Manchester, United Kingdom (12th June, 2012) – ELAS, a leading, expert provider of business support solutions in the UK, comments as experts express interest in introducing mandatory health and safety training to protect staff and employers working in the UK’s agriculture industry.
Recently, JMW Farms was fined £187,500 when employee Robert Wilson was involved in a fatal accident determined to be caused by ill-fitting equipment installed on their premises.
In light of this tragic news, ELAS is currently striving for more regulation within the agriculture industry by introducing a unique, mandatory proof-of-competence card scheme.
Wayne Dunning, Head of Health and Safety at ELAS, said: “This was a tragic yet preventable accident. The farming and agricultural industries have high rates of major injury and fatality but at present very little is being done to tackle the issue.
“At present, anyone who employs staff to work in agriculture has a duty of care and must provide the relevant training. However, there isn’t any clear-cut official guidance for agricultural businesses on how to provide a ‘duty of care’ to their workers, so most are at serious financial risk if the worst happens.
“What is needed is a period of mandatory training – which could be as little as half a day – covering topics such as working with animals, manual handling, emergency procedures, dealing with chemicals/hazardous substances and operating farm equipment.”
ELAS is running a half-day training course for businesses operating within the agriculture industry, which includes health and safety training related to working with animals, machinery, environmental hazards, and general maintenance. The cost for ELAS to deliver the course is £695 plus VAT.
Under the business support consultancy’s proposals, when a member of staff completes the training course they will be given a proof of competence card. This card would be valid for twelve months and give the person a nationally recognised and transferrable qualification to work within the agriculture industry.
Mr. Dunning continued: “In the event of an incident, employers need to be able to prove that the relevant training has actually been given and unfortunately, without a clear record of this taking place, it’s very difficult to prove that it has; leaving them liable to legal action.
“We believe that a proof of competence card system – which has been in use in other high risk industries, like construction, and is valid for a number of years – would offer a cost-effective solution.
“Training would be provided on-site and could be delivered to groups of up to 15 people at once, enabling neighbouring businesses to share the cost of delivering the training.”
For more information on ELAS and their business services, please call 07881 944852 or visit http://www.elas.uk.com.
ELAS Integrated Business Support has been operating throughout the UK since 1996, and offers a comprehensive range of business compliance services. ELAS’ team of experts support thousands of businesses all over the UK and Ireland in employment law, health & safety, payroll, CRB checks, accredited training, absence management and intelligent software solutions.
Employment Law Advisory Services Limited
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Eccles, Manchester, UK
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Tel: 07881 944852