Session 2:
Health and Safety on the Farm

At the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Identify dangers on a typical farm
  • Name the main danger signs on a farm
  • Name the 7 signs of hazardous substances
  • Explain the dangers that machinery, livestock, and objects can cause

Who is responsible for Health and Safety on the farm?

The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are government bodies set up to protect people at work, and those affected by work activities. The health and safety laws apply to all businesses, even the self-employed, as well as employees.

All personnel who work and visit a farm should be aware of all the risks and the dangers associated with farming.

Some dangers are obvious, others are hidden, some are seasonal whilst others are there any time of the year.

Look at the images below. Can you identify the potential hazards?


What dangers did you see?

  • Cows and calves
  • Ewes and lambs: heavy to turn over
  • Cows with horns
  • Lifting a 25kg straw bale incorrectly
  • Dust from straw bale
  • Falling off the clamp when sheeting
  • Poisonous fumes from chemicals
  • Chemical burns
  • Falling off ladders
  • Tractors and machinery

Signs around the farm


Case study:

Case study:

What are the consequences of injury or death on a farm?

There are direct and indirect consequences of poor standards of workplace health and safety practice on both businesses and individuals:

Financial eg:

  • Prosecution fines and legal fees
  • Compensation claims
  • Repairs/replacement of equipment
  • Recruit and train new staff
  • Increased insurance premiums

Emotional eg:

  • Guilt and grief
  • Stress

What are the consequences of injury or death on a farm?

Reputation eg:

  • Loss of reputation
  • Bad publicity

Employees eg:

  • Reduced staff morale and productivity
  • Increased staff turnover and sickness

Social eg:

  • Loss of independence
  • Reduced social activity


  • Accidents can happen at any time.They happen to experienced farmers.
  • The farm can be a dangerous place especially to children.
  • Laws and regulations are in place to keep everybody safe.