Health and safety watchdog warns farmers over livestock risks

The focus on livestock is part of a programme of inspections over the next twelve months
The focus on livestock is part of a programme of inspections over the next twelve months

Farmers are being told they must pay closer attention to health and safety after concerns are raised over recent livestock handling incidents.

Each year a number of people are killed or injured in incidents involving cattle.

Last year, eight people died on farms involving livestock - nearly one quarter of the total deaths on British farms.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be visiting farms to encourage farmers to protect themselves, their workers and members of the public from the risks of cattle.



The safety watchdog says it can use enforcement to bring about change if there are no improvements on farms which flout regulations.

The focus on livestock is part of a programme of inspections over the next twelve months to ensure farmers are doing the right things to comply with the law and prevent death, injury and ill-health.



HSE’s Head of Agriculture, Andrew Turner said: “Last year 33 people were killed in agriculture across Britain and those working in the industry need to realise that death, injuries and cases of ill-health are not an inevitable part of farming and can be prevented.

“We must not become complacent and accept this as the norm. Farmers should plan their work, know the risks and use the right controls to ensure that everyone can go home healthy from their work.”

Throughout the inspections, HSE will be reminding workers that when working with livestock, they should have the appropriate controls in place:

• proper handling facilities, which farmers keep in good working order;

• a race and a crush suitable for the animals handled;

• trained and competent workers; and

• a rigorous culling policy for temperamental animals.

It follows the launch of a new safety campaign which aims to reduce on-farm deaths and injuries by 50 percent by 2023.