HSE Launches Farm Vehicle Safety Campaign

HSE Launches Farm Vehicle Safety Campaign

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently launched a farm vehicle safety campaign, to reduce the number of farm vehicle accidents across the UK. According to a report produced by the workplace safety regulator, being struck by a moving vehicle was the most common cause of fatal agricultural injuries in the UK in 2021/2022. And, with 75% of the land in Scotland currently used for agricultural purposes, safety on the farm has never been a more important topic to highlight.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness across three main areas of agricultural safety, aimed at both employers and employees in the agricultural industry;

Safe Farm

Keeping people and moving vehicles apart will ultimately reduce the potential for accidents on the farm. Maintaining separate walkways for pedestrians and vehicles, and ensuring everyone is wearing the correct protective equipment and high-visibility clothing, will help to make the farm a safer workplace for all.

Safe Driver

Farm machinery can be large, and sometimes complicated, machines to operate. It’s imperative that the person operating the machinery has been trained in how to use it safely. When moving, it’s important to make sure all mirrors and windows are clean so that the driver’s visibility is maximised. When stopped, always use the handbrake and take the key out of the ignition, with the gears left in neutral.

Safe Vehicle

Before switching on the ignition, do a check of all the vital parts of the machine. Check that all safety guards are securely fitted, that doors close correctly, and that the mirrors are clean to ensure visibility. Test the brakes before starting any work, and that any trailers are attached safely and correctly.

According to the HSE, the average fatal incident rate is twenty-one times higher in agriculture than across all other industries. Therefore, the initiative on raising awareness on farm safety could not have come at a better time.

Susanne McGraw, Head of Personal Injury at Watermans, says

“It is imperative that people working on farms take their own safety and that of their workers seriously. Not only are people working with very dangerous equipment they are often working on their own and isolated from the rest of the workforce. It is therefore important that there are systems in place for ensuring the safety of workers and a communication process in place for when something goes wrong.”

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