The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has relaunched its ‘Your Farm, Your Future’ campaign with a focus on the dangers of working the livestock.

Incidents involving livestock were the number one cause of work-related deaths on British in 2022/2023.

There was a total of eight such deaths.

The ‘Your Farm, Your Future’ campaign focused on transport safety last year and will this year provide advice via the campaign website to assist farmers and workers in keeping safe around livestock.

The HSE said there are sensible measures that can be taken to keep animals and people apart but handlers should be in good health, agile and have the physical ability to do the work.

Together, livestock and farm vehicle incidents account for around a half of all work-related deaths on British farms in the past five years.

A total of 77 people lost their lives with hundreds more hurt in incidents involving moving vehicles and cattle on farms. 

Incidents involving moving vehicles remains the leading cause of death over the last five-year period, the HSE said.

‘High risk’ jobs

Agriculture lead at the HSE, Adrian Hodkinson, 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.”

Hodkinson said ATVs are commonly used on livestock farms and that the incidents involving them show that the user was doing something in relation to farming the animals at the time of the overturn or crash.

Adrian Hodkinson. Image source: HSE

“That’s why we are looking at raising awareness of both cattle safety but also farm vehicle safety,” he said.

“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.”

Hodkinson said it is time for a change to make British farms safer and that farmers in England, Scotland and Wales should consider the ‘Your Farm, Your Future’ campaign’s advice.

“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,” he said.


To support farmers HSE has created new webpages and a checklist for working safely with livestock – aimed at those new to farming, and to serve as a reminder of what to consider for experienced farmers.

The advice covers three areas:

  • Operating a safe farm – Where possible keep people and cattle apart;
  • Safe equipment;
  • The animal.

“We understand the significant pressures faced by British farmers and want to support the farming community to show that safety on the farm doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive,” Hodkinson said.

“There are simple steps you can take today to help keep you and everyone on your farm safe.

“Farmers and farm workers should take a moment to think about what would happen to their families and their farms if they were seriously injured and unable to work.

“When people on farms start their daily routine, they should follow our advice to help plan the job and complete it safely.”