Whilst UK agriculture has the lowest fatality rate in Europe, agriculture remains one of the deadliest industries to work in, with 36 people killed on UK farms between April 2014 and March 2015. According to Farmers Weekly, the main causes of these accidents were livestock, contact with machinery and falls.
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, it is the duty of the employer or self-employed to undertake adequate assessments and implement policies which minimise risks for themselves, employees, casual workers, contractors, and customers, as well as neighbours, suppliers and visitors.
Open to the public
Possibly the biggest challenge of farm security is taking care of the general public where safety is paramount, especially when it comes to children. Any farming activity can pose a risk to members of the public, whether they’re invited guests, visitors to your open farm day, or the walkers, hikers or cyclists using public rights of way on your land.
Public awareness of the dangers of approaching cattle with calves is growing, especially when it comes to people walking their dogs on public footpaths. The challenge is to find ways of educating the rest to treat cows and other large animals with respect.
Farm shop access
As more and more farms are diversifying in order to create extra income from farm shops, cafés, animal experiences and educational visits, safety on the farm itself becomes a particular concern. The NFU has addressed the issue of safety on farm visits, pulling together information and links about training with advice on farm security for farmers, teachers and parents, especially when it comes to directing people to wash their hands after petting or touching animals.
Knowledge and awareness
Information is key when it comes to farm safety. The HSE advises farmers to discuss issues with staff, as well as providing training to create greater awareness and buy in. With contractors, suppliers and other visitors, it is up to the farmer to make people aware of the hazards.
To help protect the safety of your farm, keep everyone informed of potential hazards with our H&S signage and security accessories.