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Agriculture safety topics

Farming is a hazardous industry. Farmers and farm workers work with potentially dangerous machinery, vehicles, chemicals, livestock, at height or near pits and silos. They are exposed to the effects of bad weather, noise and dust. The risks also include family members working at the farm and children living at or visiting the farm.

The following pages provide guidance on a range of key topics and forms the basis of health and safety advice for agriculture. Each topic page provides information and advice as well as references to some of the other most relevant HSE publications.

  • Farm Vehicles: The most common causes of serious and fatal injuries in agriculture involve farm vehicles. Find out how to manage workplace transport issues.
  • Machinery: Safe use: All machinery and plant must be suitable for the task, properly maintained, with dangerous parts safeguarded, and that adequate training and information about the equipment is available.
  • Machinery: Maintenance: Many serious incidents on farms involve machinery, often during maintenance or unblocking.
  • Machinery: Design, manufacture & supply: Find out what the law requires in relation to manufacturing and supplying of machinery and what to look for when buying new or second-hand machinery.
  • Work at height: Find out how to prevent falls when working on roofs, ladders, vehicles, bale stacks and unsuitable access equipment, such as grain buckets or pallets.  
  • Livestock: Find advice here on safe handling of cattle and other livestock and on handling and housing farm animals.
  • Electricity: People are killed or seriously injured by electricity in agriculture every year. Many of these involve contact with OHPLs, poorly maintained electrical installations, cables and equipment.
  • Workplace safety & welfare: Find out how to manage issues relating to confined spaces and spaces with limited ventilation, fire, fertiliser storage, toilet & welfare facilities.
  • Child & public safety: Find out how to manage issues relating to the public and children who live or visit your farm.
  • Building work: Many farms carry out building work, including dismantling and erecting buildings (which may contain asbestos) to excavation and other minor work.
  • Training & skills: Find out how to provide information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure the safety of your workers.
  • Chainsaws and treework: Most farms have a chainsaw. Find out how to use a chainsaw safely and manage the risks involved in this high-risk activity.