Farms and other agricultural workplaces are dangerous environments. Workers are at risk of injury from vehicles and machinery, livestock (animals) and toxins, such as chemicals. Their work is physically demanding and is often carried out in difficult conditions, such as on slopes, in poor weather, near hazards such as pits and silos, or whilst working at heights.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) describes agriculture, forestry and fishing as the ‘riskiest industry sector’. Over the last five years, the fatal injury rate within the agricultural industry has been up to 20 times the all-industry death rate, with one death almost every week. The most common causes of serious or fatal injury are accidents involving overturned or moving vehicles, being hit by objects, contact with animals or machinery, or falling whilst working at heights.
Employers and owners of agricultural premises must take all reasonable steps to keep their employees and visitors safe from foreseeable injury. Where serious injury is suffered as a result of the employer’s negligence, the injured person may be entitled to compensation.