Autumn HSE Farm Inspections

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Will the HSE inspect your farm this autumn?

The answer is maybe!

The HSE has published details of an autumn inspection campaign starting in October 2019 and running to January 2020.

Where will inspections take place?

The autumn inspection campaign will focus on four geographical areas:

  • North Yorkshire
  • East and West Sussex
  • The Midlands – Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire
  • Scotland/Borders – Dumfries, Galloway and Cumbria

The HSE has recently delivered classroom –based training events to farmers known as ACE events. ACE events are designed to clearly set out the legal requirements and help farmers understand what they need to do to comply with the law and make their businesses safe work places for farmers, their families and visitors to farm. HSE inspectors will visit a sample of farms which attended the events and a sample of the farms which declined the invitation.

What are the HSE’s priorities?

The aim of the HSE is to:

  1. Ensure farmers understand and manage the H&S risks of running a farming business
  2. Help farmers comply with their legal obligations
  3. Help farmers understand why compliance is key to the prevention of injury and ill health

Inspections will look at the following topics covered in the ACE events:

  • Child safety e.g. complying with the long standing law which prohibits children under the age of 13 from driving or riding on farm machinery; child access to the farm work place is fully supervised
  • Transport and machinery safety (e.g. safe stop, PTO guards, machinery maintenance and LOLER inspections)
  • Cattle (e.g. good handling facilities, protection of the public)
  • Falls from height (e.g. working on fragile roofs, bale stacking)
  • Overhead powerlines (e.g. safe working distances from lines)
  • Entry into confined spaces and slurry lagoons

In addition HSE inspectors may also look at:

  • Manual handling
  • Design and maintenance of pesticide stores
  • Training – including the use of chainsaws
  • Duty to manage and control work with asbestos
  • Respiratory hazards – dust and fumes

Advice on what to expect when an inspector calls is available on the HSE website

HSE information on how to comply with health and safety legislation on farm is contained in the leaflet ‘What a good farm looks like’.

Further help and advice is available to NFU members from CallFirst on 0370 845 8458 and in a range of Business Guides available to members on NFU online.

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