The Sixth Farm Safety Week draws to a close this Sunday. Having kicked off in the UK with HSE releasing figures for accidents and industries on farm for 2017/18 that recorded 33 deaths on farm across Great Britain, making up 20% of all work place deaths, it’s clear that there is still a lot to be done to improve health and safety on farms. This year the campaign’s theme is ‘Your Health. Your Safety. Your Choice.’ bringing the focus to changes that can be made on farms to prevent accidents.
With this in mind here are our 4 tips for ways that you can help yourself and other people on the farm stay safe.
1. Stay in touch
Most farmers spend a lot of their time working alone, often in isolated areas. Let people know where you are going to be working and how long you expect to be, particularly if you are going to do something you know if potentially risky. In fieldmargin you can use Farm Chat to quickly give your team a heads up on work you’re planning to do so that all of your team can see and check up if you’re not back in the time you plan.
2. Let your team know where you are
If you have an accident or breakdown and need assistance the last thing you want is to have to spend time trying to explain where you are so that help can find you. Team Radar lets you share where you are using the GPS on your mobile phone so that your location is updated whenever you are connected to the internet and open the fieldmargin app, allowing everyone on your farm to see where you are and find you if there is a problem. Learn how to set it up here.
3. Map farm hazards
Incidents with overhead power lines made up 10% of farm fatalities in the past year. Make sure that everyone on your farm is aware of hazards such as power lines and ditches/dykes so that these can be avoided.
Add hazards to your digital farm map on fieldmargin as features (read more here) and invite everyone who works on your farm to access it so that they know where they are. You can also add important resources that might be needed in case of an emergency such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits.
4. Identify risks and work out how they can be eliminated
Working on a farm every day it is easy to overlook risks or see them and think “I’ll deal with them later”. You can make the job of identifying risks on the farm less overwhelming by making it something that everyone working on the farm takes responsibility for.
Every time someone spots a problem that needs fixing such as obstructions in work areas, damaged flooring or walkways they can make a note in fieldmargin with its location and include pictures to make it clear what the issue is. You can go through these on a regular basis to see what needs to be done to fix them and make tasks to remind you to get the work done.
How are you working to improve Health and Safety on your farm? Let us know in the comments below
Learn more about farm health and safety risks and how to improve safety on farm on the HSE website here.