HSE to increase inspections on farms

Farmers in England and Wales are being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risk or face serious penalties.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) programme of inspections will review health and safety standards on farms across the country, and the industry is being reminded that the inspections will soon begin.

Agriculture is an industry in which risks are poorly managed, resulting in persistently high rates of injury and ill-health and death.

The inspections will ensure those responsible for protecting themselves and workers are doing the right things to comply with the law and prevent death, injury and ill-health. If they are not the HSE will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements.

The industry represents 1.2% of the GB workforce but accounts for 20% of reported work-related fatalities each year.

The announcement follows a series of compliance events that were developed as a result of research into farmers attitudes to risk and are aimed at changing behaviours in the industry. Farmers were given the opportunity to attend events, paid for by HSE, to help them comply with the law and prepare for inspections.

2017/18 fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain:

8 Killed when injured by an animal
Incidents involved cattle

6 Killed when struck by moving vehicle
Incidents included tractors, trailers, telescopic handlers, harvesters

5 Killed when trapped by something collapsing
Incidents included machinery supported by lifting equipment, trailer, logs

4 Killed when struck by an object
Incidents included bales, a tree, a log, part of a building

3 Killed by fall from height
Incidents involved a fall from bale stack, lift truck, floor edge

3 Killed by contact with electricity
Incidents involved overhead power lines, electrical equipment

2 Killed by slip, trip or fall on same level
Incident in farmyard and involving farm machinery

1 Killed by contact with machinery
Incident involved a potato harvester

1 Killed by asphyxiation/drowning
Incident in water

If you’d like help preparing your farm for an inspection and improving safety standards on site then we can offer a no-obligation visit to assess your needs.

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