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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Health and Safety

Advice on how to ramp up bio-security against Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza remains an environmental threat, and it is expected that, when colder weather returns, infection pressure will almost certainly increase again.   Protecting poultry sheds, strict recording keeping and introducing a bio-security culture are all discussed in this advice note from the Animal and Plant Health Authority.  Read some of the issues they uncovered on their investigations of farms hit by the virus in the 2021/22 outbreak.

Advice on using fertilisers safely from YARA

Yara has produced a guide which gives information on how to use fertilisers safely on the farm.  Topics covered include safe handling, good housekeeping practice, security, minimising environmental impacts and the importance of reading product labels.  Download the leaflet here.  

Working outside in hot weather poses serious risks to health – stay safe with advice from NFU

HSE guidelines state that UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for those who work outdoors.  Keep yourself and your employees safe with these steps:

  • Keep a supply of sun cream of at least SPF15 in a convenient location and reapply throughout the day.
  • Stay covered up, with lightweight trousers and long sleeved top.
  • Wear a hat with a brim or a flap that covers the ears and the back of the neck.
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible, and during your breaks and especially at lunch time and during the hottest part of the day.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Check your skin regularly for any unusual moles or spots. See a doctor promptly if you find anything that is changing in shape, size or colour, itching or bleeding

Working in the heat presents an additional set of risks, such as exhaustion and heat stroke.  Keep yourself and your employees safe by following these guidelines:

  • Stay hydrated – keep a bottle of water on you.
  • Avoid dehydrating liquids, such as alcohol, tea, coffee and caffeinated soft drinks, which can hurt more than help.
  • Pace yourself. Slow down and work at an even pace with frequent breaks.  Take off PPE during rest breaks.  Work at cooler times of the day.
  • Use a damp rag to wipe your face or put it around your neck.
  • Eat cold foods, particularly fruit and salads with high water content
  • Be alert to signs of heat-related illness.

Thanks to the NFU.

Advice from AHDB on water supply issues

Extreme weather and temperature changes can make your farm vulnerable to water supply interruptions.  This is particularly the case if you farm livestock – for instance, lactating cows need between 60 to 100 litres of water per day, while lactating sows and gilts may require 15 to 30 litres per day. With threats such as freeze-thaw, droughts and heatwaves being key factors in water supply disruptions, it’s important to stay one step ahead.  This guide by AHDB, put together in partnership with the NFU and Water UK, shares useful advice and explains the support you can expect from your supplier.  You can read the advice here.

Farm Fire Safety Advice

Farms are at a particularly high risk from fire due to increased attendance times owing to isolated locations of farms, narrow access routes, poor water supplies and large amounts of combustible materials stored in or around buildings.   The number of farm fires is on the increase but you can prevent
having a fire on your property by following a few simple rules.  Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service has drawn up a leaflet with advice.

In the event of a fire do not try to tackle the flames yourself and leave this to the Fire Service.  It is essential that they can find you quickly and What3Words will give your exact location.   Download the app free of charge to your ‘phone.

Farm-Fire-Safety-Leaflet-v3_compressed.pdf (warwickshireruralwatch.co.uk)

Lone Worker Safety App is co-designed by farmers

Once installed, the Lone Worker Safety app monitors the user’s movement in terms of motion rather than geographical location and if the users remains motionless for too long a prompt is shown on the user’s phone. If the user does not respond to this prompt an alert is sent to all other phones on the farm with the app installed in addition to sending a text notification to a user set number. This ensures that even if the user is unconscious, others will be made aware of their situation and know that they are potentially at risk within minutes rather than hours of the event occurring. The alarm can also be triggered manually within the app, raising the same alarm and notifying others of the situation.   Visit this page to read more information about the app and how to download it from the Google play store visit this page.  

Set your iphone to call emergency services with 5 clicks of the sleep/wake button

Did you know that you can set your iphone to call emergency services just by pressing the lock button 5 times?  Go to “Settings” and search for Emergency SOS.   You then need to enable “Auto Call”.  You can also select to set a loud warning sound.

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.

FCN booklet “Fit for Farming” for women’s health

Farming Community Network has launched a brand new booklet to help women farmers look after their wellbeing.  The booklet, titled “Fit For Farming – Women’s Health Made Easy”, is a female-friendly version of the original “Fit For Farming” booklet. This new booklet is full of useful advice and guidance about how women can look after their mental and physical health.  For further information please visit this page.  Copies of the booklet will also be available at the Rural Hub “Fit for Farming” events being held at Rugby Livestock Mart, Stratford Livestock Market and other locations during 2021 and 2022.  Visit this page for further information.

It’s OK not to be OK

Please remember its OK not be OK.  Take a look at the Yellow Wellies Mind Your Head page to see where you can access support when the going gets tough.   The Farming Community Network support line is open every day of the year, 7.00am – 11.00pm.

Tel: 03000 111999 or email help@fcn.org.uk

 

 

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.

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The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
2 Church Street, Marton, Rugby CV23 9RL

Email: info@ruralhub.org.uk
Tel: 07780 159291

Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA

 

 

 

 

 

Rural Hub

Co-ordinator

Jane Hampson
E: info@ruralhub.org.uk

Tel: 07780 159291

 

 

 

 

Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Karen Ellis (Chair)
Amy Brant
Rosemary Collier
Emlyn Evans
Ian Jelley
Henry Lucas
Marion Perrett Pearson
Alexandra Robinson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental Steering Group Members

Zoe Bell (Chair)
Tony Beysens
Meehal Grint, Kings Seeds
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
David Ruddock, Middlemarch Environmental
Louis Phipps, Bragborough Estate
Zoe Burrows, Rookery Farm

 

 

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