According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), falls from height are the most common cause of fatal injury across all industries, accounting for 29% of worker fatalities in 2013/2014. Whilst construction workers were most at risk, a high number of farmers and farm workers were also killed by falls from height during this period, making the farm one of the most hazardous work environments in the UK.
As a leading personal injury solicitor, Seth Lovis & Co has assisted many farmers and farm workers with their claims for fall from height compensation. Training and full health and safety risk assessments are vital for farm workers to be safe while at work, and while employees must take steps to prevent serious and fatal injury, those in the agricultural sector should also understand their rights to compensation when things go wrong.
Farming fall from height dangers
The agricultural sector is responsible for 1.7% of the UK's workforce, yet 16% of fatal work injuries occur on farms
Ladders and telescopic handlers are commonly used in farming and agricultural environments, but they must only be used when no other work method is suitable and operatives must be trained to complete each job safely, particularly when a ladder or platform vehicle is being set up on uneven ground.
Falls from open edges and through roof-lights and fragile roofs are also common causes of injury in the agricultural sector.
An employer's responsibility - The Work at Height Regulations
Farm owners and managers have a responsibility to protect their workers from injury. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAH 2005) provide essential reading for employers across all industries when tasks involving work at height are unavoidable. The HSE prosecuted 77 cases under this piece of legislation from 2013 to 2014.
The prosecutions resulted in 73 convictions; an average fine of £8,663 was levied upon employers who failed to protect their workers from fall risks.
How to stay farm safe
Farm owners, managers and workers are urged to stop and think before working at height. Work must be planned in advance and even the simplest of safety measures, such as having another person at the base of a ladder, can make a tangible difference in reducing risk.
Having access to the right equipment and training is crucial; safety harnesses, guard rails and crawl boards will help ensure jobs involving work at height can be completed without injury.
Maintenance is also an important part of staying farm safe, and equipment must be inspected regularly as part of the risk assessment procedure.
Discuss your fall at height claim today
As specialists in securing fall from height compensation, the solicitors at Seth Lovis & Co can help explain your rights. We can help you make a claim if you feel that your employer has not fulfilled their obligations under the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Contact us today on 0808 252 0678 for friendly and professional legal advice.