Warwickshire Rural Hub
Health and Safety
Tips for improving mental wellbeing on farm – take part in a webinar on 8 December
Friday 8 December at 1.00pm
During this webinar organised by RASE Farm of the Future, you will hear about the the practical ways to improve mental health and well-being on the farm. Speakers will share insights, tips and strategies to help prioritise the mental health of you and your team while managing the demands of farming life. Guest speakers will be dairy farmer Sophie Gregory, Sarah Tomlinson from TBAS, Paul Harris from REAL-Success and Alex Phillimore from FCN. David Rose from the Royal Agricultural University will be chairing the session. Register to attend the webinar on this page.
Free programme for businesses which employ drivers
Driving for Better Business is working with the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership to deliver tools, information and resources tailored specifically to help local businesses with staff who drive for work. Driving for Better Business is a government-backed National Highways programme. Their mission is to improve the levels of compliance for all those who drive or ride for work by demonstrating the significant business benefits of managing work-related road risk more effectively. It is free to join and all the resources are free to access and distribute. Check out some of the improvements that have been seen by other local firms and then join the programme to see if your business can benefit. Visit this website to read more.
Advice from the NFU on buying and selling second-hand farming kit
Sales of second hand farming equipment are booming. But when you buy machinery whether new or second hand, you are entering into a contract with the seller – even if the agreement is verbal. And when selling your equipment, it’s important to understand whether you are doing so in the course of your business or as a private individual, as different rights and responsibilities apply. You could be liable for problems that come to light after the sale. The NFU legal and farm safety teams have written an article which gives advice on what the law states and some top tips on buying and selling farming kit. Read the article on this link.
Build a Health and Safety Policy for your business with the Farm Safety Foundation
Farming is a business and every business needs a health and safety policy. If the business employs more than 5 employees, the law says that this policy needs to be in writing. Farm safety is good basic common sense and a health and safety policy doesn’t need to be lengthy or complicated. It just needs to be tailored to your business and set out who does what and when. It is also important to regularly review the policy and keep it up to date.
The Farm Safety Foundation has created an online ‘Build Your Own Health & Safety Policy’ digital tool which will take you through a series of simple questions and create a policy just for you. It’s quick and so easy to do – in fact, it’s so easy you could even do it on your phone. It’s free, it can be changed or updated when needed, and it might just save a life. Visit this page to get started on building your policy.
The new Government emergency alert system is now live
The UK government’s new Emergency Alerts system is now live. The system will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone if their lives are at risk in an emergency. The service will be used to warn you about life-threatening emergencies such as severe flooding.
An Emergency Alert looks and sounds very different to other types of messages such as SMS ‘text messages’. You’ll know if you get an Emergency Alert because you’ll hear a loud, siren-like sound and your phone will use a distinct vibration. A message will appear on your screen until you acknowledge it. You can opt out of receiving the alerts. To ensure the Emergency Alerts system works effectively, the government may occasionally carry out a test of the service. A test is currently scheduled for Sunday 23 April 2023.
You can find out more about this alert system on the Warwickshire Police website. The article includes a list of frequently asked questions.
Sign up for disease alerts from APHA
The Animal and Plant Health Agency offers a free subscription service which allows you to sign up for email or text alerts about disease outbreaks, such as avian flu, blue tongue and foot and mouth. Read more here.
Sepsis Trust raises awareness in the farming community
Recent experience suggests that the farming community is more susceptible to sepsis: due to the nature of their work; their resilience and can-do attitude; their often rural, isolated setting; and a reluctance to have time off and/or seek medical attention when not feeling well. The fact is that farmers workers are at increased risk of becoming infected, so any cuts should be cleaned thoroughly, disinfected and covered before returning to work. Sepsis can also be caused by injuries caused from trauma or by illness. If you, or a loved one displays any of the symptoms displayed below, it’s important that you seek medical attention, urgently:
- Slurred speech or confusion
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain
- Passing no urine (in a day)
- Severe breathlessness
- It feels like you’re going to die
- Skin mottled or discoloured
Visit this page to watch a video about Hannah’s story, a 28 year old farmer from Yorkshire who died from the condition.
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 cafe. Visit this page for further information.
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.
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.
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Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
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Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
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