Farms feeding sheep in field

Keeping your family safe on the farm

Posted on: 11th April 2020

As schools close, what risks are there on your farm and what can be done to prevent these accidents from happening? 

In light of Covid-19, we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation, which is testing the resolve of a whole nation.  Schools and businesses across the country have closed their doors, and as we enter lockdown, thoughts are firmly focussed on all things health and safety.  Here, Paul Graham, Managing Director for H&H Insurance Brokers, talks about importance of ensuring the safety of children on the farm:

“For most, keeping safe under self-isolation presents one set of challenges, however when your home is a farm, these are somewhat different. Farms are one of the most dangerous places to work but if you add children, the risks increase significantly due to their inquisitive nature and their ability to find danger!  With children home permanently for the foreseeable future, if there was ever a time to reflect on health and safety on your farm, it’s now.”

Large and complex machinery, hazardous substances, electricity, large animals, grain stores to name a few, all pose an enormous threat to children. Where a farm is also a home, it is easy to become blind to risks that you see every day. With this in mind, we recommend conducting a simple risk assessment on your farm to identify any risks and implement a plan to make it safer. These changes could mean the difference between life and death.

Most importantly, supervision of a child by an adult following health and safety guidelines should reduce all risks.  In addition to supervision comes education of children so that they have a good understanding on health and safety and boundaries of what they can and can’t do on the farm. Providing a dedicated secure safe place for them to play will also reduce the chance of straying.  With these in mind, the following should also be addressed:

Farm Machinery
It is against the law for a child under 13 to ride on or drive agricultural self-propelled machines (such as tractors), so keep these locked with no keys accessible and front-end loaders lowered to the ground.  To avoid the risk of hitting a child outside of the machine, keep children away from places with vehicle movements.

The Risks from Animals
Sadly there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ animal as they could be carrying a disease, or under medication that makes them act out of character. Ensure that children cannot enter any yard, field or pen occupied by potentially dangerous animals.

Electricity
Contact with electricity can kill, cause serious burns and disabling injuries.  As with minimising exposure around the home, create boundaries to any electrical areas that could cause harm to a child.

Hazardous Substances
Farms need to store dangerous chemicals to function, so it is imperative to keep anything hazardous locked away at all times.

Hazardous Places on a Farm
Slurry pits and lagoons, reservoirs, sheep dips, haystacks, grain intake pits and grain bins are all dangerous places. It is recommended to locks doors or create boundaries using covers, fencing and padlock gates for these areas.

Climbing Dangers
Any climbing scenario could potentially create an opportunity for a curious child, if you add height to this, it increases the risk.  Ensure any areas which could cause danger are secured or locked away as well as the means to climb e.g. ladders.

Social-distancing
Coronavirus is a new farm danger. Children should be educated on the 2m distance rule for those outside the household and stringent hand washing to prevent spread of the virus.

Paul concludes: “Essentially farms are workplaces, not playgrounds, so it’s important not to underestimate the curiosity of a child. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to health and safety, especially when these accidents could be very serious.  I would encourage all farmers to walk their land regularly and identify and rectify any potential dangers their children or any other person could face.”

H&H Insurance Brokers is an independent insurance broker, who in addition to providing competitive farm insurance, recognises the importance of providing its clients with access to a solution to support them with their health and safety compliance through H&H Safety – if you’d like more information contact us

What our customers think

Did her very best to help
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04 September 2020

Luke Conn - Goodman @ H & H was nothing but helpful right from the word go, he was polite and tried to understand our business . H & H were recommended by a friend and they were a pleasing experience compared to other companies i had tried. I have already recommended H & H and yes i will hopefully use them again.

03 September 2020

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03 September 2020

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John - 03 September 2020

Great Service
It is always a pleasure to see Edith from H&H who has looked after us for a long time. She always makes sure we have the appropriate cover in place.

John - 03 September 2020

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Paul - 03 September 2020

Good service
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Gordon - 04 August 2020

five star very good very helpfull

04 August 2020

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Mandy - 04 August 2020

Comprehensive
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Victoria - 04 August 2020

Excellent service. Many thanks.

John - 04 August 2020

Friendly and helpful service, replied to queries promptly and gave the best quote. Will definitely consider using next year.

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04 August 2020

Excellent
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Julie - 03 July 2020

My broker, Jacinta, was great. She took a quite complicated set of requirements and gave me a detailed quote. She spent time going through the terms with me and was very patient when I forgot to send some of the information!

Amy - 03 July 2020

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their system all seemed to work well even during the lockdown with return calls always being made and all queries being sorted promptly.

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