Safety warning to farmers
The Farming industry is no longer a booming sector that guarantees jobs, not like in days gone by. In fact only 1.8% of the workforce in Britain is considered to be part of this sector. Despite this though the accident rate makes up about 19% of accidents in the UK every year.
So this week I thought that I should yet again look at Farm safety. In this article we will identify the most common dangers and some you’ve probably never even thought of, to try and ensure that your farmyard can be as safe as possible
This week’s 2 recent HSE cases look at situations that should never have been allowed to happen
- Edwin Heaney failed to take reasonable care of colleagues, while operating a construction site vehicle on a house build site.
- A 54-year-old employee suffered severe cement burns to his knees while laying concrete flooring.
Safety warning to farmers
Many Farmyards in the UK sadly, do adhere to strict Health & Safety codes and practices, largely because many are passed from father to son, however with working in such a manual and practical based business comes a heightened level of risk.
The rate of illness is also significantly higher in the Farming sector than the average from other workspaces. There are four common injuries and illnesses associated with this sector; vehicular, falls from height, heavy lifting and handling and hazardous substances
Don’t leave it to FATE
Last time we looked at safety on farms, we considered four key areas (Falls, Animals, Transport and Equipment) “FATE”:
- falls from height;
- livestock incidents;
- workplace transport;
- equipment/machinery incidents.
So this time I thought we should consider Risk Assessment, Confined Spaces, Hazardous substances and of course, Livestock.
Nearly all accidents can be prevented if the risks and how to avoid them are clearly outlined. By being proactive in your approach to safety on the farm and thinking about what can be done before an accident happens, can go a long way to improving safety. But being realistic it’s quite hard to imagine all accidents will be eradicated, we’re all human and these things do happen.
Completing a risk assessment enables you to identify which areas of the business are posing the biggest safety risks to the workers on the farm. If you’re unsure on how to complete a risk assessment, call Wilkins Safety Group who can run courses outlining the best ways to complete these assessments, or we can help you with writing up your assessments. But once these are complete you will be able to outline proactive procedures to try to avoid similar accidents in the future.
The following Risk Assessment Process Diagram (credits: ready.gov) shows you the sort of hazards, risks and potential impacts should something go wrong.
The law requires any employer or self-employed party to regulate their own health and safety risks and whilst you’re not expected to completely eliminate risk, there should be at least realistic steps to attempt to stop it from happening.
What you cannot do is ignore risks and hope that nothing happens.
Working in Confined Spaces
Farming can be a wonderful life in many ways because you can split yours and your worker’s time between indoor and outdoor spaces. But it is often these indoor areas that can be dangerous because of confined spaces. The typical confined spaces include fuel storage tanks, silos and slurry pits, and these can present a range of hazards. Drowning, suffocation and toxic gas inhalation all sound shocking but they are very real dangers.