Legislation & Enforcement
The 2005 Act requires
- a safe place of work which includes the farmyard and buildings
- safe working practices and procedures
- safe equipment and machinery
- a safe way in and out of the farmyard and other places of work, including farm buildings
- information and training for workers
- personal protective equipment where necessary
- a safe system for the storage, handling and use of articles and substances
- adequate toilet and washing facilities
Self-employed farmers have similar duties to employers. Farmers must conduct their operations in such a manner so as not to put persons at risk (e.g. visitors, especially children and contractors)
Farmers must notify any work accident which prevents anyone carrying out their normal duties for more than three calendar days. Specified dangerous occurrences such as fires, explosions and chemical spillages must also be notified
Farm Workers Must
- take care of themselves and others
- co-operate with their employers
- use any personal protective equipment provided
- not misuse or interfere with anything provided for their safety
- report any hazards they become aware of
- consult with their employer on matters of safety and health
- take account of any training and instruction which they have been given
The safety, health and welfare of farmers and their workers are secured by the following legislation
Safety Statement Requirements
- A farmer is required by law to prepare a Safety Statement in writing and consult employees on its contents. He/she must specify how these risks are to be controlled. A farmer's Safety Statement must set out the arrangements and resources provided
- The 2005 Act allows certain employers (including farmers) with three or less employees to comply with the terms of a Code of Practice as an alternative to preparing a SafetyStatement
- The Safety Statement must be made available to all employees on the farm
- The Safety Statement contents of the must be brought to the attention of any people who may be at risk
- Staff responsible for safety tasks must be named in the Safety Statement
- An Inspector from the Health and Safety Authority may examine your Safety Statement. If it is inadequate, the Inspector can direct you to revise it within 30 days.
A specialist group of Inspectors exist for inspection of the Agriculture sector. Inspection campaigns over recent years have found that levels of compliance in the sector are slowly increasing. However, the sector continues to experience a disproportionately high level of fatal accidents.
In 2011 the HSA carried out 3,000 farm inspections. During those inspections Notices were issued.
- An Improvement Notice is a legal directive from an Inspector requiring that certain improvements be carried out in a specified time-frame
- A Prohibition Notice is a legal instruction directing that a specified work activity be stopped due to the level of danger
Inspectors of the Authority have power to enter any place of work at any reasonable time. Further details of what to expect are available on our website.