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CAEVA O'CALLAGHAN

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Do I Need a Valid Health and Safety Certificate to Get Farm Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | March 24th, 2021


Farm insurance with valid health and safety certificate

When is a risk assessment enough for your insurance provider, and when do you need a health and safety certification?

You need to have a live health and safety certificate for your farm. Your farm insurance will not be invalidated if you don’t have a safety statement, but you should stay on the right side of the law and demonstrate that you are committed to making your farm a safe place.

It’s a document that is easy to prepare yourself. You can find several guides online on how to do so.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • What is a health and safety certificate?
  • Do I need a risk assessment to my farm?
  • How do I show my farm insurance provider that I take farm safety seriously?

Indicating that you are interested and intent on the welfare of members of the public, as well as any employees you have, will stand you in good stead with your insurance provider.

Prepare a safety statement

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 states that it is a legal obligation of all farmers to prepare and implement a safety statement, as long as you have four or more employees regularly working on your farm.

If you have three or fewer employees, you must conduct a risk assessment, which is described later in this article.

The safety statement sets out how safety and health are managed on the farm. In it, you need to:

  • Identify dangerous farming activities and assess the risks – i.e. likelihood and severity – of someone becoming injured.
  • Explain what safety measures have been put into place to protect your own safety, as well as that of your family, employees, service providers, visitors and members of the public
  • Describe how safety will be managed and secured on the farm, and by whom

You need to pass your safety statement to anyone who works on your farm to make sure they are aware of the safety and health procedures. These include casual workers, contractors and people supplying goods and services to your farm.

Farm hazards change with the season, environment, and nature of the work, so be sure to review your safety statement on an annual basis.

Small farms must complete a risk

Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, all farmers with three or fewer employees can simply complete a risk assessment instead of a broader safety statement.

The information in this risk assessment needs to take into account all the hazards on your farm, as well as the potential impact on anyone involved if something goes wrong. You can find out more about completing risk assessments, as well as a template risk assessment to fill out, on the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) website.

When filling out the risk assessment, you need to include vital information for emergency contacts such as doctors, vets and police as well as priests and ministers.

You will need to state clearly and honestly what risks are present on your farm, and promise that all machinery is operational and all safety measures have been put in place. For example, you will have to state that all handbrakes on farm vehicles are in full working order, and that contractors will be made aware of the presence of children.

This risk assessment will not cover you for dishonesty. If you have stated that you have safety precautions in place, and a tragedy happens because you did not, your claim may be invalid.

Health and safety certificates

In short, a live certification in health and safety – one which involves completing a risk assessment and/or farm safety statement – is a way of demonstrating to your insurance provider, and the wider world, that you are committed to the wellbeing of everyone who comes to your farm.

If you don’t take reasonable precautions and are seen to behave in a risky fashion, your insurance may not pay out for a claim. Farms are incredibly dangerous places, and common risks can include slurry pits, gas, livestock and tumbledown outbuildings. Make sure you’re protected from claims at the same time you protect your employees, and members of the public.

Call us today with any of your farm insurance queries

If you are unsure about anything related to your farm insurance or have any questions that you would like to discuss with our insurance experts – feel free to call us and we can guide you through all the options available in order to insure and protect your farm, employees, and members of the public . We look forward to helping you today!

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All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.