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New Year New Farming Attitudes Needed Says HSE

Monday 7th January 2019

HSE Guide What a good farm looks like will help you and other farmers understand the common risks to health and safety on farms. By following this guide, you will know what you can do to control common risks.

You’ll be more likely to comply with the law and understand what a good farm looks like. This will help prevent accidents and ill health on your farm.

HSE Inspectors will also look at the topics covered in this guide when they visit farms to check that risks are being controlled in these areas.


  • We have identified and labelled the parts of our buildings that have, or we suspect to have, asbestos-containing materials (ACMs)
  • We have assessed the condition of all ACMs on our farm
  • We used this assessment to produce our asbestos management plan, which contains sketches of where the ACMs are and records what we will do with them
  • Well-sealed, undamaged asbestos has been left alone.
  • Damaged ACMs have been removed by those trained to work with the relevant type of asbestos and, where necessary, licensed by HSE
  • Workers and contractors are briefed on the contents of the asbestos management plan to make them aware of the presence of asbestos

"Farmers 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 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
  • 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 behaviours in the industry. Farmers in the area were given the opportunity to attend one of these events, paid for by HSE, to help them comply with the law and prepare for our inspections. HSE is now following up to make sure that all farms in the area 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. More information on what topics the inspectors will be looking at when they visit farms can be found in this guide .

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case .
  3. Latest HSE press releases.

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