Health and Safety in the Forestry Industry

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Tree trunks stored in a pileForestry, together with farming and fishing, make up the industrial sectors with the highest rates of fatal accidents and major injuries.

While just over 1% of the UK’s workforce is employed in the agricultural industry, out of the 142 fatal workplace accidents occurring in 2020/21, 34 of them were in the agriculture sector – which represents almost 24% of all fatal workplace injuries, according to the latest RIDDOR figures.

Looking at the forestry sector in particular, the most common risks faced by tree workers include:


According to Health and Safety Executive statistics, between 2017/18 and 2019/2020 there was an annual average of 12,000 self-reported, non-fatal workplace injuries in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors.

According to RIDDOR, from 2015/16 to 2019/20, the following specified non-fatal work injuries included:

  • Slips trips and falls – 22% (20% of all over 7-day injuries)
  • Injured by an animal – 21% (11% of all over 7-day injuries)
  • Falls from height – 19% (8% of all over 7-day injuries)
  • Struck by an object – 12% (10% of all over 7-day injuries)
  • Contact with machinery – 9% (10% of all over 7-day injuries)
  • Lifting and handling – 4% (18% of all over 7-day injuries)

Ill-health at Work

Forestry workers also risk contracting work-related diseases, due to the conditions in which they work. These include:

  • Musculo-skeletal disorders
  • Industrial deafness
  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
  • Skin or respiratory complaints due to the use of pesticides

Claim with a leading personal injury firm

If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered ill health as a result of working in the forestry industry, you may be entitled to compensation.

To talk to an expert about making a claim, call 0800 0891331 or click here.

Thompsons is one of Scotland’s leading personal injury firms. We win around 90% of the cases we take on and secure around £1 million a week in compensation for our clients.


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