Agriculture figures high in workplace deaths

Agriculture accounted for a fifth of all workplace deaths in the last financial year, despite employing only two per cent of the UK workforce.

The figures showed 171 workplace deaths overall, of which 34 were in agriculture. The figure was in line with the previous five years.

Of these, 14 were caused by vehicles, seven were from falls and three from machinery. Production horticulture accounted for two of the deaths, compared with 19 on mixed farms.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which compiles the figures, classes agriculture as a high-risk industry along with construction and waste and recycling. The sectors together accounted for more than half of all the deaths.

HSE head of operations for Yorkshire and the Humber Paul Spurrier said: "The UK still has one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths in Europe, but one death is still one too many."

He added: "I would urge businesses to help cut the number of deaths in 2012."


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