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Farm signs: a serious matter

by Rob Haywood
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Why you need to display farm signs sensibly

Although you’ll hear people grumble about health and safety strictures, there are many really serious hazards in the world that it pays to be aware of. Did you know farming is the UK’s most dangerous industry? Using the right farm signs is necessary to meet legal requirements and protect the landowner from legal exposure if someone is injured on their property, so it’s vital to display farm signs properly.

Over the last decade, nearly one person has been fatally injured every week in the UK directly through their agricultural work. Countless more have suffered injury or illness through hazards such as suffocation from silage avalanches, falls from height, crushing in machinery and contact with overhead power lines.

bull in field sign | shop now at The Sign Shed

Despite modern advances, farms remain dangerous environments to live and work in with the close proximity of hazards including heavy machinery and vehicles, hazardous chemicals, livestock, pits and silos. It’s necessary to accept a certain level of exposure to danger in the working life of a farmer or farm worker. But some of these risks can be mitigated by taking the right precautions, and signage plays a part in that.

Farms have a legal requirement to label hazardous chemicals on the premises with mandatory warning signs. A farm will also need permanent warning signs to display on hazards such as a slurry store, pit or lagoon (we offer all three) or a chemical store. But a busy working farm will also find uses for temporary signage such as signs warning of tree felling, or signs to put on fields according to what livestock are currently occupying them.

If you’re putting warning signs up for temporary hazards, you need to think about how to display them. That’s the problem with farms – fields have multiple entrances and exits, so if you’re warning about bulls in fields or crop spraying then you need several copies of the same sign to display at all sides of the potential hazard. If your sign is displayed outdoors in all weathers, think about getting a sign in tough PVC or a hard wearing composite aluminium (known as ‘dibond’). Remember to think also about how it’s going to be affixed – signs with pre-drilled holes are often helpful in a farm environment.

by Rob Haywood


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