Safety first when it comes to harvest

FARMERS have been advised to pay heed to health and safety laws, particularly in the busy harvest period.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries to work in and in the last decade 455 people have died in accidents on British farms, including 43 children.

One in five work-related deaths is in agriculture, despite just 1.5 per cent of the population working in the industry.

Farm Business Consultant Ali Gray, who works in land agency Strutt and Parker’s Morpeth office, says farmers should do all they can to minimise the risks and remember to comply with health and safety regulations.

“Agriculture has one of the highest fatal accident rates of any industry in the UK.

“It is also the only high risk industry that has to cope with the constant presence of children, mostly in relation to those living on the farm, but also those exploring the countryside with their parents,” she said.

“It is vital that farmers remember the health and safety of everyone on the farm, from full-time staff, casual workers and external contractors to children and themselves.”

Health and safety policies are required by every business and where there are five or more staff they must have a written policy setting out who does what, when and how. Risk assessments are also needed.