Seven things that make a good Health and Safety specialist

With the recent news that HSE prosecutions are on the increase, and that the criteria for calculating fines has changed, you need to ensure you are selecting the best and most comprehensive method of keeping your employees and your farm, estate or equine facility safe. There has never been a more pressing time to improve the Health and Safety for your agricultural business.


Safety Revolution are your agricultural health and safety specialists and we have identified seven things to look for in your provider that are signs that you’ve chosen well;

  1. Rural specialists

Your health and safety advisor will be best equipped to manage your needs if they are a specialist in your ‘field’ of service. It stands to reason that a practitioner with a genuine interest in rural matters and who has developed a service to address the specific needs of each sector of the market will have a structured service able to deal with the very different risks encountered, for example in a large country estate versus a commercial dairy unit.

  1. Bespoke methods tailored to the clients’ needs

Tailoring and adapting to the diversification and size of business is important within agricultural. With the industry spanning the areas of arable, livestock and equine, from small holdings to large commercial facilities it is essential that your specialist is able to provide a bespoke service. Initial reports and detailed reviews of existing systems in place based on visits to your properties, annual and demand visits and ongoing maintenance of your plan should be the norm.

  1. Practical help and support throughout the process

You know you’ve chosen a good provider when over the course of your contract you receive annual visits and regular reviews of your needs, further risk assessment and advice on safe working practices. Filing of paperwork will be necessary, so are you provided with a helpful folder with space for you keep your own records and which contains advice of other areas specific to your business? Some health and safety specialists have forged relationships with other specialist providers that will bring further financial benefits such as insurance arrangements.

  1. Plain and simple action

Rather than producing reams of paper for many files that stay on the shelves after the necessary attention was once paid, a good health and safety specialist can offer a concise and simple action plan that focuses on practical things to do, instilling the commitment to change and improvement of health and safety as part of the business culture. With health and safety firmly consolidated within your business, workers and visitors will benefit from reduced risk and increased profitability.

  1. Contributing to the long term prosperity of rural business’ and estates

Your rural specialist provider will be invested in the long term prosperity of your business. If they can contribute to your estate driving forward best practice through health and safety, they will become part of your valued team and be integral to the lasting success of your enterprise. A constant commitment to you throughout the process from day one builds strong relationships, increases profitability and improves staff retention.

  1. Proactively facing challenges in the industry

If you are contracted to your health and safety specialist, are they driving the process helping to keep it on track and motivate you and your teams to make improvements and reduce risks? The business of agricultural health and safety management is to improve not just your facility, but the industry’s safety record and to reduce the number of serious incidents.

  1. Continual in-house training and development

It’s important for any company to stay ahead of impending changes and have a keen awareness  of any challenges that those changes may bring the clients. As a provider of a service that saves lives and prevents accidents it is imperative that your health and safety advisor stays observant of any training and development needs within their own team as well as yours. The expansion of knowledge along with practical and formal experience provides a well-rounded service.

“Agricultural is the most dangerous industry in the UK. In the last five years there have been 160 fatalities in the agricultural sector. There have been fatalities in our client base but none where there a deficiency on behalf of the client has been found, in that respect we have a clean sheet and A CLEAR track record. A fatality is tragic, our job is to enable the client to say we have done all we could to protect and prevent. Safety Revolution provides peace of mind to clients as well as encouraging a safe work environment for employees.” – Oliver Dale, Safety Revolution

Get in touch with a good Health and Safety specialist for agriculture, estates and equine facilities today, on 0800 028 1965.


Health and safety training opportunities go down, whilst HSE prosecutions go up

Recently released figures by the HSE confirms that the number of prosecutions for breaches of health and safety law have trebled in the last year. To compound this, the value of the fines imposed upon those convicted are also rising. The formulas by which the HSE calculates fines to those in breach of health and safety law are now relative to the annual turnover of the business. No longer will a standard fine be applied to a breach of health and safety law, the new regulations could cause a £1m sized dent in the bank balance.


At the same time as prosecutions go up, the training opportunities for leaders of business at senior level, such as Senior Executives or Directors are being cut. The qualification criteria to enable delivery of health and safety courses, such as the Leading Safely course delivered by Safety Revolution, Oxfordshire, has risen to a level which now excludes many of the companies that have previously offered leadership health and safety training.

Trainers must now be of a board level themselves – they need to have walked the walk, before being allowed to talk the talk. Safety practitioners such as Oliver Dale of Safety Revolution are becoming few and far between, making it all the more important to ensure you engage with a suitable trainer to be sure of staying within the law and avoiding becoming one of those statistics at the HSE.

About the Leading Safety Course from Safety Revolution

Safety Revolution’s Leading Safely course is a one day IOSH accredited course designed for owners, partners, trustees, directors and all senior level executives of the agriculture and estate management industries.

The course works in conjunction with leaders to cover only what you need – your time is precious and we don’t want to take it from you. Whatever the size of your organisation, the course will show you how investing in health and safety can reap business benefits, including better productivity, increased profits, enhanced reputation and of course, a safer environment for all those on site.

Leading Safely Course Content

  • Recognising the value of strategic Health & Safety and its integration into business management systems and performance
  • Understanding your Health & Safety responsibilities
  • Appreciating the consequences of poor Health & Safety
  • Planning the overall direction for Health & Safety in your organisation
  • Understanding the importance of adequately resourcing your Health & Safety management system
  • Knowing why you should monitor and review your Health & Safety performance

Before the course, delegates run through a diagnostic questionnaire on Health and Safety leadership and the behaviours your company adapts. This then creates a personalised report based on your responses and will generate recommendations and actions to improve your Health and Safety. The assessment is a completion of personal commitment, this is a set of actions to take the following recommendations in your report and other learning, and all delegates receive certification for the course.

Fines routinely hitting senior management

As quoted by the Financial Times, “Chris Morrison, UK head of safety, health and environment at Clyde and Co said: “The data confirms what we have been seeing in practice, with the HSE displaying an increased zeal to prosecute the most senior individuals. By making senior management responsible for the health and safety failings of their business and their staff, the increased enforcement is a serious boardroom issue”

Get in touch with Safety Revolution and book your one-day senior level course today. Call 0800 0281965 or email info@safetyrevolution.

HSE Prosecutions Statistics

Financial Times Article



Prosecution of directors and managers treble in the year to March 2016

The latest HSE figures show that the number of directors and senior managers ‘successfully’ prosecuted for Health & Safety offences has trebled in the last year. Almost all cases involved either serious injury or death of an employee.

Critically the biggest impact has been on businesses in the ‘medium’ size bracket therefore potentially impacting heavily on any substantial farming business. These fines are based on turnover rather than profit. That means that the historic mitigation that profitability of a prosecuted business impacts on its ability to pay any fine has fallen away.

Thirty four of the forty six prosecuted were found guilty (a very high ‘success’ rate) and resulted in twelve prison sentences. HSE commented prosecution of directors is intended to hold them to account for their failings when we have evidence that they have breached the law, for example when the director/manager was personally responsible for the matters relating to the offence.

The salient point here – in relation to agriculture – is that it is often very much easier – due to the close nature of working relationships and the regular, direct instructions from a director to an employee – to establish the link between the director and their teams and hence to evidence the personal aspects than it is in some other sectors.

How can we achieve the best possible defence: ensure that your safety management system is regularly reviewed and updated by refreshing the policy and by a detailed and regular review of each individual Risk Assessment. A little and often approach combined with a formal, annual review that maintains a high quality body of evidence provides the best platform for evidencing compliance to a satisfactory standard.


Effective management of estate health and safety over winter

Your staff are at higher risk due to the colder conditions, reduced light and possibly reduced numbers of team members. In this article we discuss the risks and how best to manage health and safety on estates during winter whilst maintaining peace of mind.

Fire and carbon monoxide poisoning

The risk of fire, particularly in estates that raise game birds is significantly higher over the winter period.


Where gas brooders are in place there should be a suitable and adequate air flow and ventilation systems also in place. Other than fire, there is also a reasonable risk to bird breeders of carbon monoxide poisoning. The Health and Safety Executive issued specific warnings on this risk:


With reduced visibility during winter PPE must be kept not only clean but  in the best condition, particularly reflective clothing. Consider the increased effectiveness of the equipment by wearing hi-vis and reflective items even during the daylight hours. Although it is the individual’s responsibility to keep the PPE in optimal condition, it is your responsibility as the employer to ensure it is made available to new employees and those who need replacements. At no time should the PPE be obscured by outer clothing such as overcoats.

Vehicle servicing

Winter checks are commonplace on the road. With land management vehicles they are arguably more important in reducing the risk of poor performance off road. Safety checks might include;

Lights – clear and clean

Glass – clear and clean, any chips or cracks to be dealt with as soon as possible

Tyres – treads are in good condition and pressure is optimal for the terrain

Fluids – make sure antifreeze is used where suitable and oil levels are topped up and checked regularly


With the shooting season continuing through to January it could be a good idea to go through a mid-season service of your firearms. Clean barrels, oil the moving parts and re-align sights. A good pair of winter shooting gloves and a good quality balaclava or neck buff are great investments as are charcoal fuelled pocket hand warmers. In the event of a shoot, make sure it is organised and your site is well planned and full information is shared with co-workers. The use of hi-vis and reflectors may not be appropriate  during a shooting activity and so risks of accidents are somewhat increased.


Public safety

As an estate owner it is likely that your land will include  public rights of way. During half term holidays and darker afternoons the safety risks to the public enjoying the great outdoors could well be increased and so you need to look after their health and safety needs.

Find out more about the specific needs of the public on our website, including the risks from animals, open farms and your workplace, that could appear to an inviting playground for children.

Managing the health and safety requirements of an estate can be like spinning plates. The areas of knowledge required is ever increasing in key areas, and with the specific health and safety law being a specialist area it is a good idea to engage a professional organisation to help you manage your duty of care.

To help prevent accidents follow these guidelines:

  • Keep all risk assessments up to date
  • Ensure everybody knows the correct procedures in the event of an accident or fire, including when it is safe to tackle the fire or apply emergency procedures, how to raise the alarm and the location of assembly points
  • If you employ lone workers, ensure all environmental risks are considered and there is a procedure in place for keeping in touch with management. It would be advisable to avoid lone working where possible, but emergency procedures should be practiced and regularly evaluated if this is not practicable.

If you’re an estate manager or an agent and would like to know more about how we could help with your H&S and HR management systems, please get in touch with us.


Key changes of the new CDM Regulations 2015

The Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations came into force on 6th April 2015. Written to replace the out-dated CDM 2007, the new regulations provide guidance on the legal requirements involved in construction work. Virtually everyone involved in construction has legal duties to fulfil and when a project becomes notifiable, a CDM co-ordinator is required.


A few changes were recently made to CDM 2015

As outlined by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) the key changes to the Construction Design Management Regulations are as follows;

  1. All projects must have:
  1. Project where more than one contractoris involved (domestic or non-domestic) must have 1 above plus:
  • principal designer and principal contractor must be appointed
  • a health and safety file
  1. If work is scheduled to:
  • last longer than 30 working days and 
  • have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project
  • OR exceeds 500 person days

All of 1 and 2 above plus

  • Client must notify project to HSE

CITB have also produced a useful infographic which can be printed out and used as easy reference:

Safety Revolution’s CDM services

Rather than employing or training a staff member to take on the role of CDM co-ordinator, outsourcing the service saves money and time, ensuring your project stays within financial and time restricted budgets. Our CDM co-ordinator service allows us to assume all the responsibilities of the role, without impacting your existing staffing provisions. Our expertise ensures the process is completed in line with the legal requirements as defined by the HSE.

Outsource your CDM Co-ordinator role to cover;

  • General advice and assistance with your duties whenever needed
  • Notification to the HSE of all relevant project details (where appropriate)
  • Co-ordination of Health and Safety aspects of design work and co-operation with others involved with the project
  • Ensuring good communication between client, designers and contractors at all times
  • Liaising with the principal contractor regarding ongoing design
  • Identifying, collecting and passing on pre-construction information
  • Preparation and updating of your Health and Safety file


Contact us for help with your CDM, or pick up the phone for advice on 0800 0281 965.