Press release - Friday, January 16, 2015
Fatal accidents in Flemish agriculture and horticulture drops 73% in 4 years: 6 victims in 2014.
In the news in 2014: Deadly accident from gas in cesspool; Farmer overwhelmed by fumes in rain pit; dead after a 6-metre fall in a silo… In 2014, 6 people died while performing their work on their farm or horticulture firm. That is nearly three-quarters less than 4 years ago. These counts are performed by the PreventAgri team at ILVO, based on press releases and accident reports. The decline in the past years continued in 2014. Since the start of registration of occupational accidents on agri- and horticulture firms in 2011, the number of fatal accidents has gone down from 22 to 6. (2011: 22 dead; 2012: 21; 2013: 16; 2014; 6). The number of non-fatal accidents in the agriculture sector in 2014 is statistically estimated at 1800 (per fatal accident, approximately 30 serious accidents and 300 accidents with injury are counted). This number is significantly less than the 6600 in 2011, but it is still too high.
The strong decline can be partly explained by the sustained efforts of PreventAgri and all of the sectors to promote worksite safety. In 2012 PreventAgri launched the emotionally dramatic campaign entitled “Landbouw zonder kleerscheuren” (loosely translated as “Farming in one piece”).
A new challenge for prevention is the increasing number of accidents involving toxic gases. ILVO-PreventAgri is putting the focus on this problem, with a new informational video coming in mid-March 2015. That video (in Dutch) will be available for downloading at www.varkensloket.be.
Despite the above efforts, the risk of accidents on-farm remains high. These statistics show that prevention is and will always be an important theme for agriculture and horticulture firms.
Greet Riebbels – (Communication ILVO) +32 486 26 00 14 – Greet.Riebbels@ilvo.vlaanderen.be