A farm safety audit can help minimise the risk of a work-related serious injury or avoid unnecessary deaths, but many farms still do not have one in place.
Most farm accidents are entirely preventable and a checklist can act as a vital tool to protect co-workers, children, family members, visitors and livestock.
In recent years, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has fined increasing numbers of farms which did not have a proper safety audit in use.
Audits can also protect farm owners or managers from expensive prosecutions if a fatal injury occurs on farm. Some farms that have not carried out audits and breached safety rules that have resulted in a death have been fined six-figure sums.
During this Farm Safety Week (20-25 July), the Farm Safety Foundation and the HSE are encouraging farmers to change their behaviour regarding safety on farms and take steps to remove agriculture’s unwanted title of the most dangerous sector for serious workplace injury and deaths.
Harvest is a time of major risks to workers, who are doing long hours handling heavily loaded tractors and trailers on public roads.
As such, farm managers and owners are being encouraged to mark the annual safety week by conducting internal health and safety audits this harvest – if they have not done so already. A checklist won’t cost farmers anything, but it could save lives.