By Patrick Hurst
Health and safety bodies have called on farmers to take extra caution to avoid hazards this summer, with risks being amplified during the harvest season.
It comes in the wake of the 2014/2015 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report confirming that agriculture is once again one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, with farm workers taking the brunt of accidents that occur in the workplace.
The report also highlighted there were nine fatalities for every 100,000 workers in the agricultural sector.
As well as the harvest season bringing increased problems on the road, it also increases the strain on workers as it is a prime time for thieves to target agricultural machinery and sundry equipment.
Patrick Quigley, account executive at H&H Insurance Brokers, believes it is ‘essential for farmers’ to take the necessary steps to ‘avoid accidents.’
He said: “At such a busy time of year, it is inevitable that risks increase and therefore it is essential to adapt accordingly, not only ensuring you are taking appropriate steps to manage these risks but also checking that you, your workers and your farm are properly covered.”
“Accidents on the road involving farm machinery increase by 60% during harvest season as regular traffic grapples with the addition of large farm vehicles taking to the roads up and down the country. These accidents can amount to costly repairs or payments, stalling the harvest and cutting into profit margins.”
Although the harvest season is integral to the livelihood of any farm, it does come with ‘added risks’ which ‘must be acknowledged’, he added.