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Traditional Farming Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs)

OM 2012/04


This document covers the organisation, planning and delivery of traditional farming Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs) delivered by FOD Divisions (Divisions) on behalf of the Agriculture, Waste and Recycling Sector (the Sector). SHADs are part of a programme of activities, which are directly supported by the HSE Board and which are integral to the Agriculture Sector Strategy.  The arrangements are consistent with HSE’s current procedures and processes for managing communication activities.


This guidance has been produced to ensure consistency across FOD and to clarify responsibilities in the organisation and delivery of the programme of farming Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs) in 2013/14.


The procedures set out in this guidance have been agreed with FOD HQ and must be followed for all traditional farming SHADs delivered during the period April 2013 to March 2014.


SHADs are frontline interventions, which provide core advice and guidance to targeted, invited audiences from the farming community.  They are the most significant face-to-face contact HSE has with the industry and are an opportunity to raise awareness and provide advice and information on current safety issues; in accordance with Section 11 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. A traditional farming SHAD comprises two, half day, events run on the same day.

Each event typically consists of six demonstrations taken from the list provided by the Sector (see Scenarios, Learning Points, Equipment and Facilities Checklist TRIM record 2013/34235) that are relevant to the type of farming in the area.  The same scenarios are delivered in both sessions but to different audiences.

The SHAD programme has been developed by the Sector with the agreement of FOD HQ.  FOD has committed to delivering twenty-seven traditional farming SHADs in 2013/14. 


Targeting - SHAD Audience

The primary target audience for these events is family farmers, including the self-employed and farmers employing up to four workers. This means that places are primarily, intended for these farmers and their workers, although where the Sector considers it appropriate others will be allowed to attend.  We aim to have 150 delegates per session up to a maximum of 180, where space and facilities at the venue allow.

Diversity - When organising an event, organisers should be mindful of the potentially diverse nature of the audience i.e. any physical or literacy/language limitations.  For example, a number of chairs should be provided for those with mobility problems.


Divisions must not agree to the supply of services, discuss budgets or sign any contracts (no matter how small). Organisers must stress when making enquiries about events and services that all bookings will be confirmed centrally by HSE in writing.

Funding for the 2013/14 programme is based upon delivery of 27 traditional farming SHADs.  Proposals offering a variation to this model would be subject to a separate bid for funding.

Planning the Event

Selecting a date and time for the event

Choosing the right date, time of year and time of day is important to maximise cost effectiveness and to ensure people are able to attend. Events should not be held during busy months of the farming year (subject to the main farming activity in the area, i.e. avoid harvest, lambing, etc) or on market days. In areas for example where dairy farmers predominate, it may be best to organise the event with one session in the middle of the day and one in the evening to work around milking times. To avoid clashing with other SHADs, organisers should check the list of those already planned and published in the Farm SHADs Diary on the website. 

Choosing a venue

The Sector and FOD HQ will identify the possible geographical areas for SHADs and FOD HQ will advise Divisions of their respective allocations.  Divisions should identify three suitable venues (for each SHAD) within the selected geographical area and consult with the Sector about their suitability.  Once a venue is selected, FOD staff should visit the site to assess its suitability and if deemed suitable, carry out a risk assessment. 

Venues should meet the criteria set out in 'Scenarios, Learning Points, Equipment and Facilities Checklist TRIM 2013/34235' – particular care should be taken to ensure that the space is adequate for the chosen scenarios.

FOD staff should aim to discuss the venues with the Sector at least 4 months before the event so that the necessary arrangements can be put in place and the invitation letters sent in time. To ensure that Divisions get their preferred dates, venues should be sourced and booked as early as possible, even if the SHAD is not due to run until late in the year.

Selecting the demonstrations

Demonstrations chosen for an event should suit the type of farming in the area and concentrate on the most common causes of death and major injury (see Scenarios, Learning Points, Equipment and Facilities Checklist TRIM Record 2013/34235). Transport, falls and manual handling scenarios are generally relevant to all farming businesses and should normally be used at all events. Demonstrations such as machinery maintenance/child safety and trailer braking will also have general relevance.  Other scenarios, such as livestock handling are more specialised and ATVs though widely used will be of little interest or relevance to farmers in some areas. 

Divisions should inform the Sector of the required scenarios; the Sector will contact and book the relevant instructors (including HSL).  At least 3 months notice must be given as the instructors can get booked up quickly, particularly during the traditional training periods, i.e. late autumn through to spring.

SHAD Packs

The Sector has developed a standard SHAD Pack for use at all farming SHADs.  The contents of the packs should not be supplemented with additional leaflets.

The SHAD Packs contain:

These will be ordered centrally, by the Sector, and sent to the nominated FOD contact in each Division, in time for the event.


All organisations wishing to attend the SHAD should be referred to the Sector.

Press Release

In general, a press release will not be issued for individual SHADs.  If it is necessary to issue one for a particular event the Sector and Press Office will arrange for its production.

Invitation process

The standard invitation model should be used by organisers for all events.  Divisions should not deviate from this process and format without prior agreement from the Sector. Templates for the letters are held in TRIM (see table 1).

Following consultation with the Division, the Sector will provide a spreadsheet containing the necessary information (addresses/contact details) for the invitations.

The invitation spreadsheet should be used to record the attendance of the farm at the SHAD.  This information is used to avoid re-invitation of attendees to future events.  It is also used to create a COIN record for each farm invited, in an automated process.

It is therefore imperative that the spreadsheet is filled in completely and accurately. 

Guidance on using the spreadsheet can be found in 'Traditional Farming SHAD Invitations Spreadsheet Guide TRIM 2013/20239'.

Once invitees have been identified, Divisions should follow the procedure for sending the invitation letters.  All mailings are now sent out via Prolog.  Details for the letters must be with Typing Centre at least 12 weeks before the event.

Divisions should send the information in Table 1 to the Typing Centre for the invitation letter to be created.  Once the Typing Centre have received the information and completed the mail merge the letters will automatically be sent through Print Unit and Central Despatch to Prolog for posting. 

Follow-up letters should be initiated by Divisions as required, utilising the Typing Centre, as above.

The Print Unit, Central Despatch and the Sector in Bootle must be copied in to the initial e:mail to the Typing Centre in order to give them advance warning of the letters; so that the work can be planned into the schedule.

Table 1: Invitation process model – FOD Actions
Timescale to initiate the letter process Letter and recipients Enclosures Required Information – to be sent to typists

12 weeks before SHAD (letters will be posted 9 weeks before the event)

Initial Invitation (1) – sent to all

SHADS – Letters – (1) initial invitation – 2013 version TRIM 2013/34289

Reply Slip
Pre-paid envelope

  • A copy of the spreadsheet
  • An electronic copy of the letter (unchanged and not completed)
  • E:mail the following information for the typists to enter into the letter:
  • Date of event
  • Location – full address
  • Time of am session (registration and start)
  • Time of pm session (registration and start)
  • Contact name
  • Contact address
  • Contact e:mail address
  • Telephone number
  • Any additional information to add to the letter (directions etc)

7 weeks before SHAD   (letters will be posted 4 weeks before the event)

Reminder letter (2) - sent to those who have not responded and if the event is not full

SHADs – Letters – Reminder – 2013 version TRIM 2013/34298

Reply Slip
Pre-paid envelope

  • A copy of the spreadsheet (using the reminder page, see spreadsheet guide)


  • An electronic copy of the letter (unchanged and not completed)
  • E:mail the information for the typists to enter into the letter, as above:


1 week before SHAD

Event Full (3) – sent to those who would like to attend but the SHAD is fully subscribed

SHADS – letters – (3) – Event full - 2013 version TRIM 2013/34305


This should not be a large mailing so can be sent from the organising FOD office.

Pre Paid envelopes

The Sector will arrange for the printing of pre paid envelopes for inclusion with the invitation and reminder letters.  As soon as Divisions know which office is to deal with the SHAD administration they must send the license number and address for the office to the sector in Bootle. These reply envelopes will be addressed to ‘SHAD Administrator’ at the required office.

Health and safety - Risk assessment

A site-specific risk assessment must be carried out for each event by a competent person from HSE.  It must be reviewed by the B2/B3 or B3 responsible for representing HSE at the event.  It must address any site-specific issues including those at set-up and take-down.

To assist with the production of risk assessments, examples completed by colleagues for previous SHADs can be found in TRIM, the inclusion of a simple labelled site plan can be a very helpful addition.

The approach taken by HSE staff to this task should be proportionate to the risks arising from the activities at the event. Emphasis should be placed on ensuring that there is good communication between the venue’s staff, instructors and the HSE staff carrying out the risk assessment. The key findings of the assessment and any agreed actions should be recorded and retained. 

A copy should be sent to the Sector at least a week before the SHAD as copies are passed on to the instructors in order to give them advance notice of potential issues relating to the site.  They also inform the instructors of any hazards relating to their specific scenario’s location at that venue.  Ensure that each scenario’s area is addressed in the risk assessment and even if there are no obvious hazards please state N/A.  The instructors have produced a generic risk assessment for each of their scenarios and will carry out a site specific assessment before they set up for the SHAD.

The risks associated with the event, in particular the movement of vehicles and pedestrians must be assessed and any action identified taken.  Particular care should be taken to ensure a safe separation distance from any overhead power lines in the area where the telehandler is being used.  Due to the nature of the demonstration, it should not be visible from any passing main roads.
When carrying out the risk assessment, be aware of any activities that may be conducted near/ adjacent to the event i.e. consider the wider working environment, other businesses using the premises etc.

Consider the positioning of event signage e.g. the visibility from the road to provide ample warning of the turning into the venue or car park.  It may be necessary to direct cars to ensure safe access and adequate parking.  (See ‘Staffing’ below.)

If first aid facilities and arrangements at the venue do not meet the requirements then it may be necessary to engage a suitable external organisation.  Please notify the Sector of this at the earliest opportunity in order that the Purchase Order may be raised.


Instructors provide much of their own equipment. However, the larger, difficult to transport items need to be sourced by FOD locally i.e. telehandler, large baler (Scenarios, Learning Points, Equipment and Facilities Checklist TRIM 2013/34235 gives guidance on the equipment and facilities required for each scenario).  Details of the supplier and cost should be sent by email to the Sector.  Wherever possible, FOD staff should endeavour to obtain equipment on loan, i.e. free of charge.

Equipment should be sourced locally and delivered to the venue by noon on the day prior to the SHAD to enable the instructors to set up before the event.

Suppliers of equipment should be made aware that the machines will be driven and demonstrated by appropriately registered instructors.  Make sure that any equipment provided is in good condition and meets all relevant legal requirements, e.g. lift trucks must be well maintained and have all mirrors, lights, etc. in place and functioning, together with a current certificate of inspection, if necessary.


It might be prudent to consider additional security arrangements at some venues, e.g. to protect equipment stored overnight, or attendees’ cars whilst parked at the venue. However, this might incur considerable additional cost and is only likely to be justified in exceptional circumstances where the level of security within buildings or supervision in car parks is considered inadequate.  Before organisers make any arrangements for additional security they must contact the Sector to discuss.


Should the question of insurance cover for loaned equipment be raised, inform the company that as a Government body, HSE does not take out insurance but provides an indemnity against losses.

Suitable wording for a letter explaining and confirming this arrangement is:

“The Health and Safety Executive is a statutory corporation established under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which performs its functions on behalf of the Crown. For financial and administrative purposes, it is treated as a non-departmental public body within the Department of Work and Pensions. As such, it does not carry either employer’s liability or public liability insurance. Under Treasury rules, government departments and public bodies such as HSE are not required to take out private insurance.

The purpose of all liability insurance is, of course, to ensure that there are funds available to meet any claim, which is recognised as properly based in Law (whether or not any case is actually taken to court). As a government body, there would be no question of HSE not being able to pay in the event that it received such a claim. Insurance is therefore an unnecessary protection either for you or for any individual who might be affected.

To insure as set out in the requirements would be unnecessary and contrary to the practice of HSE and other public bodies.”

This statement has usually been accepted as sufficient guarantee.

Our contract with the instructors requires that they carry adequate personal Public Liability insurance.

Resources – FOD Staff

Traditionally, SHADs have been staffed by one inspector, a Visiting Officer and up to six Band 6 staff. As few frontline staff as is practicable should be used to minimise the impact on other operational activity. Where venues are unable to provide them, it may be cost effective to hire stewards to carry out car park duties instead of using HSE staff. Supervision of parking may be necessary to ensure proper use of space, a free flow of traffic and pedestrian safety. High visibility jackets or tabards should be worn by parking stewards; stewards can also be used to escort a group.  Please contact the Sector if you are going to use external stewards.

Managing the Event

Attendees should be registered upon arrival and allocated to a group. All staff should be adequately briefed; this should include dealing with any late arrivals, the layout and order of the demonstrations. Each group must be accompanied by a member of staff to ensure smooth transit of the groups. To ensure the groups keep to the timings an audible warning signal should be sounded to signal the move to the next demonstration. (See Scenarios, Learning Points, Equipment and Facilities Checklist TRIM 2013/34235 for the timings).


Attendees should be provided with a hot drink (tea/coffee with cold juice option) and biscuits upon arrival.  To ensure that HSE is not charged for additional refreshments a simple voucher system may need to be implemented by organising staff e.g. issuing raffle tickets.

Where refreshments cannot be provided by the venue, Divisions should identify three suitable catering companies in the area and obtain quotes.

The Sector will make the booking with the chosen supplier.

Introducing a SHAD

The Sector has produced a basic script and guide for the introduction talk at a SHAD, this can be found in 'Guidance on introducing a SHAD TRIM 2013/34279'.

Recording and reporting


A Case should be created for the event with the following CTD.

The Summary will be ‘Agriculture SHAD - location – date’ and the scenarios should be entered in the Description field.  Details of site visits should be entered as notes and a copy of the risk assessment and summary report should be attached.


The evaluation forms are printed centrally for dispatch to the organiser at least 1 week prior to the event.

Forms should be issued to attendees at the end of the last scenario for completion and collection prior to leaving the event.  This information will be used to help evaluate the effectiveness of the event and provide valuable feedback and evidence on which to develop our programme of SHAD activity for the following year.

All completed forms should be posted to the Sector immediately following the event:

Agriculture, Waste and Recycling Sector
5N.3 Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS

FOD staff must prepare and submit a summary report of the event to the Sector within 6 weeks of the event.  It should contain the following information:

Follow up visits to non-attendees

Non-attendance at a SHAD, while not a sufficient reason for a site follow-up in itself, should be reviewed by Divisions as one factor in deciding whether to carry out an intervention, alongside other indication(s) of poor standards or attitudes.  These might include reported incidents, which do not meet the incident selection criteria, complaints, adverse insurance reports and local intelligence etc. The list is not exhaustive and Divisions may choose to allocate Visiting Officer or inspector resource, as appropriate to this work. Further guidance on inspection and enforcement priorities in agriculture is set out in SIM 01/2010/03. Such intelligence led inspection is operationally efficient, consistent with the principles set out in ‘Good Health and Safety, Good for Everyone’ and reinforces the importance of SHADs and legal compliance in the farming community.

Where follow up visits have been carried out, a summary report should be sent to the Sector. It should contain the following information:   

Date of the event

Further references

TRIM Documents:


Agriculture Policy and strategy team, Redgrave Court, Bootle

Appendix 1 – Roles and Responsibilities in the delivery process

FOD HQ and the Sector:

Identify the geographical areas in which SHADs will be delivered

FOD Divisions:

Agriculture Sector:

Updated 2013-11-27