Staying Safe When Lone Working in Agriculture – Top 5 Tips
Staying safe when working in agriculture has its challenges due to the varied environments lone workers may encounter and the heavy machinery often used.
Let’s have a look at some of the risks associated with agriculture and farm work, plus, our top 5 tips to reduce the risks.
What Are the Hazards of Lone Working in Agriculture?
Agriculture and the farming industry have the poorest health and safety record of any other industry in the UK. The latest figures show that 33 people were killed in agriculture across the UK in 2017/18. Then Just this month the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) called for ‘new attitudes’ on how farmers can reduce on-farm injuries and fatalities and announced that they would be making more inspections on agriculture businesses.
What are the biggest risks when working in agriculture?
Theft of expensive farm machinery is a huge threat in the British countryside. Anyone can be a target, from large scale agriculture businesses to family small holdings. Most thefts occur at night but it isn’t unheard of for machinery to be taken while employees are still at work or even operating machinery such as tractors.
Injury from machinery
The biggest killer in the industry is machinery. Farm work involves working with heavy machinery, which used incorrectly can be fatal.
Working with animals is dangerous. Cows may look docile, but you would be surprised how many farm workers have been killed by cows.
Illness or falling
Another big hazard in the agriculture industry is the risk of falling form heights. Even a fall from a tractor can, which may not seem that high, can have serious consequences. the onset of sudden illness is also a risk for lone workers – especially those working with machinery and livestock.
Top 5 Tips for Retail Lone Worker Safety
There are some steps you can take to improve the safety of your staff in the agriculture industry:
1) Monitor large sites
Install CCTV cameras across properties that may be at risk of robbery. Cameras can have a dual purpose – they prevent the risk of robbery but can also be used to remotely monitor employees who may be working on dangerous tasks.
Some very large sites might even want to consider employing professional security to patrol sites and check in on employees.
2) Supply lone worker alarms
Lone worker alarms are fantastic at protecting lone workers in agriculture. They can be worn on belts, kept in pockets or even installed as an app on a smartphone. If the wearer feels threatened, they can push the SOS button and there will be a trained operator listening in at the other end who can assess the situation and get the police to the scene. A device like ours can also be used to detect if a wearer has fallen to the floor.
3) Consider risks
Carry out a risk assessment and if some jobs are too risky to be performed alone, don’t expect employees to do these jobs. Some tasks may always require more than one person. Usually, tasks involving livestock or machinery.
4) Look after employee health
Employees should be assessed for their suitability to carry out certain tasks. If someone has an illness that may affect them at work, engage with the employee and work with them to ensure that their health and safety is never compromised.
It is vital that employees who are working with heavy machinery receive the correct training and that machines are maintained in a safe way. Not doing so could land your business in hot water with the law.
If you work in agriculture, are a business owner or manage a farm then think about the increased risks and how you can help reduce them. If you want further advice or you wish to discuss some of the products and services we offer, you can contact us here and one of our professional staff members will be happy to help you.