Hazardous substances are an inherent danger in the farming industry, especially at this time of year, however with the Covid-19 lock down and with children at home permanently it is even more important to be extra vigilant.
H&H Insurance Brokers is working in partnership IRM Safety under the brand of H&H Safety, to promote farm health and safety to the agricultural industry in order to avoid common, often preventable accidents.
”Understanding what hazardous substances your employees, contractors and family could be exposed to is an important step in managing the safety on your farm. From here, measures can be put in place to mitigate against accidents as prevention is always better than cure,” explains Neil Elsender, Managing Director of IRM Safety.
“Health and safety should be at forefront of farmers’ minds at all times, so following some simple steps and walking your farm to address potential risks, is key. And of course thereafter any potential hazards must be corrected to reduce the likelihood of an accident.”
Other than the obvious risks of hazardous substances, there are legislative implications for employers. COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health and covers:
Once you understand what is covered under COSHH, the next step is to put control measures in place and Neil is keen to highlight what to consider.
Despite all your efforts to control their exposure, some workers may still experience symptoms of ill health. It is worthwhile having a trained supervisor to look at workers’ hands for signs of dermatitis and asking about any breathing problems in case the worker needs referring to a doctor. This is especially important when workers are exposed to dust, solvents and sheep dips that can cause health problems from long term exposure.
Other than the priority to keep everyone safe, following health and safety working practices and standards can also help to significantly reduce the number of accidents in your business, explains Paul Graham, Managing Director of H&H Insurance Brokers:
“It’s worth knowing that awareness of and a culture of robust health and safety practices will not only keep the number of incidents and severity of claims down, but it can in turn help lessen any insurance premium increases for your business. Seeking expert advice when looking at your insurance needs is always advisable, even beyond the pandemic.”