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Martyn Fisher

BY MARTYN FISHER

Thursday 3rd July 2014, 09:43 London

Agriculture deaths fall to five-year low

Twenty-seven fatal injuries to agri-workers in the industry in 2013/14, lower than the average of 33 for the past five years

Agriculture deaths fall to five-year low

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The number of agricultural employees killed at work in Great Britain over the last year has been recorded at its lowest rate for half a decade.

There were 27 fatal injuries to workers in the industry between April 2013 and March 2014, lower than the average of 33 for the previous five years.

Provisional data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this week also revealed compared with 150 in the previous year, 133 workers were fatally injured in the most recent period the data covers - the lowest annual rate on record.

The overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.44 per 100,000 workers, compared to 0.51 in 2012/13.

Judith Hackitt, HSE chair, said: “The release of the annual statistics always leads to mixed emotions. Sadness for the loss of 133 lives, and sympathy for their families, friends and workmates, but also a sense of encouragement that we continue to make progress in reducing the toll of suffering.

“Whilst these are only provisional figures, they confirm Britain’s performance in health and safety as world class. For the last eight years we have consistently recorded one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers among the leading industrial nations in Europe.”

The government's health and safety minister Mike Penning, said: “Any death at work is a death too many. But these statistics show that workplaces are getting safer.

“The Health and Safety Executive do an excellent job in making sure each and every one of us can go out to do an honest day’s work in the knowledge that our safety is being taken seriously.”

There were four fatal injuries to workers in waste and recycling between April 2013 and March 2014, lower than the average count of seven over the last five years.

In all, 106 fatal injuries in England were recorded – a rate of 0.41 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 134 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 119 deaths (and rate of 0.47) recorded in 2012/13.

There were 20 fatal injuries in Scotland were recorded, a rate of 0.78 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 21 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 23 deaths (and rate of 0.90) recorded in 2012/13, and seven in Wales – a rate of 0.52 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 10 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 8 deaths (and rate of 0.61) recorded in 2012/13.

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