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DG farm death included in HSE figures

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
DG farm death included in HSE figures

FARMERS are being urged not to relax safety standards after official figures revealed a drop in the number of fatalities in the British agricultural industry in 2021.

And the warning is particularly pertinent in Dumfries and Galloway as one of the deaths last year occurred here – when 21-year-old Samantha Bunting, from Kirkbean, died in a quad bike accident near Castle Douglas on September 22.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have revealed that overall 25 people were killed in the agriculture sector in 2021/222 – 16 fewer than last year.

Fatal injuries were most commonly caused by people being struck by moving vehicles. This was followed by being struck by an object, contact with machinery, falls from height and animal-inflicted deaths.

Commenting, Alex Cormack, of Lycetts Risk Management Services, said: “This drop in fatalities is to be welcomed. But, while it is encouraging news, I would urge those who work in the industry not to become complacent.”

Agriculture, however, remains the riskiest industry to work in, with fatal injuries around 18 times higher than the ‘all industry rate’.

Cormack added: “Death and injury can have a devastating effect on families, as well as destroying businesses, yet risk-taking seems to be an underlying problem in the industry.

“Some fatalities can be attributed to freak accidents, but others could be avoided by adopting a more rigorous approach to safety. Risk assessments should be thorough, all appropriate training should be undertaken, and safety policies should be implemented.”

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