Answers to some of your questions.
I have never had an accident on my farm, why should I complete Making It Safer (MIS)?Answer:
MIS is intended to help you identify areas of your farm where an accident is most likely to happen. This will allow you to make improvements so that your good record of farm safety is maintained and will create a positive, proactive attitude towards health and safety on your farm.
Is this a general assessment of dangers or should I apply it specifically to my farm?Answer:
The assessment should be specific to your farm and covers the four main areas of danger i.e. Slurry, Animals, Falls and Equipment. However, you should follow a similar approach for all dangers presented on the farm and home.
Can I employ an external consultant to complete my form or is it best completed by me?Answer:
An external consultant can be employed to complete the assessment, however you will gain more benefit by identifying the dangers yourself rather than having someone else do it for you.
How often should I update MIS – annually or more often than that?Answer:
Completing MIS is a regular process of identifying dangerous areas that require action, completing that action and reviewing that action. Updating it annually or more often, for example, when you make changes to the operations on the farm, following an accident, near miss or incident should become one your essential and regular activities on the farm. The details of measures you have made show be communicated to everyone working, living or visiting the farm.
If I identify areas which are very dangerous, does this mean that I will get an inspection from HSENI?Answer:
No - the MIS action plan is your plan to benefit and protect you and all those on the farm. Your personal information will not be passed on to HSENI.
If I identify areas which are very dangerous, does this mean that I will be less likely to be successful in applying for a BIS grant?Answer:
No - the completion of MIS, and setting actions for the future is a requirement to apply to BIS. You will be asked to demonstrate you have completed the MIS in full, however the content of it does not affect your scheme application.
Will checks be made to ensure that improvements have been made on my farm?Answer:
No - however you will be expected to make improvements on you farm where problems have been identified. If you are selected for an inspection by HSENI they will most likely ask you if you have completed the MIS and what actions you have taken.
Do I have a legal requirement to carry out an assessment of the dangers on my farm?Answer:
Yes, if you employ more than five staff it is a legal requirement to carry out an on farm safety assessment. Even if you do not employ more than five people you still have a legal duty of care responsibility to protect all those who work, live or visit your farm. The MIS will help you identify areas where you need to take action to protect all those who live on, work on and visit your farm.
Will completing the MIS help me reduce the cost of insurance cover on my farm?Answer:
Only your insurance company can answer this. But if you reduce the possibility of an accident on your farm then this will reduce the need for you to make a claim which in turn should allow you to negotiate with your insurer the cost of your premium.
I employ full-time staff on my farm. Do I still have to complete the MIS?Answer:
Both staff and family should be involved in completing the MIS as they are at risk of an accident on the farm as well as you. You have a legal duty of care for staff carrying out work on your farm.
How do I submit MIS along with my Business Investment Scheme application?Answer:
Your completed MIS will be emailed to you or you can save it for reference. You should save a copy to your desktop and upload it online along with your BIS application. You can also submit a paper copy but this will remove the selection criteria points awarded for online submission of your BIS application and supporting documentation. You will be asked to confirm that you have been personally involved in the completion of the form
Will my BIS application be rejected if I do not complete MIS?Answer:
Yes - MIS is an essential pre-requisite to completing a BIS application. You will be asked for evidence that you have completed the MIS.
I rent 2 out-farms as well as farming my home farmyard. Does MIS apply to all 3 farmyards?Answer:
Yes - any farmyards that are in frequent use should be assessed on the same basis as the home farm yard.
Can I view the website in an alternative language?Answer:
Yes, you can choose your language from the drop down menu on the top right hand side of all pages.
What is FarmSafeNet?Answer:
FarmSafeNet is an online learning resource designed to raise awareness about Farm Safety and to enable a simple risk assessment plan to be completed and is part of a suite of activities developed by the industry led Farm Safety Partnership
The Farm Safety Partnership was established in May 2012 specifically to address the poor record of health and safety within the agriculture industry across the north as exemplified by the unacceptable numbers of farmers losing their lives as a result of workplace accidents over recent years. The Farm Safety Partnership members include representatives from the Health and Safety Executive, Ulster Farmers Union, NFU Mutual, NIAPA, DARD and the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster.
What are the benefits of completing FarmSafeNet?Answer:
- It improves your awareness of Health & Safety on the farm and enable you to take the next steps in making the farm safer
- It’s free to use by anyone with an interest in farm safety
- It can be completed at your own pace
- You will be issued with unique certificates. Although this is not a formal qualification, it provides evidence of completion and that the message has been delivered.
Can I start the FarmSafe Quiz, save the section I am working on and complete at a later stage?Answer:
As the FarmSafeNet Quiz only takes 10 -20 minutes you should try and complete it within the timeframe. We will save your progress until you quit your browser. You should not hit the back button on your browser or close it until finished or you may have to restart and your progress may be lost.
Why do I need to retain my Unique Reference Number?Answer:
You will be able to use your Unique Reference Numbers for both Awareness and Making It Safer modules as evidence to support your commitment to farm safety when accessing future DARD services or schemes. You should also enter your registered farm business ID where asked. Copies of your certificates will be stored and will be emailed to you if you have provided your email address and you will have the option of saving it to your computer.
What if I lose my Unique Reference Number?Answer:
Copies of your certificates will be stored upon completion of the FarmSafeNet quiz or Making It Safer if you included your email address you will be also e-mailed a copy to the email address you provide.
Is the training Accredited?Answer:
No. Participation does not constitute a formal qualification or test competency to undertake various practices. The training only covers the main risk areas and is set at a basic level to enable on-line completion. Updating it annually or more often, for example, when you make changes to the operations on the farm, following an accident, near miss or incident should become one of your essential and regular activities on the farm. The details of measures you have made should be communicated to everyone working, living or visiting the farm.
Where do I go to get further information on Farm Safety?Answer:
Further information on Health & Safety issues relating for the farming industry can be accessed
On the Health & Safety Executive NI website through the link below:
What is a Risk Assessment?Answer:
Risk assessment is a careful look at what, in your business, could cause harm to people, so that you can decide whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more. The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but to protect people as far as 'reasonably practicable'. Making the assessment and taking action is what matters. The Making It Safer is a simplified approach targeted at specific risk areas only and does not constitute a full risk assessment.
How do I undertake a health & safety risk assessment on my farm?Answer:
Risk assessment is basically a 5-stage process which consists of the following steps:
1. Divide your work into manageable categories
2. Look for the hazards
3. Evaluate the risks
4. Prepare a plan for controlling the risks
5. Review and revise the assessment
Who do I contact if I have a technical problem?Answer:
There is limited support in place at present, however e-mail support can be provided by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org