Farms feeding sheep in field

First Aid for Farmers

Posted on: 12th November 2019

The farm environment is the highest risk workplace environment and this week H&H Group launches what is believed to be the UK’s first farm-specific first aid course tailored specifically for the farming community.  This group training event, First Aid for Farmers, will be held on Wednesday 11 December at Borderway Mart, Carlisle.

The aim of First Aid for Farmers is to take the angst out of what you can and should do in an emergency and provide a practical scenario-based training to lead farmers through various incidents that could happen in a farm environment and the best course of action to take.  Being delivered by qualified doctors and paramedics, along with student paramedics from Cumbria University, the course will include potential real-life scenarios such as:

  • Treatment of crush injury from quad bike / trampled by cattle
  • Severe bleeding due to amputation
  • Impalement on equipment such as baler spike
  • How to assess non-responsive casualties

This specialist farm-focussed first-aid training First Aid for Farmers is a joint safety support initiative devised in partnership with H&H SafetyCarrs Billington and Johnston Tractors. It is available to all farmers on a first-come-first served basis at £49.99 + VAT.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE,) the body that governs workplace legislation, repeatedly puts the farming community under the spotlight as an extremely high-risk area, with pressure on farmers to better manage their workplace risk or face the consequences of penalties.

Death or serious injury is always a near and present danger on a working farm and many workers in the agricultural industry work alone with livestock and complex machinery, so it is not just a case of a cut finger. H&H Group believes it is imperative to help minimise the implications of an accident by giving farmers the opportunity to learn basic first aid skills specific to the farming industry.

This course has been driven by Non-Executive Director Colin Lindsay, a renowned Cumbrian Vet, and here he gives further details to the background: “In the farming industry, we expose ourselves to danger daily, it is the nature of the job.  Real life emergencies happen out in the field and they can be extremely serious.  Sometimes, resultant injuries can not be fixed by basic first aid, but the actions that are taken whilst help is being sought can literally be the difference between life or death.”

This is where this specialist course comes in.  It is about what can be done to make a difference to the outcome in the first 15-30 minutes whilst an ambulance arrives.  Actions taken at this point can make a huge difference and H&H Group has teamed up with specialist trauma healthcare professionals to develop this very bespoke course.

Colin believes this is the first course of its kind and explains where the seed of the idea came from: “I am a vet by background so know about emergency treatment, I also enjoy mountaineering and travelling in remote locations for which we have had to do first aid survival courses.  When I was talking to a friend from the Army Medical Core, we started to discuss whether we should be getting farmers up to speed on how to survive in a serious emergency.

“This led to us discussing practical advice such as how to do tourniquets and deal with head trauma or abdominal trauma as well as what sort of pocket trauma kit or medical kit would be needed on a tractor.  In addition, there are several available apps which, when you call the emergency services, will give them a GPS location – essential when working in fields away from the main yard. Indeed, some of these phone apps allow the emergency services to use the camera and assess the situation whist the ambulance is on its way.  The question hanging in the air though was: is this kind of training available in the farming community, and if not, what can we do to bridge that gap?”

The Health & Safety (FirstAid) Regulations 1981 require all employers to provide first aid equipment and facilities in the case of injury or illness at work, but it is a grey area as to what it means to the farming community. So included in this course will be the legislative requirements in terms of the first aid expectations and details of:

  • The aims of first aid, scene safety and the role of the First Aider
  • Assessing a casualty using the Primary Survey
  • Unresponsive and breathing casualty – recovery position
  • Unresponsive and not breathing casualty – CPR using current Resuscitation Council UK Guidelines
  • AED (Automated External Defibrillator) – Rationale for using the AED, safe use, reporting/recording, handover to the emergency services
  • Treatment of crush injury, amputation, impalement and severe bleeding.

Across its business H&H Group, which includes Harrison and HetheringtonH&H Land & Estates and H&H Insurance Brokers, works with farmers and rural businesses to deliver the highest quality support services and this course is takes this to the next level.  H&H Safety is a trading name of H&H Insurance Brokers, who offers independent advice on all aspects of rural and business insurances.  For further information or to book your place on the course please email us

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