News added on 08.01.2019



Farmers on alert?

The HSE is rolling out a programme of inspections targeting the farming industry this year. What can farmers expect if an inspector pays them a visit?

The HSE’s statistics show that agriculture has the poorest safety record of any industry in Britain. 33 people were killed in the sector across Britain in 2017/18, which was around 18 times higher than the all-industry fatal injury rate. The HSE has held a series of compliance events aimed at changing attitudes towards health and safety in farming. These free events covered compliance with the law and what to expect from an inspection.

The follow-up inspections will look for compliance across the board, focusing on key areas of risk in farming, such as:

  • Vehicles and machinery
  • Falls from height and falling objects
  • Manual handling
  • Children
  • Overhead power lines
  • Livestock
  • Occupational health, such as lung disease and diseases from animals

The HSE has produced a summary of main risks on farms and how to control them, with links to more detailed guidance on the individual topics: “What a good farm looks like”. In anticipation of this programme of inspections, farmers can use the guide as a starting point when reviewing the various risks on their farms and checking that they are adequately controlled. Keeping records of their risk assessments and reviews will help to demonstrate their farm’s compliance to the inspectors.

An outline of the inspection process and action that can be taken as a result can be found online in the HSE’s guide “When a health and safety inspector calls”.

Every farm is a high-risk working environment, with different activities, equipment and substances putting workers at risk. Farmers can therefore expect wide-ranging inspections covering all aspects of their work. The HSE has produced a summary of the main risks and how to control them.

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