Working on a farm has overtaken construction, mining and fishing as the most dangerous job in the country.
Now Thompsons Partner Chris Gordon of Thompsons Aberdeen has urged farm workers to become more safety conscious in a bid to cut the industry’s appalling accident rate.
Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that between April 2009 and March 2010, a total of 38 agricultural workers were killed at work, making it the most dangerous industry in the country.
In the same period the number of reported major injuries, such as broken bones or amputations, rose to 640, up from 599 the previous year.
Mr Gordon said: “The statistics make grim reading and are a stark reminder of the dangers of working on the land.
“Farmers and other agricultural workers are at risk because they tend to work alone, use heavy equipment and often have to travel over uneven and steeply sloping ground.
“The Health and Safety Executive, the National Farmers Union and others are doing their best to raise awareness of the issue and remind farmers of the dangers they face day and daily.
“But nobody knows or understands the risks better than the agricultural workers themselves and they have to become more safety conscious and make sure they don’t place their own safety and that of their fellow workers at risk.”
Mr Gordon is an expert in personal injury cases, based in Thompsons’ King Street offices in Aberdeen. He was speaking after two men suffered serious crushing injuries to their legs after being sucked into a slurry-clearing machine.
Farmer Jimmy Hodge and farm worker Adrian Harrison needed emergency leg surgery after the incident on a farm at Eyemouth in Berwickshire.
It’s believed the machine’s timer came on while they were trying to clean the machine and its powerful vacuum sucked them in.
One man managed to free himself and raise the alarm, but the other had to be cut free by firemen.