New at­ti­tudes needed for new year, says HSE

The Oban Times - - FARMING -

Farm­ers in Scot­land are be­ing told they must pay closer at­ten­tion to how they man­age work­place risk or face se­ri­ous penal­ties.

The Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive's (HSE) pro­gramme of in­spec­tions will re­view health and safety stan­dards on farms across the coun­try, and the in­dus­try is be­ing re­minded that the in­spec­tions will soon be­gin.

The in­spec­tions will en­sure those re­spon­si­ble for pro­tect­ing them­selves and work­ers are do­ing the right things to com­ply with the law and pre­vent death, in­jury and ill-health.

If they are not, HSE says it will not hes­i­tate to use en­force­ment to bring about im­prove­ments.

Through­out the in­spec­tion ini­tia­tive, in­spec­tors will be check­ing that risks are be­ing con­trolled in spe­cific ar­eas in­clud­ing: ma­chin­ery, falls from height, chil­dren and live­stock.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lows a se­ries of com­pli­ance events that were de­vel­oped as a re­sult of re­search into farm­ers' at­ti­tudes to risk and are aimed at chang­ing be­hav­iour in the in­dus­try.

Farm­ers were given the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend one of these events, paid for by HSE, to help them com­ply with the law and pre­pare for its in­spec­tions. HSE is now fol­low­ing up to make sure all farms are do­ing the right thing.

Agri­cul­ture has the poor­est record of any in­dus­try in Bri­tain and lat­est fig­ures show that 33 peo­ple were killed in agri­cul­ture across Bri­tain in 2017/18 – around 18 times higher than the all in­dus­try fa­tal in­jury rate.

HSE's head of agri­cul­ture, Rick Brunt, said: ‘We are see­ing signs of a change in at­ti­tude across the farm­ing in­dus­try and, while this is en­cour­ag­ing, these in­spec­tions act as a re­minder to farm­ers of the im­por­tance of man­ag­ing risks so that ev­ery­one can go home from their work healthy.

‘Ev­ery­one in­volved in farm­ing has a role to play. Those work­ing in the in­dus­try need to un­der­stand the risks they face and the sim­ple ways they can be man­aged. Those that work with the in­dus­try can be part of the change that is so badly needed.

‘Farm­ers, man­agers and work­ers are re­minded that death, in­juries and cases of ill-health are not an in­evitable part of farm­ing.'

HSE has a range of re­sources and guides avail­able to help em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees im­prove health and safety on farms.

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