Health and Safety in the agricultural sector

28th October 2013 - Fine Cut

Companies within the farming and agricultural industries will be fully aware of the dangers that employees face on a daily basis.

Failing to comply with health and safety regulations could have serious legal implications for businesses in this sector, particularly if a member of staff sustains a serious injury as a result of the issues.

Fine Cut understands the need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of employees remains a priority for all farming businesses. By requesting our products, firms are safe in the knowledge that our services are of the highest standard - and can help them to improve their own standards.

The agricultural sector is one of our main areas of expertise, meaning your business could benefit from our extensive range of products.

Farming machinery

Inaccurately labelled machinery is one of the most common causes of incidents in the workplaces, as members of staff set to work using equipment that threatens to cause serious injury.

The law states that any tools used in a workplace must be suitable for the task, meaning each piece of machinery is properly maintained - with dangerous parts labelled - while adequate training should be given to each employee who is going to use it.

Many incidents taken place on farms each year involve machinery. These often occur because the equipment has been used for a job that it is not suited to carry out, while others happen because guards are not provided.

Machine safety is no laughing matter for agricultural firms. Employees could put their lives at risk by operating a tool that is unfit for use.

Employees need to:

Thoroughly read instructions supplied with a machine
Maintain equipment so it can be used safely
Keep guards in position
Check electrical machinery is isolated

Workplace transport

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the most common cause of serious and fatal injuries in farming involves moving and overturning vehicles.

Businesses should ensure that transport movements around the workplace are controlled at all times, in order to protect the safety of the public. In addition, a safe method of transport will ensure that surrounding buildings and equipment are not damaged.

Farming companies have a responsibility to ensure a vehicle's braking system is working and properly maintained at all times. On top of this, it is vital to ensure the "safe stop" procedure is utilised whenever an employee leaves a vehicle.

This means the handbrake is on, controls are in neutral and the engine is switched off before the key is removed.

Preventing slips and trips

Falls are the second highest cause of death in the agricultural sector, with at least eight people dying after falling from a height each year. However, there are also serious implications for those employees who survive - such as broken bones.

More often than not, falls happen from lofts, ladders, vehicles, bale stacks and unsuitable access equipment.

Agricultural businesses are by law expected to avoid working from height wherever they can. And if this is not possible, work equipment should be used to prevent falls.

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