This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
AGRICULTURAL workplace deaths have seen a steep increase over the past year, Unite warned today.
There were a total of 20 deaths in the sector between April 2019 and April 2020, but, according to the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) fatality list for 2020-2021, by the third week of February there had already been 33 deaths: an increase of 61 per cent.
There are likely to have been further fatalities before the end of the reporting year on April 1, Unite said.
The highest causes of deaths were contact with cattle — (11, including five members of the public) — and deaths involving vehicles (10).
Even before the latest figures emerged, agriculture was considered to be the most dangerous sector in the country, with fatality rates 18 times the national workplace average.
Unite, which published its analysis of the figures today on the eve of Workers’ Memorial Day, called for the HSE, ministers and bosses to take urgent action.
The union is demanding an increase in inspections and prosecutions by the HSE, which has been hit by a decade of government cuts, and the creation of a system of accredited roving safety reps to improve safety.
An effective information campaign is also urgently needed, warning the public of the risks animals can pose, Unite said.
Unite national officer for agriculture Bev Clarkson said: “[This] increase [in deaths] is deeply disturbing and must not be ignored.
“The high number of fatalities demonstrates that far too many employers are willing to cut corners.
“Only the genuine fear of prosecution will drag the worst employers into line.”
A HSE spokesperson said: “HSE continues to follow its published intervention strategy and work with the industry to drive improvements in management of risk.
“Inspection, investigation work and enforcement activities continue.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £10 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.