Unfortunately farming has a poor safety record when compared to other sectors. Together we need to work on raising awareness and reducing the risk of harm.
You can never say enough how much these accidents impact family and friends. Last year, Sean Arians, a northwestern Illinois farmer and grower direct business lead for Advanced Agrilytics, talks about the loss of his friend. His letter to his friend is also a call to fellow farmers to not forget the lessons learned, a plea to all farmers to slow down and farm safe.
Farm safety is a full-time job. It is often brought up in feedback with our team and it is a priorty on of a lot of our users.
“We are acutely aware of the risks and hazards associated with agriculture. As a contractor, we need to carry out risk assessments several times a day. We have already seen the benefits of documenting & sharing risks on farms whilst also being able to see where everyone is working.”Rob Boole
With this in mind here are our 5 tips for ways that fieldmargin can be used as a digital tool to help yourself and other people on the farm stay safe.
- 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)
- 🧑🌾 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 comments on notes or jobs 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.
- Record your risk assessments alongside your work
Keeping an eye on risks and how to mitigate them as you go is a good habit to be in. Particularly when going out to new farms as a contractor you may be dealing with sites that you are unfamiliar with it is good to survey the site for risks and make a note of what you found.
You can use comments to quickly log your findings against the job or task that you are completing so that it becomes part of the team’s workflow. You can also attach files or take pictures of paperwork to store additional risk assessments with the record, for example COSHH risk assessments.
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.
See how fieldmargin Pro can help on your farm with a free 14-day trial of Pro. No credit card required.