Animal Pychology in Focus at Agricultural Safety Workshop

UK - Agricultural workers can get an insight into animal psychology as part of efforts to improve farm safety while handling cattle.
calendar icon 22 October 2014
clock icon 2 minute read

Agriculture continues to have one of the highest fatality rates in UK industry, with 27 of the 133 workers killed in 2013-14 employed in the sector.

Of those, seven died as a result of coming into contact with cattle. Many others have been injured.

IOSH Rural Industries Group is now preparing to host a workshop in association with the Farm Safety Partnership to showcase the latest techniques and design of handling facilities available to aid safe cattle management.

Event chair Gwyn Barlow, IOSH Rural Industries Group member and chair of the Farm Safety Partnership’s Livestock Safety Group, said: “Farms are historically handed down generationally, with workers using systems and techniques that they’ve grown up with and were deemed acceptable in the past.

“The way of handling cattle though has evolved. Cattle have less human interaction now due to there being less staff on farms than there used to be, so it’s quite a different situation.

“Understanding the psychology of the animal, and how handling looks from the animal’s perspective, is becoming more and more important.”

IOSH believes there must be a continued effort to make the agricultural industry safer for workers.

Education and promotion of safe ways of working are a key component of this, combined with a better understanding of animal behaviour by handlers, equipment manufacturers, farm advisors and others to improve designs and install safer facilities.

Safe handling and understanding animal behaviour also ensures the safety and wellbeing of both animals, their handlers, vets and others exposed to risk when handling cattle, and anyone using public footpaths passing through farmland.

Representatives from the Health and Safety Executive, NFU, the British Cattle Veterinary Association and experts from Ireland will be among those providing delegates with examples of best practice when the workshop takes place at Askham Bryan College, near York, on Thursday 23 October between 9.30am and 3.45pm.

Practical demonstrations are also planned around the issues of animal behaviour, managing cattle on footpaths and the design of cattle handling facilities.

IOSH and Farm Safety Partnership members, agricultural consultants and lecturers, farmers and livestock unit managers are all expected to attend.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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