Or they just don't make the papers perhaps? Shooting accidents aren't as rare as you think! I know of 2 that never made the papers including one bloke who also got hit in the eye and one trialling handler who got hit in the hand!
Happens quite often I would say, everywhere you go now provide safety glasses and If going on the inside flank your always taught to make sure the end gun can see you and knows where you are before the drive starts. Loaders should make sure the gun wont swing through the flank, shooting sticks should be in place, safety talk before the day/drive starts. Plenty procedures in place to make sure it doesnt happen but you cant account for everyone, accidents happen.
Been hit a few times while grouse beating just before the horn was blown, mate i was sitting with got hit when picking up right in the cheek just below his eye i had to squeeze the pellet out. Still can't understand how he got hit were well below line of sight in a haag, must of been a flier or richocet no iea wot it would of richoceted off thou? We were sitting far too close behind the guns thou
Any end gun really should hve known better but i could see how it could happen if an early grouse broke out flank and flanker was behind where he should of been, gun may have thought it was a safe arc and it would of been had flanker been where he was meant to
Know of a moor where the guns just slip u some extra cash if they shoot u, and it happens quite a lot, some of the flankers almost went of strike a few years ago, safety is terrible and guns refuse to listen.
Last year I managed to get a small shard of metal imbeded in my eye while using a grinder, and yes I was wearing safety glasses
after having the piece of metal removed they decided to x ray my eye to be sure they had it all,that's when they asked if ever had any trouble
with my sinuses, apparently I have a shotgun pellet in my sinus, I have never had trouble with my sinuses so they decided just to leave it
where it is.
I have been hit by pellets a few times most often just stinging ,occasionally breaking the skin but not much more than that, but twenty five years ago I was hit in the face in similar circumstances to the reported incident , two pellets in my cheek and one inside my mouth thought they were all out but this must have been when I ended up with one in my sinus.
So, to ensure you are covered as a shoot, you should have a current and updated risk assessment in place, with a copy available to be seen by everyone involved, hold safety briefings for both guns, beaters and pickers-up every time you go out. There should be someone designated to take action if something is amiss (shoot captain perhaps, able to see if a gun is dangerous and take appropriate action). Everyone should be insured (either as a shoot or individually).
Does that cover it, or should there be more? Perhaps having a mentor with an inexperienced gun? Anything else?
A written risk assessment and briefings to all on the day is certainly one way of ensuring all have been told about safety specs, fields of fire, etc. Though whether any notice is taken when out in the field is another matter ! Which leads to ...
The captain on the day should have the absolute right to throw anyone out for unsafe practices - though that requires a brave captain or someone who has been given unconditional backing of the estate if the shoot has 'high-profile' clients or guests.
As to insurance : yes, all should have it. Our little game shoot insists on BASC insurance, and insists on seeing your membership card on the first day's shooting - cue much panicking a couple of days before when trying to remember where you put your card when it came in the post !
As to putting a mentor with a novice gun : It's my experience that the more novice, the more willing to listen to safety briefings, and to be 'switched on' to the risks. It's the older, 'seen-it-all, know-it-all, done-it-all' guns who don't pay attention to the briefs who are less aware, and swing through and shoot where they shouldn't.
Having had some experience of the scuba diving (a fair bit) and skydiving worlds (much less) I am struck by the candour with which their core associations publish a record of all the year's serious and fatal accidents as a salutatory lesson from which those who think it can never happen to them can learn.
Some hunting associations on the Continent do the same. But here in the UK it is left to the national and local press, and to the general rumour mill whose cogs are pubs, shooting parties and internet forums, to report and speculate upon each separate incident.
Perhaps it is our lack of a single organising or data-collecting body that prevents this, or perhaps we just don't want to know, or want anyone else to know. Nevertheless, I am inclined think it would be in our interests to publish reliable annual data and accounts, partly because in quantifying the number of incidents I strongly suspect we would find ourselves well placed to demonstrate that our pastime is much safer than most people imagine, and -much more importantly- so that we can learn from the misfortunes of others, and thereby make it safer still.
Returning to the article linked to by the OP. This quote made me wonder if that the HSE man had really grasped the realities of driven shooting: "The simple fact is that you should never stand in front of a man with a gun, especially if he can't see you.“
While i agree with u mr gain in a normal country it would be a good idea, the problem is in the uk it would be used as a bat to hammer us with by the anti's and anti gun brigade, most other countries those loonies are still on the fringes not running national tv stations/papers.
Grouse is probably the most dangerous type of shooting there is due to the fact u are shooting low flying birds and the weather can be so changable even in august.
1 moor i go to i'm sometimes asked to mentor/stuff for newer guns, and to be fair to the owners there very good at inviting new folk to the sport (althou not invited me yet )
Was probably only 2/3 seasons ago 1 of the main men for a fancy auction house got a face full of 7's from the butt 2 or 3 further up the line, think they were both stsnding too far back in there butts.
There has been a few times picking up i've really regretted where i sat (esp if u can't go the normal distance back due to the next drive) and pellets are fizzing not far over ur head and odd 1's landing around u.
Once in heavy fog ended up far closer than i should off been, fine for butts directly in line but butts lower down where shooting right in to the area, had to curl up in a ball with my jacket over my head and shout my dogs to lie with my under the jacket.
But as a picker up its ur own fault if u get pelleted as u should know better, but hindsight is always a great thing