You can’t put a price on Farm Safety

James Baimbridge

Written by James Baimbridge

People tend to think of farm safety as something that’s going to cost a lot of time and money, but what they don’t think about is the true cost to them of an accident. In our view it is important that we work with farmers to ensure that they comply with PUWER and LOLER legislation. This will help to reduce the number of fatal accidents in an industry that, together with forestry, is regarded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as one of the riskiest in which to work. One in a hundred people (employed or self-employed) work in agriculture, however it accounts for one in five fatal injuries to its workers.

Farm Safey - Forklift in operationAlthough lifting equipment is not to blame for all farm fatalities, machinery and lifting equipment caused 20 deaths from 1995 to 2004; trucks and motor vehicles 12 and grain bins and wagons 11.

By ensuring your machinery has a valid PUWER and LOLER inspection certificate you are demonstrating to the HSE that you are committed to improving farm safety and safeguarding yourself and your staff.

The costs of a serious accident are not only financial; there are also the personal costs and the impact on people’s lives of a serious injury.

Our inspections will provide you with evidence that a thorough examination of your machine has been carried out and any areas of concern will be detailed in our report to you.

To speak to an engineer call 01604 782782 and ask for James or Keith

One of the factors that has contributed to a high number of farm-related injuries and deaths in recent years is the growing number of adults who take up farming as a hobby and who do not have sufficient experience of driving or operating agricultural vehicles/machinery.

It is important to comply with all the safety standards not just PUWER and LOLER– a half-hearted attempted won’t cut it.

Another risk group are children and young people. It’s not unusual for young farmers to find themselves driving the oldest equipment. Although employers often consider what an inexperienced youth might do to the tractor, they don’t think about what the tractor might do to the youth. This group also makes up a large percentage of temporary seasonal labour. Meaning they are working with unfamiliar equipment and often for long periods at a time. This can lead to fatigue and slips in concentration which can have dire consequences. HSE regulations states that whether you are self-employed, an employee, an owner operator or smallholder, any item of lifting machinery used on-farm should be inspected by a competent person.

For instance, the best rollover protective structure in the world won’t help you if you’re not wearing a seat belt. And it only takes a few seconds out of the day to take a seat belt on and off, even if you have to do it several times.

It might cost a little more in time, a little more in money but the peace of mind you gain can be invaluable.