Life Insurance and Farms

Article published on 6th August 2008

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The Health and Safety Executive have released figures that show that the agricultural sector has the most workplace accidents in the UK, with 45 fatalities last year, including 23 farmers or self-employed workers, 13 employees and 9 members of the public.

Across the board, HSE figures show that the number of work-related deaths in the UK in 2007 jumped by about a third up to 67. Although the British figures are quite low when looked at in a global perspective, this is still a huge jump.

Although the HSE's figures seemed to indicate that the majority of the increase in fatalities took place in the construction and fishing sectors, many have argued that the farming industry is perhaps more dangerous because, although deaths are certainly reported, many accidents are often not reported as most farmers in the UK are self employed and do not wish to draw any more attention than is necessary to what happens on their farms for fear of some sort of backlash.

In 2007 the number of farming fatalities was 11, a small drop on the 18 reported fatalities in 2005 and 2006. Indeed, as a whole the agricultural industry maintains its ranking as having the highest fatality rate out of any occupation, with 8.3 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Martin O'Halloran, HSE chief executive, has said that more needs to be done to reduce accidents in all agricultural sectors.

'We firmly believe that accidents at work are preventable in the majority of cases,' he explained.

All this prompts me to think that farmers should take the idea of life insurance even more seriously than most...


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