Know How / Health and safety

Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the UK because of the high level of fatal accidents and life-changing injuries. Learn from the experiences of farmers who have been involved in an accident and read practical advice on how to make working on your farm safer.

Key areas of focus:

  • Preventing accidents such as falls from height
  • How to handle livestock safely
  • Safety around machinery
  • Slurry handling safety
  • Pesticide storage

Case studies

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Dutch pig farm rises from the ashes of a devastating fire

When a Dutch pig farm was devastated by fire in 2013, the owners rebuilt, creating a state-of-the-art, high-health, low-emission unit from the ashes. More than half of Von Farm, Oirschot,…


Norfolk grower trials closed-transfer sprayer system

A closed-transfer system for safely mixing and loading pesticides into sprayers has been successfully piloted on several UK farms, offering benefits to operators and the environment. The system transfers neat…


Video: Farmer shares lessons learnt fighting huge crop fire

Since the early start to harvest at the beginning of July, Twitter has been awash with reports of crop fires across the country, exacerbated by tinder-dry conditions. As the hot,…


'I lost my leg in a farm accident' - a farmer's story

Harvest is one of the most dangerous times of the year for farmers, with long hours and heavy machinery making the potential for fatal or serious accidents higher than usual.…


How a farm contractor rebuilt his life after losing an arm

It was a hot day on 6 August 1998 – a date Gainsborough-based contractor James Bannister will never forget. The sun was shining and he was dressed in a T-shirt…


How to avoid accidents on poultry farms

Health and safety may not be everybody’s favourite subject, but it has to be taken seriously, especially when it comes to farming.  [caption id="attachment_1201203" align="alignnone" width="900"] Left to right: Farm…

Practical advice

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4 tips to get staff to buy into farm biosecurity protocols

Only 31% of farmers follow biosecurity protocols, according to a survey of 100 UK dairy farmers by hygiene specialist Progiene. The biggest reason biosecurity protocols were broken was lack of…


How to manage staff exposure to poultry dust

Respiratory disease is a major health risk for UK poultry farmworkers, with incidence of occupational asthma double the national average. Staff are exposed to many different airborne particles that are…


5 tips to stay legal when grazing stock on public footpaths

Farmers are being reminded of their legal responsibilities as spring turnout approaches and animals return to fields, especially where there are public rights of way across land used for livestock.…


How to protect your farm from fire risk and stay legal

Farm fires can be deadly and have devastating consequences for your business. Farmers are required by law to conduct a fire risk assessment to help protect all aspects of their…


So you want to... sell food to the public

Tapping into the burgeoning market for locally produced food and drink that come with a story brings potentially larger profit margins, but also carries risk. For anyone going down this…


Managing welding fumes on farms – all you need to know

Farm businesses must now understand and mitigate the health and safety risks associated with fumes produced during welding and other metalwork tasks to protect the long-term health and wellbeing of…


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Why trailer load safety is crucial for farmers

Debris on the road and heavy machinery moving around on trailers due to insecure loading or careless driving are among the concerns of rural road police during a busy time…


Apps help lone workers stay safe on the farm

A Norfolk potato adviser who had to crawl for help after shattering his skull in a 9m fall is emphasising the need to stay safe when working alone on the…


Advice on first aid when there's a farm accident

It is well recognised that farming is a dangerous occupation. According to St John Ambulance, 4% of people working in agriculture suffer work-related injuries in an average year, higher than…


What farmers need to know about ash dieback

Few farm businesses will be spared the cost of dealing with ash dieback, and for those with infected trees straddling public roads, bills could run into thousands of pounds. Landowners,…


Safety campaign aims to reduce falls from height

Preventing injuries and fatalities involving falls from height on farms is the goal of a national safety campaign this autumn. After accidents involving vehicles (36%), falls from height (18%) are…


How new footpaths scheme will help prevent cattle attacks

A scheme that aims to reduce the risk of fatal accidents involving ramblers and livestock aims to be rolled out across south-west England. Cattle attacks on walkers have resulted in…


The farm trailer safety campaign set up by bereaved mother

Farmer Jane Gurney, whose son Harry Christian-Allan was killed in a trailer accident in 2014 is the driving force behind a vital trailer safety campaign. 'Tilly Your Trailer' is an…


Tractor cab filters: are you protected?

Most operators and farmers will be well aware of the potential risks that working with agricultural chemicals brings, but with the right precautions, users will be kept free from any…


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Farmers warned to look out for cyclists as lockdown eases

Farmers have been reminded to be extra vigilant for cyclists and motorbike riders with roads set to get busier this spring as the lockdown eases. As the weather improves, more…


Two-thirds of farmers are not wearing helmets on ATVs

Two-thirds of farmers do not wear a helmet when they ride ATVs, according to research from the University of Aberdeen. Only a third of the 211 farmers quizzed from the…


Animal feed firm fined after worker's fingers severed

A livestock feed manufacturer has been fined £100,000 after an employee’s fingers were severed by machinery at a Carlisle feed mill. The maintenance engineer was clearing rainwater in the pit…


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Video: Tractor near miss on level crossing

This is the heart-stopping moment a tractor driver cheated death after narrowly avoiding a collision with a train on a level crossing. Dramatic footage has emerged from the cab of…


Video: Farmer shares lessons learnt fighting huge crop fire

Since the early start to harvest at the beginning of July, Twitter has been awash with reports of crop fires across the country, exacerbated by tinder-dry conditions. As the hot,…


Video: Tractor crashes into 130kV electricity pylon

A farmworker had a lucky escape after his tractor hit a National Grid electricity pylon – demolishing the structure and causing a major power outage. Emergency services were called to…

Farmer speaks out over horror at son’s fall through roof

A farmer has warned others about the dangers of working at height after he saw his son plunge almost 20ft through a roof to a concrete floor below. Yorkshire farmer…