Wednesday January 1 2014

ELAS Works With Farm Owners to Create a Safer Working Environment for Staff

ELAS Works With Farm Owners to Create a Safer Working Environment for Staff

ELAS are working together with farm owners to protect themselves from the ever increasing number of deaths and injuries on their land.


The ELAS Agricultural Safety Passport has been developed for all farm workers to undertake. The passport is designed to provide piece of mind to farm owners that all their staff, however experienced, understand the importance of safety while carrying out their day-to-day jobs.


ELAS recognised the need for this type of scheme after the Health and Safety Executive revealed that agriculture has one of the worst fatal accident records of any employment sector.


With one farm worker death each week and more than 2,000 reported accidents every year, this is much more than other dangerous industries such as construction or manufacturing.


This has been reflected in the news, which is filled with stories relating to tragic accidents in agriculture, with many more going unreported.


What is more, failure to make farm workers aware of safety can have a financial effect on resource-stretched farmers as failure due do this can make them liable for uncapped fines and imprisonment.


Just this week, a farm owner was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £40,000 after an inexperienced employee was killed handling dangerous machinery.


The ELAS Agricultural Safety Passport is designed to educate farm workers by offering key advice about risk management, vehicle safety and operating machinery, ensuring a safe and sustainable future for all.


The course was designed in response to HSE statistics that cite less than 1.5 per cent of the working population are employed in agriculture, yet the sector is responsible for between 15 and 20 per cent of fatalities to workers each year.


The Agricultural Safety Passport is free to farm owners allowing them to train all of their employees, whether that is family members, seasonal staff or migrant workers. 


Wayne Dunning (pictured), lead health and safety consultant at ELAS, says: “The agriculture industry continues to score the highest in ill-heath according to the HSE, the results of which are devastating to farmers, their workers and families."


“Farm owners working together with ELAS can go some way towards tackling what is a very prevalent issue in the agricultural community. Ensuring they strike a balance between making a good living and ensuring that they do so safely.”

During July, farm owners can register and put their staff on this course for free. It will be priced at £20 thereafter with a permanent buy one get one free offer.


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