Farm safety and housekeeping – the workplace

When looking at the importance of housekeeping in relation to a farm or agricultural operation, there are a number of areas of topics that need to be carefully considered.

The first one is what is often termed asthe adequacy of the workplace. This really means that it is important that what ever workplace is designated as such has certain elements that make it possible to keep it safe.

The first one of these is to make sure that all the passages and walkways through the worksite are sufficiently wide and high to enable people to move safely through them, either on their own or with a colleague, or when carrying or transporting such machinery.

There needs to beappropriate and safe lighting throughout the workplace, with provision for backup if any reason lighting fails. Employees should be aware of the need for emergency lighting in the event of fire or other related incident that might disable the electricity used in this particular workplace.

Ventilation is also really important. A number of farm buildings and related agricultural premises well have different uses, and may well include storage of certain chemicals, livestock feed or other potential farm products. Having good ventilation is crucially important.

The type of flooring involved in the workplace is also really important. There need to be slip resistant floors and rants throughout the premises in order that people who are moving about or carrying goods machinery can do so safely without the fear of falling over or slippage of any materials or maybe carrying.

A number of pieces of a workplace may well have sharp edges that are either visible or slightly hidden. It is a basic premise of all workplaces that any door or frame or desk or structure in a workplace that has a sharp edge needs to have its eliminated. Just knowing that it is there is not good enough.

A sharp edge and easily turn into a highly dangerous weapon in a few seconds if someone is distracted or not paying attention, and is a risk that can be easily identified and should be dealt before for any harm can be caused by it.

A good workplace needs to have quite a high degree of signage about a number of things, one of which is clear and visible directions as well all entrances and exits of the workplace are located. This is in part in order to allow a good workflow of people throughout the premises, but is also to do with fire safety.

In the event of a fire or an explosion of any type, it is imperative that people have a clear route they follow quickly without the need to stop and think or talk or read signs.

A number of farms will use hoists in different parts of different buildings throughout the premises, and it is important is kept in good working order. It is not a good idea to suddenly discover that a hoist has not been serviced or kept properly at just the time when it needs to be used. There should be a protocol specific to hoists that shows when they have been serviced and by whom.

Finally the most important area in many ways is to make sure that all toilets and handwashing facilities are provided, are kept clean and are always in a optimum hygienic state.