Haybales in a field

Fatigue on the farm: managing the risks

Arthur Denton, Claims Team Leader for South West insurer Cornish Mutual, says that fatigue increases the risk of accidents occurring on farms.

Exhaustion among farm workers is sometimes inevitable, especially during busy times, such as lambing and harvesting, which often involve long hours and broken nights’ sleep. Fatigue makes it difficult to concentrate and can result in poor decision-making.  So, what can farmers do to reduce the impact of tiredness on safety?


Be aware of the biggest risks

Be aware of the main dangers and, where possible, avoid carrying out high-risk tasks when suffering from fatigue.  The most common fatal accidents on farms are the result of workers falling from height, being hit by a vehicle or being struck by a moving object. Other common incidents include being injured by livestock or machinery.


Ensure your risk assessments are up-to-date

Making time ahead of busy periods to produce and update risk assessments is an important way to reduce the chance of accidents. An up-to-date risk assessment gives you reassurance, helping you to consider and address the main risks on your farm.  


Stop and think

Tired workers may be tempted to take short cuts to try to make a job quicker or easier.  We want to remind the farming community to pause and take a moment to think before carrying out tasks.


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