The agriculture industry has been identified as a priority area by the HSC/E due its high rate of fatal and major injury accidents (Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy Statement, June 2000). Agriculture has the highest fatal accident rate of any other sector and this rate continues to rise, which is of particular concern in an industry where the workforce is declining year on year. The farmers most at risk are the self-employed, although as with all areas of industry small businesses are particularly hard for the HSE to target through the usual contact methods such as interventions with intermediaries. In order to understand more about the influences on safe and unsafe farming practices BOMEL was commissioned to explore the source and strength of these influences with two distinct farmer groups (the self-employed and farm employers/employees) using the Influence Network technique. With a better understanding of these influences HSE will be able to design interventions appropriate to the target group that will have maximum impact across the sector. The results of this study will also provide a benchmark against which the sector team can compare their own observations of the critical influences.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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