Coronavirus: NFU Mutual launches free health and safety service

A new health and safety service has been launched which provides working guidance to protect farmers and staff as the Covid-19 crisis continues.

NFU Mutual has put together an 85-strong group of health and safety experts to provide the information farmers need to protect themselves.

The free safety service aims to help farming businesses through one of the most challenging harvests since the Second World War.

Policyholders with NFU Mutual will be able to use the new service free of charge from today (4 May) - over three quarters of the UK’s farmers.

The service will be delivered by the firm's Risk Management Services (RMS) who provide guidance to farm businesses and other rural companies.

Farmers can make a request online to get a call back from a consultant and discuss Covid-19 concerns their businesses are dealing with.

They will also be able to download online resources about maintaining social distancing at work and how to manage contractors, visitors and new staff who may have little experience of agriculture.

Ian Jewitt, managing director from RMS, said farmers are under 'intense pressure' to keep the nation fed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said they 'desperately need' specific information on how they can keep themselves, their families, employees and customers safe during the busiest time in the year.

“Bringing in extra workers at harvest now presents huge challenges – from how to regularly wash your hands when you’re working in a field to how you sanitise machinery so someone else can use it," Mr Jewitt said.

"Businesses are also providing their services in new ways, from offering drive-thru farm shops to delivering goods directly to customers."

The service will be available to help with coronavirus protection for a wide range of agri-firms ranging from farmers and growers, packers to hauliers, food manufacturers to retailers, as they adapt their working practices.

Mr Jewitt added: “We want to encourage businesses to take advantage of this free service to get our customers back on their feet and put them in the safest position for the future.

"Coronavirus has made us all rethink how we put safety first, to protect ourselves and others - and the same goes for risks on the farm.

"By adopting good practices now, we can help the industry to come out better, safer and stronger when the pandemic is over.”

Source: Farming UK