle; 13 were working at heights; nine were killed in accidents involving livestock, and six people died after contact with machinery or equipment.
In addition to those who have lost their lives, many others have suffered life-changing injuries, which have traumatic consequences for their families and their livelihoods.
While it is crucial that farmers and crofters work as safely as possible it is also paramount that farming business owners and operators seek advice from their insurance brokers.
At Jelf, we arrange insurance for over 4,500 agricultural businesses across the UK including more than 1,500 in Scotland.
Our specialists have over 60 years of experience in providing policies and advice and take the time to visit clients at their farms to gain a thorough understanding of their businesses and their needs.
Working with leading agricultural insurers we offer a wide range of innovative, market-leading agricultural insurance from arable to intensive livestock, property, business interruption, liability cover and more. Jelf also operates a dedicated risk management service to help clients be prepared for the challenges they may face. Operating a safe working environment can help farming businesses to thrive; and could just save a life.
To find out more, visit our website: www.jelf.com.