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Agriculture at Christmas – Things to watch out for



We are continuing on our ‘Elf and Safety’ series in the lead-up to Christmas; this week with an instalment looking at working within Agriculture during the winter months.


Agriculture is considered the riskiest industry sector, with the cost of injury at around £190 million per annum and almost one person a week, on average, is killed as a direct result of agricultural work.


Common causes of injury

  • Slips, trips and falls (from both height and the same level)

  • Struck by objects in motion

  • Machinery related injuries

  • Injuries sustained from animals


All of the above causes of non-fatal injuries are further amplified during winter, with ice and snow on the ground making injury far more likely.


Case Study


A 37 year-old man was felling a tree in which another tree was hung up. The dead tree slid down the trunk of the tree being felled crushing him. He died from head injuries.


Hung-up trees introduce a much greater level of risk to any felling operation. Trees should not be felled until any associated hung-up trees are dealt with.


As a business owner, especially in such a potentially dangerous environment, you have a duty of care to ensure that any risks endured by your workforce are lessened to a reasonable level. You can do this by:

  • Having a robust Health and Safety management system in place

  • Making sure that Risk Assessment and Method Statements are used and adhered to

  • Keeping on top of your site safety

  • Walkways should be gritted in icy conditions and kept clear of debris

  • Up-to-date and legible signage should be in use where appropriate

  • Risks specific to your site should be considered and assessed accordingly


If you need help with your business’ Health and Safety requirements, Base Solutions are able to provide consultancy and training tailored to you. Don’t wait for a lost time injury to strengthen your Health and Safety protocols.



Sources: Case study, HSE Agriculture