Have you developed a farm safety statement?

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A safety statement is a programme in writing aimed at minimising exposure to risk of injury or ill-health for all who work on the farm or who may be affected by that work. A comprehensive safety statement, where acted upon, is likely to reduce accidents on your farm.

A good safety statement may also help in a compensation claim because, if it is acted on, it may well convince a judge that the employer was not negligent.

The areas that should be covered by the safety statement are quite specific. It should:

l specify how the safety, health and welfare of all who work on your farm is secured;

l give details of arrangements that are in place to manage health and safety including your commitment to complying with your legal obligations;

l be based on an identification of hazards and an assessment of risks on your farm(s);

l specify the co-operation required from your employees on health and safety matters and arrangements for consultation on these matters where practical;

l where applicable include names (job titles) of your employees, whether part-time, full-time or family members you are

l appointing to be responsible for health and safety on your farm e.g. farm manager;

l include details of information available to employees on health and safety e.g. machine manuals etc.

l detail the welfare arrangements for employees (toilet/canteen);

l specify arrangements and resources provided, including First Aid training and facilities, emergency plans, fire drills etc.

All workers (including family) must be made aware of the relevant contents of the safety statement and have access to it.

Furthermore, the relevant contents must be brought to the attention of any other people on the farm, who may be affected by health and safety risks and who therefore need to be aware of the necessary precautions. This could include casual/relief workers and contractors.