Fatal injury statistics published

25 July 2022

Farm safety
Farmer in a tractor looking at a manual

Fatal injury statistics for 2021/2022 covering all industries in Great Britain were published on 6 July 2022.

The headline figures are:

  • 123 workers killed in work related accidents across all industries in Great Britain in 2021/22 a decrease of 22 fatalities from 2020/21
  • Construction at 30 deaths and agriculture at 22 deaths are the worst performing industries on an absolute basis
  • The number of deaths in agriculture is a decrease of 12 from the previous year (34)
  • Looking at injury rates in terms of the number of fatalities per 100,000 workers employed, agriculture and forestry comes out worst with a rate of 8.03 per 100,000 workers employed. This compares with the all industry average of 0.38 per 100,000 employed. The rate in agriculture is 21 times as high as the all industry rate.

The report published on 6 July gives an overview of fatal incidents across all industries. A detailed report specifically on fatal injuries in agriculture was published by the HSE on 18 July 2022 marking the start of Farm Safety Week.

Long term trends

The long-term trend nationally since the 1980s has been downwards from a high over 600 per-year in 1988 to 123 this year. In recent years, the rate nationally has been broadly flat.

Fatal injuries in agriculture in a similar period have declined in absolute numbers but, like the all industry figures, have been broadly flat in recent years.

There is a natural variation in the figures year-on-year and although the number of fatal injuries in agriculture has declined by 35% (12) compared to the previous year, this should not be seen as a sign of a significant overall improvement in the management of health and safety in the farm workplace.

Agriculture remains the industry with the poorest safety record

The major causes of fatal injury in the farm workplace have not changed for many years with transport related incidents, animal handling, working at height and contact with machinery accounting for the majority of farm workplace deaths year in and year out.

Farm accidents can be avoided and some simple cost-effective changes in behaviour can make a real difference. Ever year farmers are run over by vehicles they are using because they fail to secure their vehicle when they get out the cab. If every farmer and worker followed the Safe Stop procedure, lives will be saved.

Make sure every time you leave the cab you:

  1. Put the brake on
  2. Put the engine in neutral
  3. Turn the engine off
  4. Take the keys out.

Read the HSE report.

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