Safety on the Farm.
This year to date a number of people has been killed in the Agricultural / Forestry sector alone. 80 to 90 percent of all workplace accidents are triggered by unsafe behaviour. The very young and the old are most at risk of serious injury and death on the farm. Farmers and those employed in the agricultural sector need to be aware that reducing accidents and improving safety on the farm can only be achieved by systematically identifying and reversing those unsafe behaviours in the workplace. A core part of Behavioural safety is also the process of risk assessment.
For example at risk behaviours include climbing over an unprotected or badly maintained PTO guard resulting in entanglement and loss of life / limb, improperly operated or defective farm machinery causing crush injuries, drowning in improperly guarded slurry pit. These are in the direct control of the farm owner, and therefore can be targeted for improvement via a behavioural safety initiative.
Simply put, a behavioural safety procedure is designed to identify the small proportion of unsafe behaviours implicated in the lion’s share of accidents and injuries (80/20 rule). Some of these have already been outlined above. By putting these behaviours on a simple checklist and involving your wife or teenage Son / Daughter to use the check list to observe and record any at risk behaviours they see while a specific job of work is undertaken on the farm. Remember all positive behaviours are also recorded and the percentage of at risk behaviours can then be calculated and compared with subsequent safety observations in order to pin point areas of improvement.
This process requires only that you be honest with your self and by involving other family members / employees it will nurture a culture of good Health & Safety Practice on the Farm in the long term. Remember, familiarity breeds contempt and the longer we succeed without an accident the more our unsafe behaviours are reinforced and the closer you or your family get to being seriously injured. Behavioural Safety is a proven system, which has greatly reduced accidents and injuries in industry.
For further guidance on establishing a Behavioural safety check list and further information on farm risk assessments you can contact James at Absolute Safety on 071 96 23273, 086 2024152.
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