Warwickshire Rural Hub
Health and Safety
Businesses urged to encourage staff without Covid-19 symptoms to get tested regularly
Warwickshire businesses are being urged to get their staff tested regularly using one of six centres in the county for those without symptoms of COVID-19. The test centres are in Bedworth, Nuneaton, Leamington, Rugby, Stratford and Water Orton, WCC is urging key workers with no symptoms, especially those whose roles require them to work outside their homes, who come into contact with others and who can’t get a test through a different channel, to book a test immediately. These tests are not for people who have been identified as a close contact of a case and asked to self-isolate. Tests are available for booking between 8.15am and 8pm, Monday to Friday and 10.15am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Please do not visit the test centre if you have symptoms of COVID-19. To ensure the safety of all those visiting the test centre, people are asked to book online at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covidcommunitytesting to help to reduce queue’s outside test centres.
RABI Big Farming Survey launches today (11 Jan)
On 11 January the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) launched the largest ever research project relating to the well-being of the farming community. This wide ranging survey will consider for the first time the relationship between physical health, mental wellbeing and the farm business. RABI has an ambitious target of gathering 26,000 survey responses and is asking everyone in the sector to support the project. Their Chief Executive says “by setting aside 15 minutes to complete the survey, you’ll be contributing towards creating an accurate picture of farming life today. The data that’s collected will enable RABI and our partners to develop effective tools and support strategies for farming people in years to come.”
Conducted by the University of Exeter, the survey is open to all farmers, farm workers, their spouses and adult-aged children until 31 March 2021.
Free emotional well-being support for small businesses from WCC
Many small and micro businesses don’t have an HR professional to provide support to employees struggling with stress and anxiety so Warwickshire County Council is extending its successful internal Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to the employees and owners of micro and small businesses, with 10 or less employees, operating in the towns of Warwickshire. The Employee Assistance Programme provides access to practical and emotional support on a wide range of topics including work, career, relationship, family, money management, debt, health and wellbeing. Businesses need register their interest in this free service with no obligation to access the programme. They then make employees aware of the support and how to access the 24/7, 365 a day helpline. Please visit this page for further information.
Website to help sheep farmers control parasites
Better and more targeted parasite control in sheep can lead to improvements in flock health and performance. The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) is an industry-led group formed to develop sustainable strategies for parasite control in sheep, facilitate and oversee the delivery of these recommendations to the industry and ensure that new research and development is incorporated to refine and improve advice given to the sheep industry. Their website can be accessed here.
RABI launches online mental health support
The farming charity Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution has launched a partnership with Qwell and Kooth to provide a free, confidential online community and counselling service for farmers and their families. The initiative features two distinct sites – Qwell.io/rabi for adults, while Kooth.com/rabi is tailored to those aged 11-17. The websites include dedicated farmer friendly content that addresses farming sector specific challenges such as loneliness, Brexit anxiety, animal health and crop disease and farm debt. Users will be able to anonymously access farmer specific and more generic content, as well as a wealth of discussion boards, case studies and messaging functions. There are many tools, such as a journal to record and track progress against personal goals, as well as tips and articles. In addition, all users can access one-to-one counselling support from BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) recognised, qualified professionals through a chat function. The practitioners are trained in different forms of counselling, allowing them to meet individual needs and preferences.
Search before you dig with the free to use online search service
Did you know that it’s National Safe Digging Week ending on 26 September 2020? Over one third of farmers have hit an underground pipe or cable whilst digging, or know a colleague that has – and tragically, 33 percent of these incidents resulted in fatalities. To dig safely consider using www.linesearchbeforeyoudig.co.uk – a free to use online search service where any individual can check their works against owners’ utility assets. These assets include hundreds of thousands of kilometres of underground and overhead pipelines and cables in the electricity, gas, high pressure fuel/oil, heating, water and fibre optic networks.
Coventry Corsairs Rugby Club
Coventry Corsairs is Coventry’s first fully inclusive Rugby Club. They train at Coventrians in Holbrooks on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings 7pm – 8.30pm. All ages and abilities and anyone with a love of rugby are welcome. For contact details please visit this page.
It’s OK not to be OK
What3words: the app that could save your life
What3words is a free app that points to a very specific location in the world. It has divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m by 3m (10ft by 10ft) and each having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address. When you download the app it will find your location and give you the 3 words that are assigned to your location – which can be given to emergency services to enable them to locate you straight away. The app does not need a phone connection to give you your three words.
Download the Farmers’ Guardian guide to safeguarding your farm
For Farm Safety Week (14 – 22 July) Farmers’ Guardian has published an Intelligence Guide for Health and Safety, making sure that in a time of increasing numbers of farm fatalities you can take steps to better safeguard your farm and your future. Download your copy here.
The little book of minding your head
There are a number of mental health risk factors associated with agriculture. Farmers work long hours, often in isolation. They can be under significant financial pressure, often required to take on significant debt to purchase the land and equipment required to operate. And in most cases, a farmer’s place of business is also his or her home, meaning there is no easy way to get away from the workload. Increased understanding, and discussions around mental health will, in time, reduce the discrimination experienced by those who have mental health issues. The Farm Safety Foundation’s Little Book of Minding Your Head offers a pocket guide to understanding mental health and stress management. Download your copy here.
Good Farm Guide published by Health and Safety Executive
A guide entitled “What a good farm looks like” has been published by Health and Safety Executive. The guide will help farmers understand the common risks to health and safety on farms and what can be done to control them. HSE Inspectors will also look at the topics covered in this guide when they visit farms to check that risks are being controlled in these areas. The guide can be accessed here.
Livestock safety focus from the Farm Safety Partnership
The NFU and partners in the Farm Safety Partnership are highlighting steps that farmers can take to better manage risk to themselves, their workers and to the public.
The key messages to industry they are promoting are:
1. Select and use well designed handling facilities, in the yard, buildings and field. Keep them maintained.
2. Never enter an enclosure with a loose bull or when an unrestrained cow is with a calf unless the animals are restrained or segregated.
3. Remove aggressive animals from the herd.
4. Wherever possible separate livestock from the public and select fields without rights of way when cattle have calves at foot.
Further information can be viewed here.
Farm Safety Partnership aims to reduce fatal accidents by 50%
The NFU and partners in the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) have committed to work towards reducing farm work place fatal accidents by 50% by 2023. To help achieve this ambition, the NFU and FSP partners are launching a year-long safety campaign focusing attention on four of the top causes of farm work place fatality and injury. The aim of the campaign is to highlight changes that can be made by farmers to farm work place behaviours which, if implemented, have the potential to significantly improve the safety record of agriculture and save lives often at minimal cost.
The first quarter‘s campaign focuses on transport. A new NFU Vehicle Health Check Guide has been released to help farmers maintain and use vehicles safely and comply with the law. The guide can be downloaded here.
Tips for reducing fire risk
Every year in the UK, 1,700 farm buildings and 66,000 acres of grassland are destroyed by fire.
Tips to consider for reducing fire risk:
• Hay and straw should be removed from fields as soon as possible after harvesting
• Hay and straw should be stored separately from other buildings, particularly those housing fuels, agrochemicals and machinery in stacks of reasonable size, spaced at least 10 metres apart separately from livestock housing
• Petrol, diesel and other fuels should be stored in secure areas and storage tank outlets should be padlocked.
• Fertilisers and pesticides should be kept under lock and key. The Health & Safety Executive can provide further advice on the storage and transportation of fertilisers, particularly ammonium nitrate.
• Rubbish should be disposed of safely and on a regular basis
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue state that it is very important to ensure that the property name whether a farm, house or business is clearly shown at the entrance so emergency services can locate your property as quickly as possible.
Beware of waste materials in animal bedding
During routine inspections the Environment Agency has discovered instances where waste materials, such as plasterboard and wood contaminated with plastics, metals and other hazardous material have been used as animal bedding on farms. This may be harmful to livestock, the environment, is illegal and can be very expensive to clean up. Farmers should be present during the delivery of waste materials to their farm. Ensure that simple checks are made on whether the waste is to the same specification as you agreed and that it is free from contaminants. Wrongly described waste, contaminated waste or waste that is not allowed under a U8 exemption should be rejected. For more information please contact the Environment Agency.
Would you Like to
Donate to the Hub?
A donation to the Rural Hub of any amount is always gratefully received. However, only donations of over £100 can be acknowledged on our Hub Supporter's page. A donation can be paid by cheque, BACS, standing order or by the Paypal link below. If you would like our bank details please contact the Co-ordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm, Kenilworth
Warwickshire, CV8 1PR
Tel: 07780 159291
Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
Henry Lucas (Chair)
Graham Collier (Deputy Chair)
Hub Steering Group Members
George Bostock, NFU
Andrew Cook, Farmer
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall
Marcus Faulkner, Sheldon Bosley Knight
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
The Warwickshire Rural Hub accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from any action taken in reliance on the information contained on this website.
© 2018 Warwickshire Rural Hub. All rights reserved.