The farm as a work environment – general safety concerns
Thinking in terms of a farm as a work environment, is really important in terms of understanding the health and safety issues involved in working on or running a farm. It is important to appreciate that a farm can vary hugely in terms of size and scope of activity. In terms of size it can range from a small holding of a few acres to a large area of land could cover tens of thousands of acres.
A farm can be involved in many different types of agricultural activities. It can be used to grow different types of crop, such as corn, soy bean, wheat, hay or even grass or tree or flower plants. If farm can also have a considerable amount of livestock on it, and many big industrial farms produce beef, dairy, hog, sheep and poultry. There are also many types of fruit and vegetable farms, and in addition many types of garden centres that are of a significant size could also be classified as farms.
The type and layout of land can also vary hugely on a farm. In some areas land is incredibly flat, other areas if farm can have a lot of almost mountainous type terrain, whereas some farms will be a mix of both.
Farms will have a multitude of different types of buildings, with different types of machinery, both fixed and mobile. There will be a wide range of vehicles used on a farm, ranging from heavy duty industrial tractor type diggers, through to normal tractors, through to atv and quad bikes.
A wide range of people will also be involved in running the farm. using Kubota tractors and Kubota equipment. If farm is slightly unique because it is likely to employee people as any business does, but it is also likely to employee or at least make use of the services of family members as well.
Many children grow up on a farm and get used to the way of life from an early age. This can also raise significant issues concerning health and safety, and particular importance needs to be paid to the welfare of young people in any agricultural or farm setting.
There are four main areas of activity that give rise to safety issues surrounding a farm.
These are environmental, personal, work activity and social economic and political factors. All these areas are to an extent unique in the running of a farm because of the nature of safety and how these factors need to be treated in order to make a farm safe environment to work in, but at the same time make sure it is not a risk averse environment.