Scotland business

Figures reveal agriculture death toll

Farm in Tweed Valley Image copyright Getty Images

Five people were killed in the agricultural industry in Scotland over the last year, it has emerged.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive said a total of 33 people died across Britain in the 12 months to the end of March.

The incidents in Scotland included a 76-year-old farmer who was crushed by a bull.

A 62-year-old farmer drowned while tending to oysters being grown on the seabed, while a farm worker was crushed beneath a tractor trailer as he carried out repairs.

William Barne, from the Edinburgh office of insurance firm Lycetts, said: "Agriculture's high fatality rate significantly outstrips that of other industries.

"It is more than five times higher than the second most risky industry - construction - which really drives home just how hazardous an industry it is."

Image copyright HSE
Image caption A breakdown of agricultural deaths in Britain in the year to the end of March 2018

An analysis of the HSE data by Lycetts suggested that over the last five years, an average of seven people died Scotland each year.

Over the same period, there were an average of five annual deaths in the South West and in Yorkshire and Humber.

There were four deaths in Wales; three in the West Midlands; two in the East Midlands, North West, and East of England; and one in the South East and the North East.

Nearly half (48%) of the agricultural workers killed in Britain were over 65 and almost twice as many self-employed people were killed as employees.

The most common causes of death were being killed by an animal and being struck by a moving vehicle.