The charity behind the current Farm Safety Week has warned that agriculture is the UK's most dangerous occupation as it revealed farm workers over the age of 65 are six times more likely to die from an injury than younger workers.

But a new report by the Health and Safety Executive does show that 20 farm workers were killed on farms over the past year – a 37.5 per cent decrease on the previous years figure of 32.

Of those killed, 20 were agricultural workers and one was a member of the public – a four-year-old child.

However signs that poor attitudes to safety, risk-taking and the number of farmers and farm workers losing their lives on the UK’s farms may finally be improving.

To mark the annual Farm Safety Week campaign this week, HSE has shared its in-depth report into fatal injuries in the sector.

The biggest cause of these fatalities was farm transport. Workers over the age of 55 were disproportionately at risk of death following an incident.

Even with the numbers overall dropping this year which is encouraging news, agriculture still has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, a shocking 18 times higher than the all-industry rate, accounting for around 20 per cent of worker fatalities.

“Agriculture is a vitally important part of our economy.” explains Adrian Hodkinson, HSE head of agriculture. “But every year we report that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK.

“It is a very sad fact that most of the deaths and life-changing injuries are completely avoidable and the causes well known. The precautions to prevent people being killed and/or really seriously injured on farms are usually straightforward.

"It is not acceptable that agriculture continues to fail to manage risk in the workplace. We need everyone to play their part to change their own behaviours and do things the right way (rather than the way it’s always been done) and challenge poor practices whenever they are seen.

He added: “On a more positive note, it’s fantastic to see more use of working platforms, more hi-vis clothing, that ATV users are getting trained and wearing helmets, and better cattle handling facilities are being installed.”

This year, following recent news reports of farmers texting and TikToking while behind the wheel, there will be a focus on distracted driving and rural road safety.

According to Stephanie Berkeley who manages the Farm Safety Foundation, the charity behind this campaign: “Farmers are starting to make decisions that are in their broad self-interest and in the interest of staying safe and staying alive.

"Young farmers are coming into the industry with improved attitudes to working safely. More farmers are being open about looking after their physical and mental wellbeing and using technology, learning business skills and taking innovative steps to make their farm businesses safe, resilient and sustainable.

“Farm Safety Week may be one week in the year but the Farm Safety Foundation works all year round to educate, engage and communicate strong and relatable farm safety messages and deliver this change and we can not do this alone.”

For more information on Farm Safety Week visit or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook using the hashtag #FarmSafetyWeek