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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Railway fencing safety: What livestock farmers need to know

Figures produced by Network Rail in 2019 show that incidents involved more than 800 animals through the year. Of these, about 80 were struck by trains. The downtime caused by…


Guidance on workplace Covid safety for a smooth harvest 2021

Farmers are being advised to remain vigilant to the dangers and risks of Covid-19 ahead of this year’s harvest. The latest government guidance across all the devolved nations is for…


How to manage tree safety on farms to reduce risk and cost

During the pandemic, the desire for scenic walks and staycations has brought the British countryside – and its trees – into the spotlight.  Trees and woodland need to be managed…


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.…


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How to stay safe with cattle as public footfall increases

Lives could be lost and livelihoods jeopardised with more members of the public coming into close contact with farm animals, as the trend for countryside walking continues post-lockdown, say experts.…


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…


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Video captures tractor-trailer dumping muck along road

A video of a tractor-trailer dumping muck on the road while driving through Cheltenham has prompted renewed calls for trailer safety. Footage of the unknown tractor was posted on Twitter…


Tributes paid as dairy farmer dies after slurry mixing incident

A Northern Ireland dairy farmer has died 11 days after being injured while mixing slurry on his farm. Seamus Conroy, who farmed near Keady in County Armagh, died in hospital…


Mud on road warning and advice for busy autumn harvest

Farmers have been reminded to do all they can to help keep mud off the roads this autumn as the maize, sugar beet and late-cut silage harvest begins. During a…


Activists target gun owners after addresses shared online

Animal rights activists are understood to be targeting farmers who own guns after a data breach resulted in thousands of names and addresses being shared online. The National Crime Agency…


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Online safety tool launched for small farms

An online tool designed to help small farms actively manage risks and remain health and safety compliant has been launched. Rural insurer NFU Mutual’s SafetyHub aims to help farm business…


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…