Agriculture deaths ‘higher in Scotland’

Insurance firm Lycetts said Health and Safety Executive data showed 34 people died in Scotland between 2013 and 2018.

The average of almost seven deaths per year was the highest average of all regions in Britain.

Five people were killed in Scotland in the year to the end of March.

The incidents included a 76-year-old farmer who was crushed by a bull.

In other incidents, a 62-year-old farmer drowned while tending to oysters being grown on the seabed, while a farm worker was crushed beneath a tractor trailer as he carried out repairs.

They were among 33 people killed in agriculture in Britain in 2017-18.

Nearly half (48%) of the agricultural workers killed in Britain were over 65 and almost twice as many self-employed people were killed as employees.

The most common causes of death were being killed by an animal and being struck by a moving vehicle.

A breakdown of agricultural deaths in Britain in the year to the end of March 2018:

William Barne, from the Edinburgh office of Lycetts, said: “Agriculture’s high fatality rate significantly outstrips that of other industries.

“It is more than five times higher than the second most risky industry – construction – which really drives home just how hazardous an industry it is.

“Farmers face potentially fatal risks on a daily basis, from working with unpredictable animals to potentially dangerous machinery, so protecting personal and employee health should be top priority.

“Sadly, members of the public, family members and children living on the farm also get caught up in incidents and account for some of the overall deaths.”