The agricultural industry was the biggest cause of work-related fatal injuries in Wales last year according to new statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Released on the first day of Farm Safety Week, the statistics have revealed that six deaths were recorded as being linked to farming, forestry and fisheries in Wales between March 2017 and April 2018, 21 per cent of the total number of agriculture worker deaths in Great Britain.

Rick Brunt, head of agriculture at HSE said: “While we are seeing signs of an industry eager to improve this record, the high death rate emphasises the need for determined action by all involved in the farming industry if we are to bring about a real change to these appalling figures.”

The youngest person fatally injured was 24-year-old man and the oldest was an 85-year-old woman who was fatally injured by an animal.

Older workers are increasingly forming a significant proportion of those killed at work in Great Britain. Across the country, 40 per cent of all fatal injuries in 2017/18 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10 per cent of the workforce.

The new figures released by the workplace regulator show that, of those fatally injured at work in Wales, two workers were killed after being struck by an object.

Other causes of death included being struck by a moving vehicle, being trapped by something collapsing and being injured by an animal.

Although the order of the top killers in the farming industry fluctuates each year, the overall top four or five causes of death in the farming industry have remained static for years.

Rick Brunt said: “The causes of death have remained the same for years and the ways to prevent them are well known and straightforward. Work in the Farm Safety Partnership and through industry leaders suggests the industry is on the brink of tackling their problems.

“I urge farmers, managers and workers to step up to this challenge and drive down the toll of death, injury and ill health on Britain’s farms. Please don’t step back and accept this as the norm for your industry.”

The average rate of fatal injury in agriculture is 8.44 deaths per 100,000 workers, the highest of any sector and 18 times higher than the all industry average.