Agriculture Has More Fatal Injuries Than Construction!


Construction has the reputation as a very dangerous industry, with the dangerous machines used and heavy equipment carried. This reputation may be misleading however. According to the HSE, the rate of fatal injuries to workers in the construction industry per 100,000 workers in 2014/15 was 1.62. Compare that figure to that for the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry at 9.62. Although agriculture seems as a much safer industry than construction, statistics show us you are more likely to die working there. There are a few reasons for this, the hidden dangers of agriculture and the excellent health and safety construction training which is now practiced.

The Importance of Construction Training

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous environments to work in. It has a plethora of dangers; working from great heights, lifting heavy loads, dealing with dangerous materials etc. As a result, health and safety is taken very seriously within the industry. A key aspect to tackling health and safety in the construction industry is ensuring employees are subject to sufficient construction training.

construction worker

© Martin Brochhaus (Flickr)

Whether an employee is needed to weld a joint or operate a crane, the employer has a duty of care to the employee. Among other things, this means the employer must ensure an employee is properly trained before undertaking work. This may involve having them attend a construction training health and safety course or being trained by a competent professional.

Another way the construction industry tackles health and safety issues is legislation. The HSE has published numerous documents pertaining to policies and regulations required in the industry. Everything from signs which need to be used to equipment design is covered. As a result of all this corrective action, the number of deaths occurring in the construction industry has dwindled significantly over the past few decades.

Why is Agriculture So Dangerous?

Although agriculture may seem like a fairly safe industry, certainly when compared to construction, it is actually quite dangerous. Over the last decade, one person has died per week in the agriculture industry. Farmers work with heavy, potentially dangerous machinery and vehicles. They have the risk of working with live animals who are unpredictable and can cause serious injuries to a person. Large amounts of hazardous chemicals such as fertilisers are also used.

The risk is there, but the health and safety training such as the construction training detailed earlier, is not as stringent. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the agriculture industry is often located in remote parts of the country, not in busy cities like construction. As a result, there is much less risk to the public. Therefore there are less measures taken to keep them safe. There is also the reputation. Construction has always been seen as a dangerous industry. As a result, over the years the policies have been put in place to deal with this. Whatever the future of both these industries, it may be time for the agriculture industry to take inspiration from construction to improve its safety.

SEE ALSO: A Guide to Health and Safety Signs

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