Farm safety and housekeeping – new employees

One of the biggest obstacles to housekeeping in farming and agricultural operations is simply that of attitudes. This can often be a problem amongst a workforce has been there for a considerable period of time, and as such is simply resistant to change.

This resistance is not normally about the practical issues of what is involved, but is normally simply a process of habit and safety. People can become almost too comfortable in a working environment if it never changes, a process that is sometimes referred to as being institutionalised.

The sense of being institutionalised is normally thought of as referring to big corporations, such as banks and insurance companies. In fact, it can apply to any business of any size or operation, where the people have worked there for a long period of time.

One of the solutions to this is to bring in the new and younger workers in addition to the existing workforce. They can sometimes be employed as workers themselves, possibly in terms, apprentices or simply people on some type of work experience.

They will normally be more open to new ideas and looking at things regarding health and safety in a more objective and realistic light. This can have a knock-on effect on existing workers as well, both positive and negative.

The positive aspect is that they may be willing to look at things in a new light and help change the work place into a safer and less risky environment.

The downside is that it may create a sense of conflict within the workforce, between existing workers and newer people, who can sometimes be seen as being a bit abrasive or even a bit arrogant in thinking they know better than the older colleagues or peers.

This is not to say that this approach should not be used, it is simply a case of man management which is handled correctly can have immense benefits to the workplace, and as such to the health and safety of the business.

New younger workers can be encouraged to report work areas that they feel are unsafe, for any reason. This can include things that are inherently unsafe, or simply things happen on a day-to-day basis.

Some of the most common areas normally include things such as defective lighting, flaws that need sweeping or keeping clean, spillages on the floor normally from oil and grease, and the most important area in many ways mentioned above making sure that toilet facilities are kept clean and hygienic.

Sometimes a new workforce will have more time on their hands than existing employees. There may be a number of reasons for this, but one side-effect is that they can be told very simply that if they have time on their hands they can apply that time to doing housekeeping work.

It can be made very clear to them that the nature of the workplace in terms of health and safety is of crucial importance, and that there was a lot they can do to make sure it is kept safe on a daily basis simply by looking around and using their commonsense.

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