Farming – the deadliest industry to work in

Almost half a million people work in the UK’s deadliest industry – agriculture.

Farming is more dangerous than other occupations. Yet, it is still a workplace and employees should feel safe at work.

Legislation in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, covers farmers.

This means the person responsible for the farm, usually, the owner, has a legal duty to prevent accidents.

Those working on farms should feel safe at work and the farm’s owners should provide suitable and safe working conditions.

Many farming accidents are preventable. For instance by enforcing simple measures, such as wearing helmets or seatbelts. Turning off machinery when not in use and following guidance when at work.


The fatal injury rate for farmers is 20 times higher than for all other industries. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) being struck by a moving vehicle caused most deaths in 2020/2021.

Other causes include:

Killed by an animal

Struck by an object

Fall from height

Contact with moving machinery


Adrian Hodkinson, from the HSE, said: “Agriculture is a vital part of our economy and everyone involved is rightly proud of the quality and standard of the food produced.

“It is not acceptable that agriculture continues to fail to manage risk in the workplace. We need everyone to play their part to improve their behaviour, do things the right way and ‘call out’ poor practices whenever they are seen.

“Agriculture will continue to be a priority sector for HSE, which will be achieved through the delivery of HSE’s sector plan for tackling the high rates of injury and ill health.

“It is disappointing to be highlighting another high annual fatality rate in the industry when the causes are well known and the precautions to avoid injury are straightforward.

“There are simple safety measures people should follow to reduce injury like remembering to put on handbrakes, fasten lap belts in cabs, make sure anyone operating a quad bike wears a helmet and receives sufficient training, don’t put cows and calves in fields with public footpaths; and make sure to switch off the power to vehicles or machinery before attempting to carry out repairs.”


Mental health within the farming community is a growing concern and there have been campaigns running in recent months to highlight the issue.

The Farm Safety Foundation or Yellow Wellies works to protect agricultural workers.

Liaising with young farmers’ clubs, the HSE, the Farm Safety Partnerships and farming organisations.

It aims to raise awareness of farm safety among young farmers. To change attitudes towards farming and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.

Yellow Wellies ran a campaign last month to highlight the issue of mental health in farming.

RABI, which also provides support for the farming community, has launched two new support services.

It includes free counselling for farmers. From the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited counsellors.

You can access the service via RABI’s 24/7 helpline on 0800 188 4444 or visit the website link below.


We have experience in dealing with compensation claims for farming accidents. Our solicitors provide FREE legal consultations for injuries caused within agriculture.

Advice is from qualified solicitors, regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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