FARMING and agriculture is the most dangerous industry to work in, the Health and Safety Executive has warned, as new figures reveal that four people died in North Yorkshire alone last yea

The Farm Safety Foundation says 39 people lost their lives in total on farms across the country last year – the highest number across all main industry sectors. Of them 32 were agricultural workers and seven members of the public, including two children.

Detailed HSE statistics revealed four were involved in agriculture across North Yorkshire. Between August 2018 and April 2019 a 20 year old at Bedale fell from a height, a 71 year old was struck by a moving vehicle at Richmond, a 54 year old at Settle fell from a height and a 53 year old from York was struck by a moving vehicle.

This week is Farm Safety Week and the charity Farm Safety Foundation says a real change has to be made to halt the increasing numbers of tragic deaths of farmers and farm workers. More than 17,000 people were also injured last year in agriculture.

This is despite an increased awareness of the problems – with people 18 times more likely to be killed than in other workplaces, the industry accounts for 22 per cent of all workplace fatalities. Of the deaths 36 per cent were as a result of moving vehicles, 23 per cent because of animals and 18 per cent falls.

Andrew Turner, the HSE’s head of agriculture said: “This industry is a critical part of our economy. But every year we have to report that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK. This is made even more tragic because the deaths and injuries are avoidable. The precautions to prevent people being killed and maimed on farms can be easily applied.”

Stephanie Berkeley of the Farm Safety Foundation added: “On a farm, as with any business, the number one resource is the people so why do farmers still give more attention to their livestock, crops and machinery than to themselves and their own wellbeing. This has to change.”