The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is ramping up farm inspections and enforcement this year in a bid to reduce the industry’s horrific safety record.
The executive has warned that serious penalties will be imposed if farmers don’t pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risk.
HSE’s inspections will check that risks are being controlled in key areas which include machinery, falls from height, children and livestock.
HSE’s head of agriculture, Rick Brunt, said there were signs of an encouraging change in attitude across the industry but inspections acted as a reminder of the importance of managing risks.
He added: “Everyone involved in farming has a role to play. Those working in the industry need to understand the risks they face and the simple ways they can be managed.
“Farmers, managers and workers are reminded that death, injuries and cases of ill-health are not an inevitable part of farming.”
Agriculture has the poorest record of any industry in Britain and latest figures show that 33 people were killed in farming across Britain in 2017/18 – around 18 times higher than the all-industry fatal injury rate.
HSE has a range of resources and guides available to help employers and employees improve health and safety on farms.
Information can be found at www.hse.gov.uk.