Farm & Agricultural Accident Statistics

Overall Agricultural Injury Statistics – 2014 & ‘15

Understanding the risks in your industry highlights what dangers are present and if you’re involved in an accident while working in agriculture, you’re not alone. Our knowledge centre delves deep into the official agricultural and farm injury statistics to give you a comprehensive run-down of the latest risks the industry faces.

The overall figures paint a broadly positive picture – we’ve seen a reduction in major injuries compared with five years ago, as well as a dip compared with figures from 2013. However, nothing’s moving significantly and injury rates seem to be hovering around the 300-350 mark each year.

Fatal accidents are an unfortunate fact of a number of working environments, including agriculture, but these statistics show just how far we’ve come over the last 40 years.

In this time, average annual fatal accident rates in farming have fallen by almost 64% thanks to improved health and safety standards, safer equipment and machinery, and improvements in automated systems – all of which reduce risks to agricultural workers.

While final figures for 2015 aren’t out yet, the HSE have released some initial statistics regarding fatalities – and at 24 fatalities compared with an average of 12 in 2014, it looks like it will take a rise this year. This puts agriculture as the third highest industry, below construction and the services industry.

Summary of key points:

  • Major injury rates are taking a gradual decline over the last five years
  • Fatal injury rates have fallen massively over the last 40 years; by more than 60%
  • This is part due to improved processes, awareness and advances in technology
  • 2015 figures suggest that fatalities will see a rise
  • Agriculture is the third riskiest industry in relation to fatal injuries.

What Are the Most Common Accidents in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing?

This information shows some interesting insights into where the risks are for certain types of injury – and there is no one common risk across the board. Major injuries are most likely to be from animals or moving objects, whereas ‘7-day’ injuries are likely to be as a result of manual handling or trips and falls.

It’s worth noting that the data above is a slightly smaller snapshot of other areas in the industry. A report released by the HSE, which you can view here, looks at farming, forestry, horticulture and associated industries and provides higher fatality rates than initial data would suggest.

Overall, this chart shows us that animals, manual handling and slips, trips and falls all present the biggest dangers in agriculture and farming. Statistically, these are the causes of the most common injuries and are the most frequently reported to the HSE.

Summary of key points:

  • Being injured by an animal is the most likely cause of major injuries in agriculture
  • Fires and accidents involving machinery are the most likely cause of fatalities
  • Manual handling & falls are the overall most common types of injury.
  • Injuries from animals led to one fatality last year…
  • …but there were only 10 throughout the industry.

How Agricultural Injuries Compare to Other Industries

This information is from the HSE’s large collation of data analysis of all major occupations and the incident rates per 100,000 workers. Agricultural workers are part of the ‘skilled trades’ category, and the data shows the incident rate is marginally higher than this category’s average.

It’s also significantly higher than any other occupation; it’s by no means the most dangerous or the most risky but due to working with unpredictable animals, large loads and heavy machinery the risks are significantly increased.