Farmers are being told that they must pay closer attention to health and safety after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) raises concerns over recent livestock handling.

The regulator reports that each year, a number of people are killed or injured in incidents involving cattle and it is reminding farmers that these incidents can be prevented.

HSE inspectors will be visiting farms to remind farmers of their duty to protect themselves, their workers and members of the public from the risks of cattle. If they are not, inspectors will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements.

Throughout the inspections, HSE will be reminding workers that when working with livestock, they should have the appropriate controls in place.

These include proper handling facilities which are kept in good working order, a race and a crush suitable for the animals handled, trained and competent workers, and a rigorous culling policy for temperamental animals.

The focus on livestock is part of a programme of inspections over the next 12 months to ensure farmers are doing the right things to comply with the law and prevent death, injury and ill-health.

Andrew Turner, HSE’s head of agriculture, said: “The campaign focus is timely as last year eight people died on farms in cattle related incidents, nearly one quarter of the total deaths on British farms.

“Last year, 33 people were killed in agriculture across Britain and those working in the industry need to realise that death, injuries and cases of ill-health are not an inevitable part of farming and can be prevented.

“We must not become complacent and accept this as the norm. Farmers should plan their work, know the risks and use the right controls to ensure that everyone can go home healthy from their work.”

HSE has a range of resources and guides available to those working on farms manage the risks.

For more information on what topics the inspectors will be looking at when they visit farms can be found at