In the last 10 years, almost one person a week has been killed as a direct result of agriculture. Many more have been seriously injured or made ill by their work. Good farmers and employers recognise the benefits of reducing incidents and ill-health amongst their workers. They are aware of the many reasons to aim for and maintain good standards of health and safety.
Many farmers are now introducing health and safety to their farm and workplace. Quite commonly, this is done by adding paperwork to the office shelves. However, the key to keeping workers safe on a day-to-day basis, is by ensuring the farm has a ‘Positive Safety Culture’.
A ‘Positive Safety Culture’ is something that is encapsulated by the mindset, attitudes and behaviours of all workers towards safety in the workplace. A positive culture is vital to implementing successful health and safety plans across the whole workforce.
It can be established by following these simple tips:
1) Communication and Involvement – As well as having Health & Safety Documents readily available, get together regularly for safety talks and updates. When creating policies, risk assessments and safe systems of work, ask workers for their opinions and concerns. After all, it is them that complete the tasks on a regular basis. Involving employees increases engagement and co-operation.
2) Training – By making safety part of the training program, you are demonstrating your commitment to safety. Employees who have received the correct training are more aware of hazards and their consequences. As a result, they are more likely to complete the task safely.
3) Develop and Implement Simple Reporting Process – Reporting, recording and investigating accidents and near misses is crucial in preventing them from happening again. Creating a simple reporting process ensures information is always passed across. Employees feel comfortable in doing so and this creates a positive attitude to the process.
4) Lead by Example – If management (including partners, business owners etc.) are seen to be committed to safety, employees will follow suit. A positive safety culture can only be bought in to if all farm members are practicing what is being preached. For example, if you have asked your employees to wear a helmet on a quad bike, then you should too!
For more information on Health and Safety, or if you want an assessment carried out for your business, please contact Cari at firstname.lastname@example.org