Farm safety

These tips are intended as a general guide – contact your risk management adviser for specific advice on how to minimise the risks your farm may be exposed to.

Safety around machinery

  • Ensure all power take-off shafts are adequately guarded
  • Tractors must be properly maintained with cabs or safety frames fitted to OECD standard. Always remember to have the hand brake on and cab locked when not in use
  • Ensure all vehicles and trailers have mirrors, lights and indicators in good working order
  • Ensure any chain saws are fitted with a chain brake, safety chain, chain catcher, chain breakage guard and safety throttle
  • Work safely with pressurised hydraulic oils

Safety with livestock

  • Proper and regular maintenance of cattle handling units, cattle crushes and holding pens is essential
  • Bulls to be ringed and the ring regularly inspected
  • Make sure holding fields for dangerous animals are securely fenced off

Children’s safety

  • Do not carry children as passengers on attachments or trailers
  • Keep slurry pits covered
  • Keep chemicals and pesticides safely stored
  • Children are involved in one third of all accidents, so educate them on safety and regularly reinforce that message

Slurry pits

  • Make sure everyone on your farm is aware of the hazards of the slurry pit, including the production of dangerous gases such as hydrogen sulphide and ammonia
  • High levels of ventilation during agitation are vital
  • Only undertake agitation of the pit with two people present, if possible
  • Always avoid naked flames near pits

Farm health hazards

  • Asthma or ‘Farmers' Lung’ can be caused by close work to spores, moulds and organic dusts, so wear a dust mask
  • Leptospirosis can be caused by contact with stagnant water containing rats’ urine; symptoms are similar to a very bad attack of flu
  • Brucellosis outbreaks still occur – always take precautions around infected animals
  • Lyme disease can be transferred to humans by tick bites; keep arms and legs covered where possible and be alert to irritations and bites

Electrical Safety

  • All wiring and electrical installations must comply with the government regulations
  • Avoid temporary repairs by untrained people
  • Watch out for incorrectly installed fuses, loose plug tops, faulty equipment and frayed cables
  • Safe work procedures are essential near high voltage overhead lines. Fit RCDs with 30mA setting on all 220 and 380v socket circuits. Regular testing is important

Your Farm Safety Guide

Download our Farm Safety Guide (900kb PDF)

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