Farming and agriculture workplace injury and illness claims

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing – Claiming Employer Negligence

Despite the general importance of this industry for cultivating food to sustain us, employees of agriculture, forestry and fishing only make up a single percent of the entire UK working population. What is more surprising, is how the sector has a rate of fatalities some 18 times higher than the average for all UK industries, and around double the rate for injury. By all statistics, agricultural, forestry and fishing employees are in a particularly risky occupation, with workplace hazards from animals, vehicles, machinery and moving/falling objects responsible in part for 32 fatal and 14,000 non-fatal injuries in the 18/19 period alone.  

Agriculture in its many forms is the oldest type of industry our species conceptualised, it helped bring people together and establish settlements across the world. In more modern times, agriculture and forestry are concentrated in more rural areas of the UK, such as the South West, parts of Wales and Scotland, as well as some of the Yorkshire & the Humber region, and the transport industry moves it across to urban centres, like London, or moved to more industrial areas for use in manufacturing first. Whereas fishing is usually offshore and placements dependant on a variety of factors. The roles of workers in this sector are grouped in three subcategories: agriculture – concerning itself with crop and animal farming; forestry and logging – which also includes gathering non-wood items like mushrooms and nuts; lastly, fishing and general aquaculture.

cutting down trees - Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

Whilst accounting for a relatively small workforce, the grouping of agriculture, fishing and forestry can feel a little broad in scope. But it is difficult to separate out common accidents into particular job types. Whilst fisherman might experience more in the way of slips, trips and falls during rough seas, it doesn’t seem particularly limited to that sector. Much in the same way that forestry or logging workers might have a higher rate of falls from heights. Animal injuries are probably more limited to farming than the other scenarios mentioned. In thought, a lot of these examples might seem like occupational hazards that just come with the territory; however, employers always need to be working to mitigate them. If particularly poor weather is present, it might be too great a risk for fishermen to be exposed to it. If equipment isn’t properly testing, tree-cutters and similar roles will be put in unnecessary danger. And while animals are notably dangerous, free agents in terms of hazards, there clearly could be better methods of working with them, considering how common place injuries and fatalities involving them are. In the event of workers suffering from employer negligence in any form, our panel of solicitors aim to hold them responsible and seek damages to support claimants.

Claim compensation for an injury or illness from working in agriculture, forestry or fishing with our solicitors.

There have been an estimated 14,000 of this sector’s employees suffering from a new or worsened illness or disease which they blamed their work environment for in 2019. Around half of these reported ill-health cases were from musculoskeletal disorders, which are significantly higher in number than other industries. In the same year, there was also 14,000 workers sustaining injuries from accidents that weren’t fatal. Whilst, 32 agriculture, fishing and forestry workers lost their lives, with 25% of cases attributed to being struck by a moving vehicle and 17% to animal related injuries. The scale and regularity of hazards inflicted upon agri-workers means we are dealing with a wide variety of claims. We seek to make farming, fishing and forestry employers responsible for however they have affected you, and we have years of experience successfully winning damages for workers we represent.

Speak to our team if the problem is a result of your employer or workplace. We can help you build a case for compensation on a no win, no fee* basis. Our team is available 24/7 on 08082391859 and will give you a free claim assessment and guide you through your claim with expert advice and knowledge of the hazards of work in agriculture, fishing and forestry.

Highland Cows on a farm in the UK - Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Cows on a farm in the UK, farming and agriculture

What hazards are most common causes of injury in agriculture, forestry or fishing workers?

Of the estimated 14,000 injuries to agriculture, forestry and fishing employees – or around 4% of the entire industry – there isn’t singular standalone accident type responsible for injuies to workers. About a fifth of injuries are attributed to slips, trips and falls, and injuries from animals, falling from heights and manual handling make up around 40% combined. There are numbers to suggest a downward trend in recent decades, but the rate of injury is still worryingly high in farming, fishing and forestry workers. There isn’t any consistent causes for these accidents, like a lack of PPE, although improper training would explain a few of these accident types. The most common accidents resulting in injury are:

If you’ve been injured in any way by your workplace and feel your employer is responsible, call our free accident helpline for expert personal injury advice. We can help you bring a claim on a no win, no fee* basis – call today on 08082391859.

Hazards Present in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Workplaces
Hazards Present in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing Workplaces – Source European Union Occupational Health Agency survey 2014

What industrial diseases are typical in agriculture, forestry and fishing workers?

A very large portion of these workers experiencing some from of ongoing ill-health are suffering from musculoskeletal disorders. They are much more common in agriculture, fishing and forestry than most other UK industries. Generally, these disorders are built up over a long period of time, instead of from one-off accidents, but are no less problematic. Whilst most muscular or skeletal issues developed from work come in the form of back or upper body pain, often acute and long-term cases like hand-arm vibration syndrome or carpal tunnel syndrome come from the repetitive and necessary force required to perform some duties.

In other illnesses affecting agri-workers, lung diseases, like Farmers’ lung or occupational asthma aren’t uncommon. Farmer’s lung is a type of allergic alveolitis which is developed from breathing in spores from mouldy or damp produce like grain, or dust from a variety of sources. There have been an average 7 deaths per year where farmer’s lung is attributed to the cause of loss of life. Generally, the disease isn’t life-threatening, but could be more prominent than currently recorded. Occupational asthma is developed in a similar way and is more common in agriculture, forestry and fishing than most other UK industries.

Such conditions like farmer’s lung and occupational asthma are usually quite avoidable with proper protective equipment, especially in the form of masks. PPE could also go far in helping to protect workers from skin disease also, which is fairly common when making contact with a variety of substances whilst working.

Occupational cancer has affected around 100 workers of this sector in the last two decades. Whilst the numbers aren’t extraordinarily high, long working hours outside presents a hazard from solar radiation, potentially developing skin cancer in workers. Overall, there were 1500 cases of skin cancer registrations in workers in that same time period. Generally, proper training and management should mitigate this development of skin cancer, as its risks are common public knowledge. Employers should be making sure workers are protected, even if the number of cases is minimal.

fishermen unloading fish catch fishing

We can help agriculture, forestry and fishing workers seek compensation for a variety of complex health issues. If you feel like workplace practices or negligent employers have contributed to an illness or disease, speak to our team for a free claim assessment. What’s more, the limitation on claim timeframes is often from the date of discovery of a condition, rather than the onset of it.  We’re available on 08082391859 to answer any of your legal questions at any time.

What are the main causes of fatalities in farming, fishing and forestry workers?

Whilst 29 yearly deaths on average in this sector might not seem like a cause for alarm, it is far too high for a country as developed as ours. This rate is some 18 times higher than all industries, and 5 times higher than construction. What’s more, the rate of fatalities has remained consistently high for the last 40 years, even as technological developments have shaped the industry. This means that there is much room to develop better safety in changing and existing practices in agriculture, forestry and fishing, and clearly better training to facilitate them. We want to make sure that employees are protected and will hold employers to account when they have directly or indirectly caused fatalities in workers.

The top causes of accident resulting in fatal injury in 2018/19 were from:

  • Being struck by a moving vehicle – 25%
  • Injuries from an animal – 17%
  • Falls from a height – 16%
  • Struck by a moving or falling object – 10%
  • Becoming trapped by collapsing or overturning things – 10%
forestry logging tree felling - Agriculture and Forestry

Can I claim on behalf of a loved one who has died or is seriously suffering after working in this industry?

Yes, we can help loved ones claim compensation for the loss of life, or if that person has become seriously ill or disabled. We aim to seek damages to help support families during such tragedies and do what we can to ease the burden. Speak to us whenever it suits you on 08082391859 for friendly and empathetic advice.

What advantages do I have if I claim for negligence compensation against an employer with Friends Legal?

  1. We have a team of technical qualifiers who can assess your claim for free. If they feel you have a case, we bring your claim to one of our panel solicitors – that way you don’t run up any legal fees by just asking questions.
  2. Our telephony team is open 24hrs a day, but you can leave them a message with our contact form, and they’ll get back to you within a few working days.
  3. Our panel of employer liability solicitors can work on a no win, no fee* basis, meaning again, you’re not drumming up expensive legal fees by claiming for your personal injury or illness.
  4. Our team covers the whole of the UK, and you’ll be assigned to a panel solicitor depending on if you’re in England and Wales, or Scotland.
  5. We have helped many people claim compensation who have worked in agriculture, forestry and fishing.
  6. We can also help with rehabilitation; arranging physio or in harsher situations, surgery and medical treatment. We offer a whole accident management package.
  7. We have a UK call centre, based in Manchester, and come from all walks of life.
  8. We fight for the maximum compensation for you, because ultimately your job is to make the company successful and they should at least ensure your safety in exchange.
  9. When we calculate your claim amount, we factor in loss of earnings, general expenses and any ongoing costs incurred, so that you get the highest level of compensation due to you.
  10. We’re friendly, empathetic and here to help you however we can.
Friends Legal Workplace Accident, Injury & Illness Claim Experts

Get in touch with our employer negligence solicitors** today to find out if and how much compensation you could claim.

If you’ve suffered because of work in agriculture, forestry or fishing and your employer is at fault, call our helpline today on 08082391859 to start your claim – we’re here to help.

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