Its Farm Safety Week and as we enter the 2018 harvest, it’s a timely reminder to take care on farms.
New figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that farming remains the sector with the poorest safety record. There are many reasons for this, but it is still a disappointing reflection on our industry and one that can be significantly improved with better awareness and a focus on safety.
Not only can better farm safety reduce accidents on farms, but also improve work environments for our families and staff and, from a wider perspective, protect the reputation and image of our industry.
As your partners in farming at MSP, we care about your farming business. Here are some of our top tips for a safer farm environment:
Be well rested
Harvest is always a demanding time for arable farmers, and long hours, stress and operating machinery can be a lethal combination if precautions are not taken. Ensure you build in breaks, get enough rest and ask for help if needed.
Transport with care
Watch out for overhead powerlines, maintain machinery properly and make sure loads are secure when transporting. Check guards on machines and ensure brakes work, particularly on tractors and trailers.
If there are multiple vehicles on your farm, wear high vis to increase visibility and avoid accidents. Especially at harvest and silage times, when often contractors are busy around your farm, and maybe not familiar with the surrounding, this can be a very easy and effective action.
Take precautions with weather
Farms are an amazing environment for children, but the dangers must not be overlooked. Particularly in the long summer holiday, we must ensure we take precautions to avoid accidents. Especially this year when conditions are so dry, simply spending some time simply tidying up the yard will reduce the fire risk at your property and the risk of injury.
As an industry we are doing more but there’s room for improvement. We all need to strive for best practice. Training is essential, and that should apply to everyone in the farm environment. Educate yourself how you can make your business a safer place to be. Don’t be scared to get professional advice – it can save lives.
Other information can be found through the NFU Scotland, Health and Safety Executive, Scottish Government and NFU Mutual. You can visit @yellowwelliesuk or #FarmSafetyWeek. At MSP, we are happy to help – we pride ourselves on being your partners in farming and this extends to helping you be safe.
If you want to talk to us, please call us on 01289 306602, and together we can improve farm safety.