HSE Launch Agricultural Safety Campaign

April 9, 2024
Contact us
Request a call back

The HSE has launched a new campaign, ‘Work Right Agriculture’, to encourage safe working with livestock and farm vehicles. The campaign follows recent statistics published by the HSE, which show that 27 people were killed as a result of agricultural-related activities. This is the worst rate of worker fatalities out of all the main industry sectors.


The campaign has two main focuses, one outlining how to work safely with livestock, including the topics: the handler, the equipment, the animal, and public access. The other highlights the importance of working safely with vehicles with the topics: safe farm, safe driver, and safe vehicle. Both contain a variety of free resources for employers and employees, such as checklists highlighting key points to ensure safe working in both areas. Other resources include a series of videos on working safely with vehicles and a general farm safety guidance booklet.


Further agricultural safety guidance can be found on the HSE’s website. Some tips for vehicle safety include:

  • Segregate vehicles and people with clearly marked routes and walkways, and use barriers and posts in high-traffic areas
  • Use signage, good lighting, and high-visibility clothing
  • Regularly check and maintain the brakes on all vehicles, including the brakes on trailers
  • Ensure a seatbelt is fitted and worn every time a vehicle is used
  • Make sure doors are attached securely and remain closed when the vehicle is moving, and ensure mirrors are secured and clean


In terms of livestock safety, the HSE provides the following advice:

  • Plan handling tasks beforehand and ensure proper training has been undertaken
  • Work under supervision until assessed and deemed competent
  • Recognise when an animal is agitated and know how to respond
  • Never enter an enclosure with a loose bull or a cow with a calf unless the animals are restrained
  • Maintain and use equipment, gates, and railings where required
  • Have good calving facilities in place
  • Ensure that races and crushes meet requirements, and never enter them when containing livestock
  • Ensure there are adequate escape routes
  • Avoid lone working
  • Ensure that bulls are ringed
  • Use handling aids such as poles and halters
  • Cull habitually aggressive animals
  • Keep beef bulls in small groups of 15 to 20. Ensure that feedings, waterings, and bedding changes can be made without having to enter the pen with loose bulls
  • Keep stock bulls and house beef bulls in purpose-made bull pens up to regulations
  • Avoid putting cows in fields with public access; if this is not possible, minimise the potential contact between the cows and the public


The HSE Work Right Agriculture Campaign can be accessed on the Work Right Campaigns webpage.


Separately, the Health and Safety Authority in the Republic of Ireland has published two new guidance sheets covering safety during calving, lambing, and managing fatigue. While based on the situation in Ireland, the advice can be relevant to farming practices anywhere. These are available on the HSA website at:


If you have any questions or would like support with managing issues at your workplace, please speak to your usual contact or get in touch using the form below.