Man feared ‘trampled to death by cattle’ on farm
A man has died after being found with fatal injuries surrounded by cattle at a field in South Gloucestershire. The incident happened in Marshfield on the border with Somerset and Wiltshire last Tuesday (August 10). Avon and Somerset Police and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating the suspected cattle-trampling incident, which was one of four fatalities on UK farms in a fortnight.
: Covid rules across England change from today – what you need to know The town of Marshfield is about 10 miles east of Bristol and nine miles north of Bath. The HSE, which is Britain’s workplace regulator, said the four incidents show more needs to be done to improve farm safety.
The other incidents were: o Tuesday, July 27: A man died in an apparent fall from height at a farm in Angus, Scotland. o Tuesday, August 3: A three-year-old boy died following a collision with a vehicle at a farm in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. o Monday, August 9: A man died in a crushing incident involving a ramp falling from a truck at a farm in Hampshire.
There has also been a report of a separate incident involving members of the public being attacked by cattle. The incidents come just three weeks after Farm Safety Week, when HSE issued its Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2020/21 report highlighting the high fatality rate in the industry. The figures showed that agriculture has the worst rate of fatal injuries of all the major industrial sectors, around 20 times higher than the average five-year annual rate across all industries.
HSE’s acting head of agriculture Adrian Hodkinson said: “While we must respect the ongoing investigations following these tragic incidents, most injuries or deaths that we’ve historically seen on farms have been both predictable and preventable. “Despite the efforts of the Farm Safety Partnership in particular, an industry-wide change in attitude is needed for farmers to take action to protect themselves and others to the well-known risks they face. “At this time of year, we have additional factors such as the school holidays and higher numbers of members of the public enjoying the summer weather and walking along public footpaths through fields with cattle.
“But we ask that farmers, farm workers and farming contractors take the right steps to stop these incidents. At this time of year, it’s important to manage risk from livestock and, with harvest well underway, to work safely with farm machinery. He added: “The fatality rate within the sector is high, but there are simple measures workers can take to reduce risk including making sure to switch off the power to vehicles or machinery before attempting to carry out repairs, keeping people away from moving vehicles; and ensuring dairy bulls, and cows with calves are not in fields with public footpaths.
Chair of Farm Safety Partnership England Stuart Roberts said: “The number of deaths on farmland is deeply upsetting.
The fact remains that there have been four deaths in the last two weeks alone – that is four too many. Every farmer has a responsibility to make safety their number one priority, especially as we enter the height of the school holidays with more families visiting the countryside. “A lot of accidents are, tragically, easily avoided and there are some relative simple and inexpensive changes we can all implement, starting with remembering to always assess risks.
We also need to ensure all of us wear helmets on quadbikes, check machinery regularly and implement the Safe Stop procedure every time we leave the cab.”
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