The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced a national farm safety inspection campaign to improve the safety culture in the farming industry. The campaign comes as statistics show that farming is one of the most dangerous sectors in Britain, with an average of 26 deaths per year.
The HSE inspectors will visit farms across England, Scotland and Wales from this week to next April. They will focus on the main causes of death in farming, such as working with cattle, operating and maintaining vehicles and falls from height. They will also check for compliance with long standing legal requirements and provide advice and guidance.
Kathy Gostick, one of the HSE inspectors involved in the campaign, said that farmers must change their attitude towards safety and understand their responsibility to themselves and others.
“There are simply too many tragedies in farming, and it is time for that to change,” she said.
“We are committed to making workplaces safer and healthier and that includes agriculture – we will do this by highlighting the risks, providing advice and guidance, and by holding employers to account for their actions.”
Farmers should follow some simple actions to reduce the key risks, such as using professional contractors for working at height, ensuring good handling facilities for cattle, following ‘Safe Stop’ and using adequate props for vehicle maintenance, and avoiding children on farms or supervising them fully.
The HSE has also launched a campaign called ‘Your Farm – Your Future’, which focuses on the number one cause of fatalities in agriculture – moving vehicles. The campaign website offers lots of advice on controlling the key risks.
The HSE is a key member of the Farm Safety Partnership, which aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries in agriculture.
HSE to visit farms as part of national inspection campaign by HSE, 25th October, 2023.