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Asphyxiation or Drowning Farming Injuries

According to figures from 2012 and 2013, the Health and Safety Executive revealed that 3% of all employee fatalities over the five preceding years were caused by asphyxiation or drowning, especially in Industries which involve working in confined spaces such as farming and agriculture. Furthermore, from 2006 to 2015, Drowning was identified as one of the main causes of death in agriculture, accounting for approximately 10% of deaths. (Thatsfarming.com).

If you or a loved one have been affected by asphyxiation or drowning and would like some legal expertise regarding your rights and a potential claim, please feel free to call us on 0800 0747 644 or fill out our online client claim form and someone will be in touch.

Asphyxiation:

Although accidents which involve asphyxiation are relatively rare, nonetheless when they do occur they can be extremely serious. Asphyxiation is considered fatal as it is characterised by the lack of oxygen to the body, if Asphyxiation is not dealt with promptly it can lead to serious injuries such as brain damage and even death.

Compressive asphyxia: This is a type of asphyxiation caused by compression to the chest, thus the lungs are unable to fill with oxygen, ultimately meaning that the victim is unable to breathe.

Asphyxiation and agriculture:

In a work environment, one of the most common types of asphyxiation accident occurs when one enters a restricted space without realising the atmosphere is hazardous.

For example, in a slurry pit on a farm dangerous chemicals and gases such as hydrogen sulphide can be released. It cannot be identified as it is odourless at high levels of exposure. The effects of it can disable the nervous system and cause the victim to collapse, become unconscious and even cause death. Slurry handling on farms can be a very dangerous process, as the toxic gases released can rapidly kill workers and multiple fatalities can befall.

Grain bin deaths:

Asphyxiation in agricultural environments can also happen in areas in which free flowing solids, such as grain storage bins where grain is kept, resulting in grain bin deaths. Workers whose task may include clearing a blockage can become trapped if the obstruction unexpectedly clears and the material floods out on top, trapping them causing compressive asphyxia. Therefore, it is imperative that employers and farmers provide the key safety equipment as well as grain bin rescue equipment. It is the responsibility of the employer to carry out all necessary grain bin safety checks for its employees. Failure to do so would mean negligence and the breach of their duty of care, thus being held liable for any subsequent injuries and accidents.

Silos, slurry stores or pits accidents:

Accidents in Silos, Slurry stores or pit areas are often because of the lack of oxygen to the body (Asphyxiation) which can consequently lead to farm workers becoming unconscious. Employees can die due to downing or asphyxiation if they fall into a pit or silo.

Slurry pits also comprise poisonous chemicals and emit toxic fumes, thus those required to work around these zones must be provided with suitable protective equipment and sufficient health and safety training.

How can Grieves Solicitors can help:

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed at work, contact Grieves Personal injury specialist Solicitors on 0800 0747 644 for information and advice on your full rights and potential claim. Alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form and one of our solicitors will be in touch as soon as possible.