Safety on Farms - A Shared Responsibility

Managing safety on farms - assessing the risk

A hazard is defined as something with the potential to cause harm, for example a substance, machine, piece of equipment or a situation, such as working at heights.

A risk is the likelihood that a hazard will cause harm and its level of severity in actual circumstances, such as the number of people that could be affected.

For example, a crop protection product is a hazard, however, the risk of a crop protection product causing harm can be reduced by locking it in a secure pesticide store.

Hazards and risks can be reduced through effective risk assessment. Risk assessment is an evaluation of the chance that harm will occur. The object of any risk assessment is to prevent loss, whether this loss is due to injury or damage.

The aim of the risk assessment is to identify the hazards to employees and others, to consider the likelihood that the hazard will cause harm and to enable all parties to plan, introduce and monitor preventative measures to ensure that risks are controlled at all times.

All employees, contractors and visitors have a duty to take care of themselves and others and to co-operate with the employer. They should ensure compliance with the workplace health and safety policy to enable the business to carry out their statutory duties.

The following list will assist employers in carrying out their risk assessment, a legal requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Advice about compiling a risk assessment is available from the HSE - contact details are contained in the Further Guidance section of this document.

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