Health & Safety Update


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From Farm Research Group

October 2011

Health & Safety Update

www.struttandparker.com

Welcome to Strutt & Parker’s Farm Research Group Health & Safety Update. The quarterly Health & Safety Update is designed to make you think about Health & Safety matters on your farm and/or estate. Health & Safety is a vital part of any business operation. Since the last update more than three people have died on farms and estates whilst carrying out their daily duties. This reinforces how dangerous farms and estates are as a workplace both to those that are familiar with their surroundings and to visitors who do not know the property. Ensuring that your farm/estate/home/workplace is safe for you and your employees to work on is essential but it is also a requirement to protect visitors to your premises be that contractors, the general public or trespassers. A number of retail outlets throughout the UK have joined with the HSE for this year’s Ladder Exchange programme. The initiative aims to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from falls from height in the workplace by giving you the opportunity to trade in your faulty and defective ladders for discounted new ones. The 2011 scheme will run for 3 months from 1 September until 30 November. For further assistance on these or any other issues please call your nearest Strutt & Parker Office.

1. Reviewing Health & Safety Health & Safety should be an on-going process through proper inductions, regular checks of plant and machinery, training employees in order that they are kept up to date with new technology and that they are going about their regular tasks in safe and efficient manner. Policies should be reviewed regularly and updated to take account of the continuous changing environment that businesses are subject to. Policies should be reviewed as a minimum annually but also whenever there is a significant change such as a change in the business structure, new machinery being operated, new land being taken on, new employees and when changes in legislation occur. Reviewing Health & Safety is essential to adhere to legal requirements but also to ensure that systems are in existence, are adequate and used to protect the business, its employees and others including visitors and trespassers. A review should incorporate a physical inspection, interviews with all employees; from directors and partners through to the harvest student, it should also be documented to provide evidence that the business is meeting its obligations. The aim of a review is to identify strengths and weaknesses and then look to improve any weaknesses or failures to minimise the risk of accidents or ill-health occurring.

2. Health & Safety Statutory Posters Employers have a legal duty under the Health & Safety Information for Employees Regulations to display the approved poster in a prominent position in each workplace or to provide each worker with a copy of the approved leaflet outlining British health and safety law. The statutory poster which is to be found at all places of work has been replaced, the 2009 poster replaces the version which was published in April 1999. The 2009 leaflet is now in a more convenient format as a pocket card and replaces the leaflet published in April 1999.

(EMAS), for the premises. The 2009 poster or pocket cards must be replaced no later than 5 April 2014. The new poster is as below.

Unlike the 1999 version, the 2009 poster and pocket card do not require the employer to provide further information in writing, either on the poster, or with the pocket card, giving workers the name and address of the enforcing authority, and the address of the office of HSE's Employment Medical Advisory Service

Farm Research Group | Health & Safety Update

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From Farm Research Group

October 2011

Health & Safety Update

www.struttandparker.com

3. Health Surveillance Health surveillance is simply looking for and identifying early signs of work-related ill health in employees exposed to certain health risks. It requires procedures to be put in place to achieve this, such procedures include;   

Simple methods, such as looking for skin damage on hands from using certain chemicals; Technical checks on employees, such as hearing and sight tests; More involved medical examinations where necessary.

How do you know whether health surveillance needs to be introduced? Start with your risk assessment. Have you identified health hazards in your workplace, identified who is at risk and taken measures to do something to eliminate, reduce or control that risk? Where the risks remain, you must take further steps; one of which is to consider health surveillance. Health surveillance is not a substitute for controlling health risks; it is a tool in protecting yourself and your employees. Are you or your employees at risk from; In particular, ask yourself whether any of your employees is at risk from:  

Noise or hand-arm vibration. Health surveillance may be needed under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999; Solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agents and other substances hazardous to health. Health surveillance may be needed under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

Health surveillance helps you to protect employees from ill-health caused by being exposed to health risks in the workplace. It enables you to manage these risks effectively by identifying whether the control measures put in place are working and whether further measures need to be taken. In its simplest form, health surveillance involves employees checking themselves for signs or symptoms of ill health, were you are unsure always contact your GP or an occupational physician

4. Protective Clothing for Pesticides Pesticides that are commonly used in the agricultural industry can pose a risk to the health of users if they do not wear adequate protective clothing. A new ISO standard for protective clothing has been set; this should benefit farmers and farm workers in terms of reducing the health risks associated with using liquid pesticides. The new ISO standard 27065:2011 defines specific protection levels thereby enabling pesticide manufacturers to indicate on the product label the level of protection required when handling that pesticide. The standard identifies three levels of protective clothing with specified resistance to penetration from pesticide products;   

Level 1 Potential contamination risk is relatively low e.g. low-spray drift from boom sprayers; Level 2 Potential contamination risk is higher but does not require the use of liquid tight materials; Level 3 Potential contamination risk is high requiring the use of liquid tight materials. This level of protection will be required where it is necessary to prevent liquids from penetrating or permeating.

The new standard should ensure that workers using pesticides will be better protected and consequently the levels of ill-health associated with pesticide use will hopefully reduce. Certainly some pesticide manufacturers are currently reviewing their product container and label design which may incorporate this new standard in the very near future.

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5. Abrasive Wheels The use of cutting and grinding discs is common place in all farm and estate workshops, they are a potentially dangerous piece of equipment. Abrasive wheels are considered to carry such risk that they warrant their own training course and yet frequently farm and estate workers are not trained to use them. An inappropriate selection of cutting or grinding disc for a given task presents a serious hazard to both the operator and others as the risk of disc shatter is greatly increased. Discs are designed specifically for cutting or grinding, not both, and where cutting discs are used they should be selected for either stone or metal as required. Cutting discs should never be used for grinding or vice versa no matter how small the task. Machines and discs should be checked for defects and damage prior to every use, failure to do so presents a hazard to both operator and others. Where abrasive wheels are being used ensure that all guards are in place and functioning correctly, be aware of the direction that debris is being ejected and others working in close proximity. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn which should include, gloves, eye protection and ear protection, if others are working in very close proximity they should also be wearing PPE. Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) may be caused by the vibration from the operation of grinding and cutting machines over prolonged periods so regular breaks from the machine should be taken.

6. Portable Appliance Testing Nearly a quarter of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable or transportable equipment but there is not a legal requirement to inspect and test all types of portable electrical equipment used in the workplace through Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). However, employers are duty bound under The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 to ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. Once the autumn work starts to draw to an end and winter approaches more time will be spent in the workshop repairing and servicing equipment before it is put away for another year in many cases this will require the use of fixed and hand operated power tools. It is therefore necessary to ensure that these tools are safe for operation. All tools should be checked carefully prior to use, in the case of power tools the outer casings should be checked for damage, the lead and plugs must be examined for any loose connections or damage and ensure any guards are correctly fitted, functional and undamaged. Cost-effective maintenance of portable electric equipment is vital and can be achieved by a combination of;   

Checks by the operator; Formal visual inspections by a person trained and appointed to carry them out; Combined inspection and tests by an electrically competent person or by a contractor.

Checks by the operator should be carried out prior to use, formal inspections such as PAT testing should be carried out at least annually on all appliances and this should be carried out by a NIC EIC registered electrician.

7. Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) From 10 September 2009 Driver CPC became a mandatory requirement for anyone who drives or wishes to drive Category C or D (including subcategories C1 and D1) vehicles, weighing in excess of 3.5 tonnes and in excess of 12 tonnes respectively. Driver CPC is a different qualification to the transport operations CPC and therefore must be taken in addition if you wish to continue to drive Category C and D vehicles professionally. The Driver CPC training must be renewed every 5 years through continued training. Holding a vocational Driving Licence will no longer be sufficient for anyone driving these vehicles for a living, the aim is to improve road safety and to reduce road casualties. This is being achieved through approved training programmes; drivers are required to complete 35 hours of training prior to 10 September 2014; the training must be completed in 7 hour blocks, the 35 hours could be completed in consecutive 5 days. The training is classed as other work and must be recorded as such. Farm Research Group | Health & Safety Update

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Land Management Department Nick Watson MRICS FAAV Tel: 01273 407051 [email protected] Farming Department Will Gemmill BSc FAAV MBPR (Agric) Tel: 01245 258201 [email protected] Development Land and New Homes Simon Kibblewhite BSc (Hons), BA, FRICS, MCIArb Tel: 020 7318 5177 [email protected] Accounting and Taxation Services Will Gemmill BSc FAAV MBPR (Agric) Tel: 01245 254607 [email protected] Town and Country Planning Department Craig Noel BA MSc Dip Up FRGS MRTPI Tel: 01273 473411 [email protected] Building Surveying Michael Verity MA MRICS FAAV Tel: 01244 354854 [email protected] National Estate Agency Michael Fiddes BA MRICS Tel: 020 7318 5192 [email protected] Estate & Farm Agency Mark McAndrew MRICS Tel: 020 7318 5171 [email protected]

Every effort has been made to ensure the information provided within this document is fully accurate. However Strutt & Parker LLP accept no responsibility if recipients should act upon any of the information without seeking the appropriate professional advice.