Farm Safety Focus
On this page we compile the most recent farm safety news bulletins affecting farm workers and labourers in the UK. We will be updating this section, so feel free to check back regularly for any potential updates.
Know your Hierarchy of Control measures to stop spread of COVID on your farm
With discussions around the new COVID variants being about 40% more transmissible, it's still a good time to revisit previous COVID working risk assessments and control measures from last year and make sure staff are practicing them.
Social Distancing: This is the number one control measure on farm to prevent transmission of a respiratory disease and it's important to see that it's achieved in various work areas around the farm to prevent symptomless staff spreading it unknowingly to colleagues.
For small work spaces like parlours and offices, look at how people are spaced out to ensure 2m social distancing and decide the maximum occupancy levels.
Stagger the times staff use small welfare spaces and offices to ensure social distancing if necessary and ventilate enclosed spaces regularly.
If you need to work together less than 2m apart then wear a face covering and try and work side to side rather than face to face. Keep time frame short and less than 15 minutes where possible.
Here at LKL, we like the following sign as a reminder:
Hygiene: Keep up with your supplies of hand sanitiser in key areas, especially where there is shared equipment and supplies of soap and paper towel/blue roll in toilets and welfare areas. Provide hand sanitiser to vehicle cabs or small personal supplies to staff.
Remember clean hands means potentially less transmission onto equipment and hand contact surfaces. For certain jobs, disposable gloves will be worn for safety and hygiene already - don't forget to change them regularly.
In areas well away from welfare spaces, here is a homemade hand sanitiser station solution:
Cleaning: Where you have shared equipment used by lots of different people, provide cleaning materials such as virucide sprays and blue roll or wipes.
Encourage staff to wipe down shared equipment between uses such as kitchen equipment, vehicle cabs, etc.
Look after yourself - Focusing on Your Mental & Physical Health during Lockdown
The start of a new year is a typical time where a lot of people look at areas of their life and see if there is anything they would like to change.
Lockdown has given us more opportunity to do that - and a certain amount of 'Cabin Fever' - so now is even a more important time to look after yourself and be kind to yourself and other people.
It can be difficult to necessarily think about self care when there is so much to do around the farm - but it is very important for your physical and mental health.
Here are some things that you can be thinking about right now.
Research has shown that there are 5 areas of your life that you can focus on - that improve your mental wellness and resilience. They are useful for everyone to practice whether you are struggling with your mental health or not.
Why the Five Ways work:
• Connect: Strengthening relationships with others and feeling close to and valued by others, including at work, is critical to boosting wellbeing.
During Lockdown, set up a time to speak to family, friends and colleagues via WhatsApp, Google Duo, Skype, etc. Regular connections really help. LKL Regional Managers are available on the phone if you need to talk to someone.
• Keep Learning: Being curious and seeking out new experiences at work and in life more generally positively stimulates the brain.
During Lockdown this can be more of a challenge - but trying anything new is good, e.g. try a new recipe or do some baking, Get creative with your camera or phone camera on your daily exercise. Phone cameras can be great at taking some great Macro Photography shots. Try Sudoku, learn some new music, Do some Zoom online courses or revisit an old hobby you've not done for a while.
• Be Active: Being physically active, including at work, improves physical health and can improve mood and wellbeing and decrease stress, depression and anxiety.
Whilst Herdsman and Farmer step count is usually pretty huge around the farm - it's still important to get out into nature and away from the farm on your days off. Take a socially distanced walk with a friend or colleague in the local area. Go for a run. Get on your bike. There are so many online exercise programmes available to try, e.g. Kettles, HIIT, Yoga or set up a home gym. Set yourself a challenge, e.g. ''Couch to 5K”.
• Give: Carrying out acts of kindness, whether small or large, can increase happiness, life satisfaction and general sense of wellbeing.
It's found that looking outwards and supporting other people can benefit your own well being and sense of purpose in so many ways. Take time to listen to a colleague over a brew. Offer to get someones shopping or send someone special a small gift or card. Do someone a good turn. Try and say a kind friendly word to a friend or colleague each day.
• Take Notice: Paying more attention to the present moment, to thoughts and feelings and to the world around, boosts our wellbeing.
It's a good time when your are outdoors to take notice of signs of spring, notice the ancient trees and wildlife. Try meditation - practice on focusing on your body and breathing exercises. Focus on tastes of your favourite foods and why you like them.
Regularly practicing these 5 ways to mental wellness are hugely beneficial to everyone.
We Must Be Kind to Ourselves and Each Other - we are not super human. It's Ok to not be OK. The important thing is to recognise it and make some small changes to make a difference and get you back on track. It's Good to talk.
If you or a colleague are struggling - don't hesitate to pick up the phone to your Regional Manager.
See this mental wellbeing leaflet from Farm safety Partnership and FCN for more information.
Check out the FCN Farmwell website for more information and resources on mental resilience.
Mental Health and Wellbeing For Farmers
This month RABI, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, has launched new online counselling and a mental wellbeing platform for farming people of all ages.
Both sites are free to use, open to all in the farming community in England and Wales and are anonymous and confidential. This is a RABI initiative to establish a wellbeing community for farmers and their families and works towards their 5-year goal to ensure that 'no farmer should ever face adversity alone'.
It is important to invest time in yourself and your mental wellbeing. You are the farms greatest asset and therefore it's important to look after yourself, especially during this particularly challenging year.
We know mental health concerns are likely to affect us all at one time or another with concerns about our own health or a member of the family or friend.
This service enables you to access a free, anonymous mental health wellbeing site from any IT device and provides support in specific farm-related issues and concerns. There is general and farm-specific content to address specific concerns with discussion areas and messaging functions on the site.
As well as online content, you can also arrange for one-to-one counselling sessions. Sometimes, it is as simple as having a listening ear at the end of a phone.
The sites operate 24/7, with counsellors available from 12 pm Monday to Friday and from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekends. Counsellors are BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) accredited.
Sessions can be pre-booked or on a drop-in basis.
Don't forget also RABI's freephone helpline: 0808 281 9490
Don't forget that our LKL Regional Managers are also happy to provide a listening ear and reassurance, and will help support you in reaching out for professional help if you would like it.
News! - Meet our Health and Safety Influencer - RoSPA Award Winner
It's with great pleasure that we can announce that LKL’s very own James Picot, Regional Manager and Trainer extraordinaire is a winner of the RoSPA Health and Safety Influencer of the Year Award 2020.
Read the newsletter article here.
Farm Safety Week 20th July-24th July
Run by Farm Safety Partnership - What improvements in Farm Safety can you make?
The Farm Safety Partnership annual Farm Safety week runs from 20th-24th July and encourages all farmers to raise the profile of safety during this week and see what safety improvements they can make on farm or maybe you've taken the opportunity during Lockdown to work on Farm Safety.
The NFU and Farm Safety Partnership are encouraging you to share your progress and ideas.
The NFU has been running some Farm Safety workshops since 2019 and has stated that it has seen a notable shift in attitudes to health and safety since then it also has set up a Farm Safety hub and has some helpful leaflets on its website (see links below)
The National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs are hoping that Young Farmers will take the lead during Farm safety week this year and have set up a competition for YFC members to share their ideas or safety improvements that they have made during lockdown and sharing information on social media using #FarmSafetyWeek.
For even Younger Budding Farmers - Agrikids - a Farm Safety education platform for children - are running Farm Safety webinars for Children ages 4-7 and 8-12 years throughout Farm Safety week covering all kinds of farm safety aspects from understanding Safety signs and how to stay safe away from Agricultural vehicles to being able to identify animal behaviour.
Agrikids ethos is to engage, educate and empower children to help be our farm safety ambassadors.
Check out their website to register for the webinars.
Here at LKL we are encouraging you to look at what small or BIG improvements you can make in Farm Safety on your farm. Check out our Health & Safety Pages and our article on Farm Safety Week 2018 to get some ideas.
Here are some further ideas to get you started:-
- Organise a Hazard spotting exercise around the Farm to see what concerns staff have. It's all too easy to miss things when you are working in the same environment every day. It can be simple things like inadequate lighting, trip hazards in the workshop and things that could be more serious e.g. a broken PTO guard, damaged and fraying electrical cable, unguarded slurry pit.
- Review your staff training - is everybody up to date with their telehandler, tractor, trailer and ATV training. If not arrange some refresher courses. Why not organise a Farm Safety and Wellness Awareness course with James Picot our Regional Manager and LKL Trainer
- Look at Work at Height - What jobs are you doing that involve work at height, use of ladders etc - is there a risk of falling and injury - if so can you do it more safely?
- Review your Lone working arrangements - What Lone working do staff do? If a member of staff had an injury and couldn't raise the alarm or get help, would you know where they were and have you a system for checking up with Lone workers regularly using a Buddy system?
- Machine & Transport Safety - From reminding staff to follow the Safe Stop procedures, inspecting machine guarding such as on PTO's and Abrasive wheels to ensuring that all Lifting arms and equipment such as compressors receive suitable statutory inspections - there is plenty to check to ensure good Machine and Transport safety.
Yellow wellies also have some top tips on the Farm Safety Week pages - check Farm Safety Augmented Reality Experience - YellowWellies.org
Remember - Good Farm Safety is for Life and lifestyle and not just for Farm Safety week - but it's never too late to start making those changes - We wish you good progress and we would love to hear about them on LKL Facebook.
Driving forward Farm Health & Safety:-
LKL joins the businesses working to support the Health & Safety messages of the Farm Safety Partnership and is awarded a RoSPA Health & Safety Achievement Award
Here at LKL we always have the health, safety and wellbeing of staff at the forefront of our minds and over a number of years have been working hard to improve our health and safety documentation, safety information provided in our Newsletters and on our website and encourage and improve access to health and safety related training such as Telehandler, Emergency First Aid and Farm Safety Awareness.
At the end of last year we decided to take further steps to ensure that we were moving in the right direction to achieve our aims.
The first was to join the Farm Safety Partnership and sign up to their Health and Safety charter as an associated business that will promote the Partnerships health and safety messages along with our own. In February, Ben Furnival from our Health & safety committee joined the Farm Safety Partnership meeting in Stoneleigh to find out its plans for the forthcoming year.
Farm Safety Charter requires us to try and meet the following objectives :-
- Working in partnership and collaboratively to create awareness and adoption of good health and safety across the agricultural industry.
- Providing leadership on safety, challenging traditional attitudes to risk.
- Ensuring that a regard to health and safety runs throughout all of the messages we give and the decisions and positions we take on all issues.
- Demonstrating that a good safety record is proof of a professional and modern industry showing that safer working is good business practice impacting positively on profitability and sustainability of every business.
- Building on the work done over the years by the HSE, using the experience, resource and knowledge base of the HSE to support the goals and activities of the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP).
- Working within our own spheres of influence to bring about a change in culture, attitude and behaviour towards farm safety, promoting and communicating coordinated messages.
- Commit to working with partners in the FSP, including input to working groups and attending FSP meetings in order to coordinate messages and priorities across the industry.
- Engaging with our own internal and external stakeholders, including the press and media, and to provide them with appropriate tools and information to help them promote key health and safety messages.
- Holding FSP members to account for their activity in delivering actions and activities planned and agreed by the FSP.
We will be holding these objectives as part of our ongoing decision making and health & safety promotional work as we go forward and will be sharing FSP health and safety messages in our newsletters, website and Facebook page, to ensure that they target a wide audience.
LKL receives a RoSPA Health & Safety Silver Achievement Award
At the beginning of 2020 we decided to enter the annual RoSPA Health & Safety Awards to gauge a measure of our progress in health and safety, and in April we learnt that we had been awarded a prestigious RoSPA Silver Achievement Award.
We are very happy to receive this award and it is a huge encouragement to all the LKL staff and in particular the Regional Managers who talk to staff and visit farms regularly and will promote health and safety awareness whenever they can.
To achieve this level of award as a first time entrant is a huge accolade, and I have no doubt that we would not have achieved this level of award, if it wasn't for the hard work and dedication of our Regional Manager and in-house Trainer, James Picot.
To have our own in-house trainer is a huge asset to our business and he has been delivering health and safety courses to LKL staff on farm for a number of years to include refreshers in Telehandler, tractor and ATV's, Emergency First Aid and more recently Farm Safety awareness training to farming teams. This has been essential for improving safety skills and knowledge of staff and raising the awareness of potential hazards and promoting safe working practices.
Receiving this award has been a huge encouragement to the whole team and we will continue to work on promoting good standards of health and safety on LKL farms and raising staff awareness.
We will receive the Award at a ceremony later on in the year and we have nominated James to receive the award on the behalf of LKL.
To read the newsletter article see here.
Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week have chosen kindness as the theme this year because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health.
We are encouraging all Farmers and Herdspersons to look out for each other and try and keep in touch (albeit virtually). It's particularly difficult for those living alone and for those who cannot go and see family and friends and they are probably feeling very lonely at this time which will increase the longer this goes on.
Do not be afraid or embarrassed to talk about how you are feeling. It is ok to not be ok and part of the journey to feeling better is to be able to recognise that.
The Regional Managers are regularly in touch with Herdsmen and women by phone, but we want to encourage you that if you need to chat with any of your Regional Managers at any time then do pick up the phone or message by text or Whatsapp.
Check out our article on the NEWS section for further advice and some resources from Farm Safety Partnership and Somerset Mental Health in Agriculture Group, that can be useful to help you recognise signs and symptoms that someone may be struggling and where you can point them in the right direction for help.
Safety of Children on Farms
With many schools closing in March due to COVID-19, many Farmers will have their children home for an extended period, at a time with the improvement in weather that work on the Farm increases.
The Farm Safety Partnership has sent out a reminder to Farming Families to educate children on the potential risks and keep them safe.
There are links to educational resources from the HSE and HSE Northern Ireland website.
On the LKL website we have also produced a Children on Farm risk assessment template which can be downloaded and used to guide you of the hazards you will want to control and minimize.
Farms are not playgrounds - Keep a secure, fenced garden area for children to play.
Remember they are inquisitive, keep dangerous areas secure with fencing, padlocked doors and gates , netting, grids and covers such as :-
- Chemical stores and veterinary medicines
- Slurry pits and lagoons
- Machinery and workshops full of tools should be kept secure
- Ladders or steps that give access to places at height such as straw bale storage
Keep children away from yards and areas of vehicle movements and make sure that they are supervised at all times on the farm.
Make sure all staff know that children are at home and authorise them to stop work - and return them to a safe place with a responsible adult, if they wander into a hazardous area unsupervised.
Follow Safe Stop
LKL supports the Farm Safety Partnership who for the next quarter will be focusing on promoting safety messages covering Transport Safety Risks.
This month the reminder to all Farmers is to follow the Safe Stop Procedure
Follow Safe stop
- Put the handbrake on.
- Make sure the controls are in neutral (equipment made safe).
- Stop the engine (or turn off the power).
- Remove the key (or lock-off the power supply.
When to Follow Safe stop:
- Before leaving the driver’s seat/operating position,
- When anyone else approaches;
- Before anyone carries out maintenance, adjustments or to deal with a blockage.
Here at LKL we love this novel Keyring idea - a great idea shared - maybe you get some made for your own vehicle keys?
The Importance of Head Protection
Sit astride ATV’s are not fitted with a cab or roll bar and so head protection is vital. Many UK Fatalities involving ATV’s have been as a result of drivers not wearing Head protection.
The type of Helmets that should be worn include Motorcycle helmets, Mountaineering Helmets, specialist ATV helmets and should have a chin strap and be capable of being worn with goggles.
Forestry helmets or hard hats are not suitable.
Check out our Quad Bike section on our Health & Safety pages for more information.
NFU is offering a member discount offer of 25% off all Spada helmets - find out more and take up the offer here.
LKL Supports the Farm Safety Partnership's campaign on Safe Working at Heights
The Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) is promoting a Safe Working at Height message throughout October to December.
During these months a lot of farm maintenance is carried out and last year there were 7 fatalities from falls at height whilst carrying out these types of jobs. In addition, there were a large number of injuries, some of which may have been life changing.
Read the complete document here for questions to ask yourself before working at height.