Heath & Safety Executive target farming businesses



Farmers are being urged to make sure their health and safety policies are up to scratch in advance of a programme of targeting farm inspections by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this summer. 


The HSE inspections are designed to ensure that those responsible for protecting themselves and their workers are complying with the law, to help them prevent death, injury and ill-heath. If they are not, the HSE will use enforcement power to bring about improvements.


Agriculture has one of the worst health and safety records of any industry in Britain. The sector represents 1.2% of the British workforce, but accounts for 20% of reported work-related deaths each year. 


The HSE also estimates that there are some 13,000 non-fatal injuries each year, and 17,000 cases of ill health, especially lung disease and musculoskeletal disorders. 


The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to prepare a written statement of health and safety policy whether there are five or more employees. If there are less than five employees there still has to be a policy in place, although it does not need to be documented.