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Farm Safety

Volume 975: debated on Monday 10 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if, in view of the increase in deaths on farms from 17 in the first six months of 1978 to 34 in the first six months of 1979, he will seek to amend the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act so as to require farmers to give access to trade union safety representatives.

I am informed by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that there are no plans at present to recommend changes to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to require farmers to give access to trade union safety representatives.

Fatalities due to agricultural operations in 1978 were the lowest on record, the comparative figures for recent years being:

1974104
1975101
1976108
1977105
197873
1979
(to 30/11/79) 72, with a further 20 waiting confirmation.

As there is no set pattern for the incidence of fatal accidents comparisons between 1978 and other years, or parts thereof, can be misleading.