A NATIONAL campaign focusing on the dangers of livestock has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

According to HSE, incidents involving livestock were the number one cause of work-related deaths on British farms in 2022/23. The statistics also show being injured by an animal was the number one cause of work-related deaths on British farms in 2022/23, where there was a total of eigh deaths. 

These findings are why the HSE is choosing to focus on the dangers of livestock as the Your Farm, Your Future campaign relaunched on Monday (February 19). The HSE has issued new advice about working with livestock as part of the campaign.

The organisation has created new webpages and a checklist for working safely with livestock. The advice covers three areas: operating a safe farm - where possible keep people and cattle apart; safe equipment and the animal. 

Last year's campaign focused on transport safety. According to HSE, livestock and farm vehicle incidents account for around half of all work-related deaths on British farms in the past five years. This is a total of 77 people who lost their lives. 

Adrian Hodkinson, agriculture lead at HSE, said: “Working with cattle and using vehicles are two very common activities in farming, but they bring with them a high risk of being very badly hurt.

“This campaign is focused on work with livestock and aims to stress how important it is to take sensible measures to keep animals and people apart. At the same time we’ll be continuing to highlight the key things for safe use of farm vehicles in and around the yard and sheds, but also out in the fields when checking, feeding, moving and caring for your herd.

“For example, ATVs (or farm quads) are commonly used on livestock farms. HSE has looked at the reported incidents and many show the user was doing something in relation to farming the animals at the time of the overturn or crash. That’s why we are looking at raising awareness of both cattle safety but also farm vehicle safety.

“Agriculture consistently has a high rate of fatal and serious injuries of all main industry sectors in Great Britain. Over the past five years, the average fatal incident rate is twenty-one times higher in agriculture than the average across all other industries. That is a shocking statistic and sadly the impact on every affected farm is huge. Sometimes I see the incident leads to farming work stopping all together, as the key person has life changing injuries and can no longer work.

“It’s time for us to make a change together to make our farms safer, and that’s why we’re asking farmers in England, Scotland and Wales to consider these areas of their daily farming activities and take the right actions to prevent another farming tragedy.”