Farming, forestry and fishing - Injuries and accidents
The farming, forestry and fishing sector has one of the highest per capita rates of serious and fatal accidents of all employment sectors in the UK. In fact, for many decades agriculture has ranked amongst the most dangerous industries in Scotland. In 2018/19, for example, there were more serious agricultural accidents in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK (13 deaths).
In respect of non-fatal injuries, an estimated 14,000 workers in the UK's agricultural sector suffered an injury in the course of their work. Of these, 336 (40%) were "specified injuries" i.e. those that an employer must report under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013).
If you or someone close to you has suffered serious or fatal injury in a farm, forestry or fishing accident, Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering, losses and expenses. Contact your local Thompsons office today for a no-obligation and in-depth discussion of your circumstances.
We are widely regarded as Scotland's leading personal injury law firm and offer a No Win, No Fee package that enables you to claim without financial risk. Talk to Thompsons today.
Although the sector employs around 360,000 people, accounting for 1% of the overall UK workforce, it is responsible for around 20% of all workplace accident fatalities.
Across 2018/19, the HSE reports that 39 agricultural, forestry and fishing workers were killed in the UK, an increase of six on the previous year and six more than the five-year average. Furthermore:
- This figure included 7 deaths involving members of the public.
- Around 50 percent of all employees killed were aged 60 or older
The causes of fatal agriculture accidents
There are many causes of serious and fatal farming accidents, varying year by year. However, in 2018/19 the causes of serious and fatal accidents in agriculture were:
- Being struck by a moving vehicle – 14 deaths: for example, accidents involving telescopic handlers, tractors or All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV).
- Livestock animal accidents – 9 deaths: for example, being crushed by cattle.
- Falls from height – 7 deaths: for example, a fall from a telehandler, excavator bucket or combine harvester or when working on a roof or up a ladder.
- Moving machinery accidents – 3 deaths: for example, contact with a stone picking machine, baler tailgate or grain dryer.
- Being struck by a falling object – 3 deaths: for example, being hit by a tree branch, a falling hay bale, or landslide.
- Asphyxiation or drowning – 2 deaths: for example, incidents involving water or grain silos.
- Contact with something fixed – 1 death: for example, contact with fence posts or a barbed wire fence.
Serious and catastrophic injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing
Each year, many workers and farm visitors are seriously injured in the sector. As well as the risk of ill-health and musculoskeletal injuries, many serious and catastrophic injuries occur. Due to the nature of the work in this sector there are numerous types of injury including:
- Head and brain injury
- Spinal injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Crush injuries
- Electric shock injury
The life-changing nature of such injuries means that making a claim for compensation is a necessity.
Protecting those involved in agriculture, forestry and fishing
All employers, including those in the agricultural industry, have a duty to protect the health and safety of workers. However, some employers in the sector may cut corners, promote unsafe working practices or fail to provide adequate training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
This is a situation which contrasts unfavourably with that of the construction industry, which used to have a similarly poor per capita safety record. However, since a number of drives at the beginning of the century, construction's serious accident rate has dramatically improved as a result of numerous action plans and targets.
What is the point of compensation?
Following a serious accident it can feel like nothing will help the injured party or, in the case of fatal accidents, their family. However, a compensation claim not only holds the liable party to account, but any funds awarded will contribute to improving the life quality of the injured party, and their loved ones, by providing funds for care, treatment, rehabilitation, specialist equipment, adaptive housing and more.
For example, by claiming with Thompsons you may be able to secure funds for:
- Expenses such as medical and travel costs.
- Lost past and future income.
- Household adaptations.
- Private healthcare.
- Occupational therapy.
- Short- and long- term care costs.
- Psychological therapy.
In the case of fatal accidents, the loss of income and future earnings can be devastating to a family. While the suffering of a family who lose a loved one is more or less immeasurable, any claim for compensation will take into account loss of dependency (past and future) as well as other needs, such as counselling and pre-death medical expenses.
Serious and fatal catastrophic injury claims
Thompsons' specialises in high value serious and fatal injury claims. Each week we secure our clients around £1million in compensation, winning around 90 percent of the cases we take on.
We offer a highly personalised and sensitive service. As our client, you will receive a dedicated and specialist solicitor to guide and advise you every step of the way. This includes help that extends beyond the purely legal – we can also help connect you with resources, support and other vital services.
For more information about how we may be able to help you claim for a serious agriculture accident, talk to Thompsons today.