Just a reminder from us here at Farm and Country Finance to be safe.
In 2022/23, twenty-one farm workers died in accidents at work in agriculture, forestry and fishing whilst six members of the public were killed on British farms mainly due to fatal injuries caused by animals.
The main causes of accidents were:
injury caused by animals,
trips and falls often from height,
contact with farm equipment,
being struck by something (including being struck by a moving vehicle).
Farms and rural settings present serious health and safety risks, which need to be managed by business owners. The Health and Safety Executive recently launched a campaign to reduce death and injury through the use of farm vehicles; they were the leading cause of accidental death and serious injury on British farms.
None of us like bureaucracy, but it is important to be aware of the risks, to avoid falling foul of health and safety regulations. There are a number of duties that apply to all employers including those in farming and rural businesses.
Employers owe specific duties of care to employees and a general duty to the public, by employers and the owners of land, not to expose them to any health and safety risks. Where the public is concerned, there are a number of risks relating to their access to land.
In Scotland, there is an obligation on employers to allow employees to attend up to two days health and safety training each year and employers are entitled to require their employees to obtain training.
Here’s a few common sense ideas:
Landowners should undertake a regular assessment of risks and implement measures to prevent harm to the public from their access to land.
Workers should be kept at a safe distance from moving vehicles and during loading and unloading.
Switch off the power, or turn off the engine, to anything before repairing it.
Use the right tackle – especially when working at height.
Maintain fencing and other structures.
Provide or ensure the right clothing is worn and safety gear is used.
Keep cattle away from fields with public access.
Ensure your public and employer liability insurance are effective and in place. Proper management of the risk might have implications for this. Let us all hope that you never need to use it.