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Home » Latest News » What are the most common types of farming accident, and who is responsible for safety?

What are the most common types of farming accident, and who is responsible for safety?

What are the most common types of farming accident, and who is responsible for safety?

The employer is under a duty of care imposed by law to do everything that is reasonably possible to ensure the health and safety of every farm worker.

Taken over a 5-year period, on average, the main causes of death from farming accidents were caused by;
 
• Being struck by a moving vehicle
• Injured by an animal (cattle)
• Falls from height
• Being struck by an object
• Something collapsing and trapping people
• Contact with electricity
 
As in any other industry, the employer owes a duty of care to all those who work on the farm, to ensure that their workplace is a safe environment. The employer is under a duty of care imposed by law to do everything that is reasonably possible to ensure the health and safety of every farm worker. If the employer breaches that duty of care, and an employee is injured as a result of an accident taking place because of that breach, then a farm accident injury claim may be made by the injured person. 
 
It is worth noting note that in terms of making a farming accident compensation claim, it is not just an injured farm worker who can bring a personal injury claim, it is also visitors to a farm and the next of kin of any farm worker who may be killed or injured.
 
The relatives/ loved ones’ of a farm worker who is involved in a fatal or incapacitating injury accident on the farm may bring a farm accident claim on behalf of the worker. The person responsible for the farm also has a duty of care to safeguard visitors to the farm. If anyone is injured as a result of the farm owner’s negligence or breach of duty of care, may be entitled to make personal injury claims, too. 
 
If the employer does not meet the required safety standards then a personal injury compensation claim may be brought against them.
 
What do the high casualty figures amongst farm workers tell us?
 
There are a lot of pressures on both farm owners and employees to get harvests completed, to bring animals under shelter, repair old or damaged buildings before the onset of winter, and to keep dangerous farm machinery working and maintained. 
 
In 2017, an article in I-News told the story of Jim Chapman, a farm worker from Warwickshire who in 2005, aged 23, lost his arm after it became caught in a spinning prop shaft. He was quoted as saying;
 
“As a 23-year-old farm worker, the last thing you do is stand up and say you’re not going to do your job because you’re worried about safety. I was working for a friend at the time. The machines were not working correctly and there was pressure to get the job done.
 
“I got too close and my arm went around the shaft. It ripped it off just below the shoulder. The hospital patched me up, but it wasn’t until the following year that it really hit me.”
 
 “I’ve travelled around the world looking at farm safety and it’s the same issues everywhere – the same accidents over and over again. Safety needs to be embedded in all aspects of learning in agricultural colleges. Farmers are worried about how they are seen by colleagues. Nobody wants to be seen as the safety conscious one because of fear of ridicule.
 
“We’re all guilty of it. When the pressure is on, you work long hours, you take risks and you’re not really thinking straight. But we need to create a culture that allows people to stand up and say that this is going to change, we are going to be safer.”
 
At Bridge McFarlandLLP our specialist accidents at work solicitors team have considerable experience of helping the injured victims of farming accidents. 
If you have been injured in a farming or agricultural accident and are considering making a claim, call our experienced personal injury solicitors team on 01482 320620.