09 March, 2012
In the first of a new series of blogs
as part of our 'FarmSafe' initiative, we take a general look at the
health and safety requirements for farmers and landowners and some
of the most important considerations they must take when it comes
to employing staff…..
Firstly, it's worth remembering that the two main pieces of
legislation around health and safety in the workplace can be found
in The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of
Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 - both set out the
duties for employers and individuals.
Farmers and landowners, like all employers, must ensure as far
as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of
employees. As well as the regulations above, there are also
specific provisions contained in other health and safety
legislation such as:
•The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 - under
these employers need to make sure that they have adequate first aid
arrangements and procedures in place to follow in the event of an
•The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences
Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) - employers have a responsibility to
report any incident that happens in the workplace involving injury,
disease or a dangerous occurrence.
•The Working at Height Regulations 2005 - make it essential that
any work at height is carefully planned, supervised and carried out
by people who are competent to do the job.
•The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 - apply
to any equipment, including machinery that is used for work and
means that equipment must be suitable for the task, properly
maintained with dangerous parts safeguarded.
•The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 - require workers
to avoid undertaking hazardous manual handling where reasonably
practicable, assess and take action to reduce these risks.
•The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 - include measures
that need to be taken to reduce the risk of hearing damage by
exposure to loud noise and,
•The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 - make similar
provisions for avoiding risks to health from exposure to
•The Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agriculture
Regulations 1998 - these include duties to prevent injuries to
children on farms, including the prohibition on children under 13
years old riding on or driving tractors or farm machinery.
As well as complying with these provisions, agricultural
employers should also consult with their employees on all aspects
of health and safety and make sure that they communicate with their
workforce, checking that they understand their own responsibilities
around their own health and safety and that of their
Carry out regular, proper and adequate risk assessments and
identify and take steps to eliminate risk as far as possible. Have
a written health and safety policy where more than five people are
employed and provide adequate information, instruction, training
and supervision, particularly in areas such as spraying pesticides
and operating work equipment.
Finally, it is really important to remember that all the
provisions under health and safety laws don't just relate to those
people you consider being employees. You also have duties towards
independent contractors, temporary workers and agency
If you are not quite sure about what is required of you and what
measures you need to take, you can get more information from the
Health and Safety Executive's website at www.hse.gov.uk.