Don’t Ignore Health & Safety

There’s no shying away from the fact that farming is a hazardous occupation. For an industry that represents approximately 1.8% of the workforce in Great Britain, it accounts for about 19% of the reported fatal injuries each year. Recent HSE figures show that 41 people were killed across agriculture during 2020/21 which represents the highest number of deaths in the past five years. When you study the causes of fatalities, there are common factors year-in-year-out. Moving vehicles, animals, machinery, falling objects and falls from height consistently cause injuries and deaths.
There can be a whole raft of financial implications following an accident – whether that’s HSE fines, court costs or the burden of finding extra help if someone has to take time off – but it’s the emotional trauma that really takes its toll. Too many families and businesses are hit by tragedy and never recover after a fatality on the farm. We all want everyone to come home safe at night, so it’s important that health and safety isn’t seen as just a rubberstamping exercise.

However, in the wake of these tragedies there does finally seem to be recognition within the industry that the current level of injuries and fatalities are simply unacceptable…….and whether it’s driven by the HSE, assurance bodies, or farmers themselves, this is finally starting to drive change.

What’s important, is to have a whole-farm approach that includes risk assessments and safe systems of work. Often, it’s just about planning ahead and putting a procedure in place to make sure everyone approaches tasks in the right way – whether that’s ensuring that people don’t have unauthorised access to machinery or that the chemical store is locked or that lone working with livestock is avoided.

Whilst the prospect of putting a health and safety system in place can seem daunting, it isn’t something you have to tackle alone. Caleb Roberts are working with leading agricultural health and safety experts CXCS provide a bespoke service that will help you assess and manage the risks on your farm. By taking advantage of their cost-effective health and safety management packages, CXCS can help you put a system in place to safeguard you, your employees, and your business. Their fully qualified advisors have extensive experience in agricultural risk management and will provide you with advice and the necessary documentation to meet your legal obligations.

The exact process will depend on the nature, size, and complexity of the business, but the first step is to conduct a risk assessment. This involves identifying risks, who might be hurt by them and how. Then assess the likelihood of each one happening, along with its potential severity. This helps decide the priorities. Then look at what mitigations are already in place to reduce that risk – and what more can be done to reduce it to an acceptable level.

The importance of health and safety should never be underestimated as ignoring it can have devastating consequences. Accidents can happen on farms of all sizes, but all accidents can be avoided if the risks are properly managed.

To find out more about CXCS health and safety management packages contact them on 01981 590514 or visit
CXCS are offering a 10% discount on the first year of health and safety service to Caleb Roberts policyholders. To take advantage of this special offer quote CXCS1.