Safety on the Farm during the school holidays…

Matt’s Top 5 Tips for a Safe Summer!

summer farm safetyAs all schools are now broken up for the Summer Holidays and as the hot weather continues Harvest is in full flow on many farms. Here are Matt McWhirter’s top 5 tips on what to think about now the Summer Holidays are go!

Own children playing on farm

Don’t become complacent with your family, many a tragedy has occurred in a split second. The Health & Safety Executive figures for 2017-2018 advised of the death of a child last year on the farm due to impact by vehicle. We know that the Farm becomes your home but make sure you are aware of where Children are playing, that they’re safe, secure and under supervision.

Children’s friends playing on farm

During the Summer Holidays children love to have their friends over. Whilst complacency can be the problem with yourself and own children, the lack of knowledge may be the problem if you have visiting children over. This combined with the excitement of exploring machinery and animals can lead to serious accident being likely.

Older children driving vehicles

Are your children legally entitled to drive self-propelled vehicles on your farm? In many cases the answer will be a definite NO. Whilst the farm road and yard may be considered “private” it will still be considered as a “public highway” under the Road Traffic Act, as the general public have access (eg post vans, delivery drivers etc). Farmers need to check carefully as there are strict age and vehicle weight guidelines in place. In most cases under 17’s shouldn’t be driving tractors or ATVs. If an incident occurred where a young driver was on the incorrect vehicle your insurances could be declared void following an illegal activity.

If you are unsure of the age guidelines for agricultural vehicles, head to; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/agricultural-vehicle-licences-and-fuel

Parties & Events on farm

Summer is a time for charity barbecues, farm walks, family weddings and birthday parties. Don’t assume that your standard farm Public Liability will cover such events. Your Public Liability covers you for incidents relating to your business description. Contact your Insurance Advisor who will be happy to advise whether the Public Liability needs to be extended and if any specific precautions must be adhered to

Young Adults and Vandalism

As an Insurance Brokerage, we see a peak in the number of claims relating to fire and arson from straw bales being set alight to silage wrap being slashed. In a year where spare forage is likely to be scarce it is more important than ever to take extra precautions. Keep stacks of bales away from road sides and easily accessible locations, keep stack sizes minimal and with a good distance between each other. Remember that your insurance policy will have a stack size limit, usually of £30,000 or £50,000 dependent on the insurer.

Should you wish to discuss your insurances further or have any queries about the covers please do not hesitate to contact your On Farm Insurance Advisor or call our head office on 01604 782782.

Matt McWhirter, Farmers & Mercantilematt mcwhirter