Farm safety – social economic and political factors
The nature of working on a farm and on safety is to an extent conditioned by the fact that farming is often seen as a way of life, rather than as a formal occupation or job. In many ways this is true, although not to undermine the huge amount of hard work and productivity farming entails. The view of farming being a way of life means that it does not have the framework or pressures that a normal occupational has to mitigate risk and reinforce a mindset of safety.
In today’s world of work, with companies except need some type of day care, which either they provide, or make an allowance for in terms of time and cost, for their staff. In farming this is much more unlikely to happen.
Looking after children or babies is likely to be done in the context of a working farm, meaning that parents and carers are physically part of the environment that they are working in. This is likely to lead to a blurring of boundaries, and potentially increasing safety risks.
Occupational health and safety legislation
Whilst many strides have been made in the workplace and factory regarding health and safety, many regulations exempt certain industries including farming and agriculture. This is because regulations are often very difficult to frame in such a way that they are relevant to agriculture. There are also great will to enforce in farming, and as such are often not legally enforceable.