The farm as a workplace – Farm labor

Working on a farm in any capacity is probably as far as you can get from what would be perceived as traditional 9-to-5 job, if they even exist any more. The nature and type of work on any farm is intense, resulting in long unsociable hours, and all the problems that go with that.

It is likely that people on a farm or work anything from between 60 to 80 hours a week, often starting extremely early in the morning sometimes at sunrise, working right through sometimes into the night. Farm workers will need to be adaptive to the situation in extremes of weather, or if are significant problems with any animals on the farm, or other emergencies that may arise.

There is a real sense of instability in one particular context as to how farms work. They are not static places. Farms are continually changing in terms of the weather that has a huge effect on how they function, and the types and usages of different machinery that take place. The pace of work will vary considerably and this can sometimes be a difficult environment to plan for safely.

There is also less likely to be a distinction between so-called management and labour functions. This has real indications for safety on a farm, in that there is less likely to be a division of labour or responsibilities for specific jobs.

People who were, farm are not going to specialise, which is why unlikely they are going to specialise in one particular area of work. People will be expected to and will want to know as much as they can about all areas of work on the farm, in order to be as useful as possible.

Nature of normal employment practices take pre-much a back seat in farming. This means that so-called normal time off, either days off and holidays simply did not happen why have to be planned for with much care. Equally there is unlikely to be any type of structure by way of training or job learning.

People who work on a farm,with kubota tractors,  perhaps more than any other learn their tradethrough experience and observation, and whilst this is a natural way to learn does raise real safety concerns. That works fine if the operator of the farm is aware of safety issues and plans accordingly.

There is in many ways a real sense of uncertainty about working on a farm. This can be either because of external factors, or changes in farming practice and the use of technology. External factors are primarily things such as the weather, mechanical or tractor breakdowns, or extreme situations no one could plan for.

Farms need to adapt to have a run as a business continually, and the use of technology is a big part in this. This sense of uncertainty means that the level of risk intensifies and again makes safety and planning safety more difficult.

All these things mean that health and safety issues on a farm need to be planned and acted upon in a way and manner that’s other businesses simply cannot do. Safety needs to be a primary instinct of everyone who works on a farm said it becomes a central part of their thinking, rather than anything to do with policies or procedures that people might be aware of and thing they have to follow.

This does not mean that the farm should not have a health and safety policy, or have policies and procedures in lots of areas, such as storage of poisons or use of agricultural machinery. A well-run farm will have well thought out health and safety policies and procedures, but people who were, farm need to have a much more instinctual sense than perhaps other people in different businesses as to how safety can and should be observed in a number of different and challenging situations.