H & S Guidance – Agricultural and Horticultural Amenity Equipment

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There may be occasions when equipment, which may be primarily for agricultural or horticultural use, is used in premises for which the Council is the enforcing authority (e.g. golf courses, sports clubs). Examples of such equipment include tractors, chainsaws, brush cutters and strimmers. As such items have the potential to cause serious personal injuries or even death, the following advice can be used to control such risks.


  • Safety considerations relating to tractors include:
  • roll over protection;
  • noise levels;
  • tools/toolboxes to be kept outside the cab;
  • adequate seating;
  • overturning (caused by slopes, changing ground conditions, load stability etc);
  • correct hitching;
  • adequate and regular safety checks;
  • Guarding – shafts, pulleys, belt flywheels, gearing, chains etc. The power take-off shafts (PTOs) must be totally enclosed by a suitable and appropriate guard over its full length.
  • Training – this can be provided by organisations such as the Wilkins Health & Safety Services.


Safety considerations relating to the use of chainsaws include:

  • Training – anyone using a chainsaw at work should have received adequate training in safe use. Guidance on training standards of competence can be found in Guidance Note GS48. A range of recognised training courses are available which cover different types of chainsaw work.
  • Maintenance – of the chain catcher; silencer; guide bar; drive sprocket and chain links; side plate, front and rear hand guards; anti-vibration mounts (which help prevent Vibration White Finger (VWF))

Safe fuelling and lubrication.

Protective clothing, i.e. safety helmet (replaced every 2-3 years usually)

  • hearing protection
  • eye protection
  • close fitting clothing
  • protective gloves
  • leg protection
  • chain saw boots or other alternative but equivalent provision for occasional work in low risk environments.
  • Pre-use safety checks.
  • Safe use – so as to avoid injuries from kickback etc. And to include safety when working at heights.
  • First aid – a personal first aid kit is essential and operators should know how to control major bleeding and how to deal with crush injuries.


Precautions should include:

  • Training – in safe use;
  • Maintenance on a regular basis;
  • Protective clothing (close fitting clothing, protective gloves, safety boots, goggles/ visor, ear defenders);
  • Replacement of bent, warped, damaged or dull cutting tools immediately.


1.Leaflet INDG 185 – ‘Tractor Action – A step by step guide’. (HSE).

2.Booklet HS(G) 89 – Safeguarding Agricultural Machinery. (HSE) ISBN 07176 2400 5

3.Leaflet INDG317– ‘Chainsaws at work.’ (HSE) ISBN 0 7176 1769 6.