Health and safety guidelines for agricultural machinery working demonstrations

SIM 01/2001/04


This Operational Guidance alerts inspectors to guidance published by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) entitled, "Health and safety guidelines for working events" and provides additional information on the standards of health and safety expected at working events. It should be read in conjunction with the AEA guide.


The Association of Show & Agricultural Organisations (ASAO) and other show organisers have produced guidelines for show organisers and exhibitors. Much of the published guidance reflects the nature of static shows (such as county agricultural shows). The AEA wanted specific guidance for working events such as Tillage, which they organise.

The AEA guide sets out the standards for AEA-run events and has been copied to other show organisers. This Operational Guidance has been produced to complement the general guidance in the AEA document and to ensure consistent standards across all events.

The AEA guide,is a public document available to both AEA members and non-members. A current electronic copy can be obtained from:

Samuelson House
62 Forder Way
Telephone: 0845 6448748
E-mail: [email protected]

The guide (current at February 2013) can also be found in TRIM: Record Number 2012/0082952.

A copy of this operational guidance has been sent to the AEA so that they are aware of the standards set out below. HSE suggested changes to their guide, covering the issues below, but these were not accepted.


If there is a doubt in interpretation of the AEA document, inspectors are asked to contact the Sector for further advice.


Event organisers should ensure that that stewards, demonstrators and exhibitors are familiar with the rules etc for that particular event. Risk assessments must cover the individual circumstances of the event including plot layouts and control measures put into place to protect visitors from ejected material, noise, dust etc.

The event safety officer should oversee all exhibitor risk assessments and offer advice on the adequacy of the proposed controls to ensure visitor safety to exhibitor safety representatives.



Visitor control

The level of visitor control required will depend on the type of equipment being demonstrated and the numbers of visitors expected. There are a variety of control methods and the option chosen will coincide with the risk assessment undertaken by the exhibitor and/or organiser.

Exhibitors/organisers should also take into account the types of visitors expected, eg age of visitors, children with parents, foreign language visitors etc.

Machinery guarding

Static machinery


For further advice please contact OPSTD Agriculture, Waste and Recycling Sector - Agriculture Safety Team - HSE Nottingham Office.

Updated 2023-02-16