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Conor Lyons: UK Government planning safety inspections on farms throughout 2019

Wednesday January 16th, 2019

The UK Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently announced that they will be paying closer attention to how farms manage risks in the workplace. HSE will conduct inspections to review farms across the country, which will begin very soon. They will continue throughout the year, potentially visiting the same locations more than once.conor-lyons

Whilst doing this, HSE will apply penalties to farms which are underperforming or lacking on safety. The inspections will ensure both workers and employers are protected whilst at work. This is to comply with UK law around preventing injuries, deaths, and ill-health.

This announcement comes shortly after research into farmers’ attitude to risks. HSE ran events throughout the UK and invited local farmers to attend, which HSE hoped would help farmers to comply with current laws. The farmers were told to prepare for inspections, which HSE now plan to undertake.

The research previously mentioned also included the latest figures for injuries and deaths within the agricultural industry. The research shows that at least 33 people died due to injuries in agricultural workplaces, a figure 18 times higher than the all-industry average.

Details of this research can be found here:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/pdf/agriculture-fatal-injuries-1718.pdf 

What does this mean for farms?

During 2019 farms will be subjected to potentially multiple inspections. The inspections, which may be unannounced, will check specific areas on the farm which could pose a risk.

These will include but are not limited to:

  • Machinery
  • Falls from heights
  • Children
  • Livestock

They will also be inspecting general health and safety as well as the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and have published documentation designed to help farmers create a safe working environment.

Resources and documentation can be found here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/resources/good-farm.htm

As mentioned previously, fines and penalties will be applied to those farms which are underperforming on health and safety. It is important that the correct risk assessments are carried out to ensure maximum safety of all working or living on the farm.

Popular methods of protection include the use of PPE. Not wearing appropriate PPE – eg safety wellies or hi viz – is one of the first things noticed during an inspection and is one of the easiest to resolve.

In the words of HSE’s head of agriculture, Rick Brunt:

“Farmers, managers and workers are reminded that death, injuries and cases of ill-health are not an inevitable part of farming.”

 

This article was written by Conor Lyons, one of the writers for Site King. Site King is an online retailer for Workwear and PPE, helping to keep the nation safe.

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