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Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Health and safety hazards on a farm

05-02-2016

Photo shows cows in a fieldFarming is a risky occupation, it comes with many risks and hazards. The industry accounts for nearly 20% of the reported fatal injuries each year. The most common types of accidents that happen on farms involves heavy machinery and handling and lifting. If due care and attention is paid this can reduce the number of personal and financial costs of accidents.

Risk Assessments

It is very important not to neglect the health and safety risks in farming. If the appropriate guidelines are followed then accidents can be avoided so long as the risks are managed properly. This is why risk assessments are so important. Risk assessments enable you to see the parts of the farm that pose the most risks and as soon as these risks are identified, they can then be dealt with or avoided.

All employers must assess their own personal risks and employee risks regarding the environment they are working in. This doesn’t mean that you are singularly required to eradicate all the health and safety risks on your farm, but you should take all steps that are feasibly possible to ensure you and your staff work in a safe and secure environment, this involves risk management.

Working in Confined Spaces

Because of the nature and the hazards that come with farming you should be aware of quite a few things. You should be certain that all buildings are kept in good repair and that the floors are not overloaded with material. As an employer you are required to provide handrails on stairs and ramps where needed.

Ensure there is good drainage and non-slip flooring in wet areas. The farming workplace can provide a number of confined spaces and these can pose a number of risks. To avoid any risks you can do a few things including working outside whenever possible and entering confined spaces when absolutely possible.

Working with Chemicals

Working in farming exposes you to a number of chemicals that are damaging and could harm your health. It is important to manage these risks. This means ensuring that you and your workers are using chemicals that are not so toxic. Sometimes it is hard to prevent these chemicals from not being used. This means, you should consider placing control methods.

You should always:

  • Put lids on storage bins
  • Install dust extraction
  • Operate fresh air blowers
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Wash exposed skin after being in contact with any chemicals
  • Be aware of dust and grains that can cause asthma
  • Monitoring health is important as you can detect health problems early

Livestock

Handling livestock is another major component of health and safety on a farmyard. When handling livestock you should have proper equipment that will enable you to handle livestock properly. You should ensure that that paddles and boards don’t have sharp edges and electrical equipment is used to a bare minimum. If you are unsure how to handle specific types of livestock you can find out online.

By following these basic tips and guidelines you will be able to avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries. It is impossible to prevent all the accidents in such a high risk environment as human error is always a factor but many things can be prevented to make a farmyard a lot more people friendly.

 

Autor bio:

Karen James is a Content Executive at Masterclip and a passionate blogger who enjoys walks with her chocolate lab Coco.

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