A ‘she’ll be right’ attitude towards health and safety won’t cut it. You’ve got to make a conscious decision to be safe and get everyone in your team thinking about health and safety every step of the way. Here are a few ways to do this effectively:
- Get real. Sit down as a team (including family) and answer these three questions and then pin them where everyone can see them.
– “Why do we want a safe and healthy farm?”
– “What will we do to be a safe and healthy farm?”
– “How will we make sure everyone who comes to our farm is safe and healthy?”
- Prioritise it. When you meet with your team, put health and safety at the top of the agenda. Even just spend five minutes discussing any incidents, injuries or near misses, and see if anyone has any suggestions about new or upcoming seasonal risks, or new ways of doing things.
- Keep it simple. When you’re planning the day’s or season’s work, take a moment to ask “What do we have to look out for?” It doesn’t need to be a formal briefing, just a conscious moment to think about any risks or maintenance issues.
- Paperwork isn’t enough. Reducing health and safety mishaps isn’t about documents and manuals – it’s about thinking and talking about risks and doing what needs to be done to stay healthy and safe.
- Be vigilant. Make sure everyone on the farm knows how the risks can change with the time of day, the season, or a person’s emotional or physical state.