WITH the cost of farm fires hitting more than £95 million in 2021 the need for regular fire safety risk assessments has never been more important to UK farmers.
As harvest time approaches, the risks increase significantly, with electrical problems known to be one of the biggest causes, according to leading rural insurer, NFU Mutual.
Further worrying statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows that agriculture remains one of the most dangerous industries in the UK with 21 people dying on UK farms between 2022 and 2023.
Here, we look at some of the main issues affecting farmers and the ways in which the team from Acorn Safety Services can work with you to protect your farm – and your livelihood – from potential losses in the future.
Fire safety: A must for farmers
With sweltering temperatures across Europe triggering wildfires across vast swathes of countryside, the past few weeks have provided a stark reminder of the dangers of fires.
During the summer months, fires can start easily, particularly after long periods of dry weather.
For farmers, fires can be triggered for a variety of reasons, whether its electrical faults on farm machinery, discarded barbecues, or even hay bales which can catch fire due to a build-up of mould caused by moisture in the air. Following an incident in Cumbria recently, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service recommend farmers remove hay from fields as soon as possible after harvesting and ensure that it’s dry before storing.
Discarded cigarettes, hot fuel and broken bottles can all cause fires given the right conditions.
With some statistics showing that as many as 40% of farms will never recover from the devastating effects of a fire, making sure a full fire risk assessment has been carried out on your farm is essential, particularly as the busy harvest season approaches.
A fire safety risk assessment will identify any potential issues and ensure any safety measures which need to be introduced are communicated with all staff members.
We will also work with you to produce an emergency plan to ensure everyone is fully informed about what to do should the worst happen.
In addition, NFU Mutual has the following advice for farmers:
- Have a plan in place
- Don’t mess with electrics
- Suppress the risk – use suppression systems
- Keep on top of any house-keeping
- Control hot work
If in doubt, contact the experts
At Acorn Safety Services, we work with businesses of all sizes, in all industries and fire safety is an important part of the work we do.
As members of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers, we have a duty to raise awareness of the dangers of fires, and support individuals and businesses wherever we can.
Based in the heart of rural Northamptonshire, we are perfectly placed to support your farm, offering a bespoke service to fit your individual needs. Our consultants travel across the UK offering friendly advice and support and practical help in the form of risk assessments, fire safety advice and guidance on the very latest health and safety regulations.
We are one of the latest fully independent health and safety consultancies in the UK, meaning that any advice we give to you is given with your best interests at heart.
If you are a farmer and need our help, about fire safety or anything else, please give our friendly team a call today.
Alternatively, you can arrange a FREE 30-minute online health and safety consultation with a member of our team by visiting our website at www.acornhealthandsafety.co.uk and clicking ‘Book Your Free Call’.