Health and safety using farm vehicles and machinery
If you own or manage a farm, you’re responsible for ensuring the health and safety of your workers and anyone who’s affected by what they do.
- carry out a assessment of any risks related to your farm
- have a plan to manage these risks and protect people from harm
- plan and set standards to be sure that your health and safety practices work
- check how you’re doing through regular inspections and monitoring
You must make sure that all farming vehicles and equipment are:
- safe to use
- appropriate for the jobs they are used for
- their safety risks are reduced as much as possible
Health and safety assessments
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced guidance to help farmers conduct health and safety assessments of their farms.
The ‘Farmwise’ guide also provides information and guidance on health and safety for farm vehicles and machinery.
Most new machines, vehicles or pieces of farming equipment you buy must be ‘CE’ marked. This mark means that it has been built to meet minimum legal safety requirements.
Most new machines or pieces of equipment should also have:
- a ‘declaration of conformity’ to show that it meets EU standards
- a manual
- information on noise levels
Second-hand equipment and vehicles
Before using second hand machinery, you should:
- make sure that it complies with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
- get the operator’s manual or suitable instructions for use
- replace or repair any missing or damaged safety guards before use
You must make sure that all your equipment is properly maintained and in good working order. You’ll need to perform regular maintenance checks on all of your vehicles and machinery.
You can find useful equipment maintenance checklists on the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association website.
The Department for Transport also provides guidance on performing health checks on farm vehicles.
You can find information on the safe use of agricultural machinery on the Health and Safety Executive website.
High levels of noise can damage hearing. By law, you must assess the level of noise in areas where people work for you. You must take action where noise exceeds certain levels.
If you have noisy machinery or equipment, you should consider:
- providing hearing protection for operators
- using barriers or screens to block sound
- using materials to absorb sound
- limiting the time spent in noisy environments
Read information from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) onnoise levels at work.