HSE Agriculture e-Bulletin - Issue No 31 - March 2014

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Agriculture eBulletin

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Welcome to the HSE Agriculture e-Bulletin

As spring approaches and lambing gets into full flow, many farmers will be starting spring field work or more routine activities like cleaning out barns or carrying out repairs to farm equipment and buildings.

No doubt many will be facing more challenging circumstances brought about by recent floods or heavy rainfall.

In this edition, we include a reminder on taking care when changing wheels on mobile farm machinery and the risks in using telehandlers to drive in fencing posts.


Take care with wheels and tyres

It might appear to be a straightforward task when dealing with a puncture on the farm 4x4, but the safety risks increase considerably when changing wheels on other mobile farm machinery. 

Never underestimate the risks - whether the job is part of routine maintenance, fitting dual wheels or when dealing with a flat tyre.  

Visit the agriculture website topic page for further guidance on Safe working with wheels and tyres

Misuse of telehandlers to drive in fencing posts

Using a telescopic materials handler (telehandler) boom, or the wrong attachment to drive in fencing posts may be widespread, yet unacceptable practice in farming. This practice is dangerous and a person holding the fence post or standing nearby is at great risk of serious injury or death. 

Never use a telehander boom, or an attachment such as a grain bucket mounted on the boom, as a tool for driving in fence posts. Always use equipment suitable for the job e.g. a tractor mounted post-driver.

For further guidance on Fencing work

Using your ATV?

The lambing season could potentially be one of the busiest times of the year for using ATVs (quad) bikes. When using these machines make sure that you wear a safety helmet and have been adequately trained.  

Besides being a legal requirement, many of the fatalities and serious injuries that have occurred could have been prevented by simply wearing a helmet and being trained in their safe use, including the use of any towed equipment or attachments.  It is also very important to ensure that the machine is properly maintained.

The information sheet Safe use of ATVs provides guidance on their safe use and maintenance.

Whilst on the subject of lambing, we would also like to remind pregnant women to avoid close contact with sheep during the lambing season.  

Further advice on avoiding farmed animals that are giving birth  

Farm Attractions

As we will be approaching the busy Easter holiday season when families are likely to visit farm attractions, farmers are reminded to do their bit in reducing the risk of infection to visitors.  Whilst it is recognised that the risk cannot be completely eliminated people should follow the guidance contained in the industry code of practice.

Preventing or controlling ill health from animal contact at visitor attractions - Industry Code of Practice

Agriculture website

The agriculture website has been updated with essential information and guidance on health and safety in agriculture. Visit the new safety and health topic pages for further details.

New guidance

A new 4-page Guidance Note onManaging the Safe Receipt of Animal Feeds’ helps inform farmers of the key safety principles when organising feed deliveries on farms.

Produced, by the Farm Safety Partnership. It provides practical guidance on compliance with the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) Code of Practice on Making Safe Deliveries of Animal Feed to Farms.

Managing the Safe Receipt of Animal Feeds 


The incidents listed below help to reinforce the importance of working safely whilst carrying out day to day jobs on the farm.

Working at Height

A farm partnership was fined after a worker was seriously injured in a fall during a dangerous lifting operation. 

Fall Incidents Details

A builder was fined after a worker was injured when he fell through the fragile roof of a cowshed.

Details on worker roof fall                                      Preventing Falls Guidance

The Work at height Access and Information Toolkit (WAIT) has been developed to help you select the most appropriate type of access equipment to use when working at height.

Further information on WAIT

Struck by something falling

A part-time farm worker was left permanently disabled after being crushed by two straw bales that fell on him as he tried to remove them from a seven-metre stack at a farm.

Falling hay bale incident 

Guidance on Safe working with bales in agriculture 




Any ideas for improving the eBulletin?Get in touch: agriculture@hse.gsi.gov.uk


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