Best practice for farm building health and safety

Farming can be an extremely hazardous occupation. In the United Kingdom, this industry makes up roughly 1.8 per cent of the entire workforce, however, it makes up 19 per cent of all reported deadly injuries each year. Many of these accidents involve machinery, vehicles, falling from heights and lifting and handling. The number of self-reported illness in this industry is also much higher the average of other industries.

For this reason, it is extremely important that when working in agriculture that you take all necessary steps to ensure that you are following the health and safety rules that govern farming. This should then also lead to a reduction in personal, financial and social costs of these accidents.

Here, we take you through the best practices for farm building health and safety and how you can reduce casualties in the workplace.

Following Buildings Health and Safety in Farming
For the majority of farms in the United Kingdom, they will need to follow the basic health, safety and welfare issues set out by the Workplace Regulations 1992. What’s more, because of the type of work farming is and the risks that it presents, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs also work in partnership with the HSE to create the guidelines and rules for all farmers to follow. Below, we take a look at the rules you should be adhering to for farm buildings health and safety.

The first thing that you need to do to ensure that regulations are followed on your farm is to keep your buildings in good condition and that the floors are not overloaded. This is especially true in feed lofts! Farmers should also be ensuring that handrails on stairs and ramps are provided, while safety hoops should be placed on long vertical fixed ladders. Make sure to keep all workshops tidy and also equip inspection puts with easy to access escape routes. You should also ensure that you have pits covered when they are not in use.

If you have any new buildings constructed on your farm, or that are undergoing vital modifications, then this should be undertaken in line with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. This should take into account the relevant British Standards and ensure that any construction is carried out within legal parameters. The local authorities may have building inspectors who can advise you on obtaining planning permission and any building regulations that may apply to your proposed building work.

It is very common on farms to find steel framed buildings. Steel framed buildings are extremely popular as they are cost-effective, require low-maintenance work and are extremely durable. However, these types of portal framed buildings do have a higher risk of collapse during the building process and so you should take special precautions when erecting these types of buildings. To take a look at steel buildings for sale that can easily be erected in your farm, head on over to who can provide you with a steel building designer to build your own specification.

Many farm buildings have fragile roofs as they are designed to keep the weather at bay and are not designed to take a whole lot of weight. You should ensure that any roofs on your farm are never walked across unless you have placed suitable means to do so which will prevent injuries from a fall. If you are planning any work that has to be done, ensure that a risk assessment is carried out and that you have the necessary tools to carry the work out safely.

Ensure that you are following all best practices with farm building health and safety to comply with the law.