Warwickshire Rural Hub
Health and Safety
It’s #farmsafetyweek from 19 – 23 July
in 2020/21 a total of 41 people in England, Scotland and Wales were killed in agriculture including 34 farm workers and seven members of the public. In addition, two children have been killed by farming this year and, for an industry that still has between 1 and 2 children being killed through its activities each year, this simply MUST improve.
Organised by the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Week seeks to engage with farmers of all ages to challenge and change attitudes and ultimately make farms safer places to work. Read all about the campaign on this page.
Changes to gamma testing in Edge Area from 12 July
From 12 July all new TB breakdown herds with lesion and/or culture positive animals in the annual surveillance testing parts of the Edge Area will continue to require a mandatory gamma test. All new TB breakdown herds with lesion and/or culture positive animals in the six-monthly surveillance testing parts of the Edge Area will be assessed against criterion for recurrence as for herds in the High Risk Areas. If a herd satisfies the criterion then it will require a mandatory gamma test. For full information on the changes please visit this page.
Mobile warm hub tackles social isolation in Warwickshire
As social isolation has risen due to Covid-19, Warwickshire Rural Community Council believes it’s more important than ever to help our vulnerable residents, particularly those living in villages and rural areas. The WRCC new Mobile Warm Hub service, supported by Cadent, uses a converted community transport minibus to visit rural and semi-rural areas in Warwickshire and Solihull on a daily basis. The bus parks in a suitable location and serves free refreshments for a couple of hours. The Mobile Warm Hub carries leaflets and materials about energy saving and home safety matters, as well as information on a range of other community support services. For information about our Mobile Warm Hub visit to your rural community, please call 01789 777986 (Mon – Thurs, 9.00am – 4.00pm; Fri 9.00am – 1.00pm, answerphone service available outside these times) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RABI to introduce 24/7 helpline in the autumn
Responding to the increasing demand from farming people, RABI is extending its freephone helpline this autumn, to provide the farming community with a 24-hour service. The national farming charity believes that a ‘round the clock’ service will better meet the needs of a sector renowned for working long and often unpredictable hours.
New CHeCS entry level TB membership
CHECS TB Entry Level Membership is designed to initiate discussions between farmer and veterinary surgeon about biosecurity and disease pathways. The CHECS TB programmes aim to help cattle farmers take a proactive approach to controlling TB and reduce risk of a breakdown. The programmes are especially advantageous if you are:
Risk of avian influenza reduced to low
The risk of avian influenza in poultry with good biosecurity has been reduced to ‘low’, the government has confirmed today (14 May). The requirements that were brought in 11 November 2020 and the additional biosecurity measures introduced on 31 March will be lifted on Saturday 15 May. All poultry and bird gatherings will also be permitted, provided organisers notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency at least 7 days before the event takes place. Food standards bodies advise that bird flu poses a ‘very low’ food safety risk for consumers, and it does not affect the consumption of poultry products including eggs. Poultry keepers are advised to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek advice from their vet if they have any concerns
May is skin cancer awareness month
Three out of five skin cancers occur on the head and neck – so please remember to protect yourself when working outdoors, especially if the UV index is 3 or higher. To download an advice sheet on safe skin care please visit this page.
Website to track bovine TB outbreaks
The Animal and Plant Health Agency has launched an online interactive mapping tool for ongoing and resolved TB breakdowns in England and Wales over the past 10 years. The site can be used to find out about the bovine TB situation in your local area, and when purchasing cattle. Visit the site here.
Take 2 minutes to complete the Tractor Wheel of Life
A healthy and resilient business is all about balance. The 2 Minute Farmer is a project which has identified 10 areas that contribute to a balanced farm life and these are all included in a self-assessment tool called the ‘Tractor Wheel of Life’. As the wheel is still in development farmers are being asked to test out the prototype and complete the feedback form. You can either complete the Wheel online or request a paper copy. To download the Tractor Wheel of Life and find out more about the project 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.
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.
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Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
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Hub Steering Group Members
George Bostock, NFU
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