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Farmers Beware – Health & Safety Visits are on the Increase!
17 October 2023

Falls from height is one of the most common causes of death and injury on farms. Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a press release stating it intends to increase visits to farms across the country throughout winter 2023 and into spring 2024 to focus on this continuing issue.

Autumn and winter are traditionally a time when farms may need to carry out building maintenance, e.g. repairing leaking roofs or replacing ineffective rainwater goods. This always brings some level of risk and it’s critical to always think carefully about the job first. Before carrying out any work at height, stop and think:

  • Ask yourself if there is an alternative method which avoids working at height – do as much as you can from the ground, e.g. use extending equipment to clear gutters.
  • Use a professional contractor with the knowledge, skills, equipment and experience to safely work at height on buildings, roofs and structures.
  • In all cases, make sure the work is planned and carried out by people with the right training and equipment – for example, trained and experienced people using a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) or scaffold.
  • Don’t be tempted to use the wrong equipment. Lifting on the forks or bucket of a telehandler or forklift truck is illegal, as is walking or working on fragile roof materials.

Unsafe work at height really is not worth the risk so make sure that all risks are controlled on your farm. You have been warned!

Please refer to the Farmwise, your essential guide to health and safety in agriculture found here.

If you would like some help and assistance on how best to improve your agricultural buildings or you require a building surveying, then please contact Robert Franklin, Head of Architecture & Building Surveying.

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