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Two thirds of Scottish workplace deaths in agriculture

Nearly two thirds of Scots killed at work last year worked in agriculture, analysis of figures published earlier this year by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have shown. Of the fifteen workplace fatalities that occurred between April 2010 and March 2011, nine were in agriculture.

Across Great Britain, the five year average rate of fatal injury is 0.7 per 100,000 for all workers. In agriculture, it is 9.6 per 100,000; much higher than any other industry.

Six of the fatal incidents involving workers on Scotland's farms were linked to work place transport issues, such as being hit by a moving vehicle, being trapped in an overturned vehicle and being injured in a quad bike incident. Across the UK the most common cause of serious and fatal injuries in agriculture involves moving and overturning vehicles.

Paul Stollard, Head of HSE in Scotland, said

"Agriculture is still one of the most dangerous professions in Britain and the Scottish fatality statistics sadly support this fact. What is most frustrating is that the causes of incidents remain stubbornly the same such as falls from height and overturned vehicles. These incidents can be avoided, often through simple, low-cost steps. That's why we are continuing our programme of Safety and Health Awareness Days and why we are committing to working closely with the industry and regulatory partners. Everyone has a role to play in reducing death and injury."

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