Health & Safety in the Riding Centre/Farm
Members are asked to be mindful of Health & Safety in the riding centre and surrounding farm areas. There have been many accidents over the summer months around the country and AIRE would like to remind the membership of their responsibilities in their centres.
All centres must have a Health & Safety Statement, employees must read and sign the document. The mission statement of the Health & Safety Statement should be signed and displayed in the office/registration area.
Hazards and risks should be identified, precautions and findings should be noted. The statement should be continually updated as the centre is upgraded/changed.
Guidelines on Risk Assessments and Safety Statements" can be found on www.hsa.ie
The critical areas of Health and Safety to be addressed by any Centre include the following:
• Training of staff including manual handling, operating procedures and the introduction of a safety statement.
• Provision of suitable protective clothing and equipment for employees and customers.
• Yard rules for clients and staff should be posted.
• Signage - the more the better.
• Daily and weekly check lists, i.e. tack should be checked weekly and signed off on.
• Continual assessments of risk are essential, i.e. checking of tack, condition of arenas, fencing, gates, machinery etc.
• General housekeeping, ensuring that your centre is free of obstacles or untidy floors which could result in slip/trip or fall claims, surfaces maintained to a good level.
• Regular checks of electrical appliances, switches and sockets.
• Guards on machinery, tractors to be maintained and guards in place.
• Fire – all centres should be a smoke free area, no smoking signage be posted (or have a designated smoking area)
• Pesticides and veterinary supplies etc should be stored safely, preferably in a locked cabinet.
Specific care should be given when dealing with Vulnerable Groups
• Young workers, who have a higher accident rate
• Workers whose first language is not English
• People with disabilities
• New or inexperienced workers
• Older workers
• Pregnant women
In the event of an accident all staff should be aware of the correct procedures.
• As per Health & Safety Law centres should have a first Aider on hand at all times.
• All Instructors must have a current Fetac Level 5 First Aid Certificate as Riding is a Risk Sport.
• Doctors and Emergency Service phone numbers should be posted where all staff have access and are aware of their location i.e. on a notice board.
• First Aid Kit should be available.
• Internal accident report forms should be available and completed as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
• A disposable camera should be available, a picture depicts a scene clearly.
• Instructors should ensure all new riders are able to Stop/Start/Turn/Trot a horse prior to any ride away from the premises.
• Instructors should carry mobile phone and disposable or other cameras when taking groups outside the immediate vicinity of the centre.
• Instructors and groups of more than 4 should wear Hi Visibility clothing in order that they be instantly recognised.
• Establishments should keep a day diary recording the following information: Name of each rider, animal ridden and time of lesson.
• All participants to wear protective headgear to European standard (EN1384) and that suitable foot wear is worn.
In the event of an accident:
It is a condition of all Insurance Policies that you must advise your insurers immediately of any incident which could result in a claim under your policy; this may include any of the following, but not limited to:
o Any accident resulting in over 3 days absence from work
o Major Injury
o Accidents involving electricity, chemicals or other dangerous occurrences
o Injury to a third Part or damage to Third Party Property
All incidents should be recorded in a day diary, staff should be advised accordingly.
The above recommendations are relevant for riding centres however it is not a complete list of safety procedures.
AIRE would like to ask members to be extra vigilant when using machinery, children should be in the care of a second adult. In summer and autumn, large machines and temporary workers may visit farms for harvesting, extra safety precautions should be observed in fields and yards especially when unfamiliar personnel are on site.
KEEP YOURSELF AND THOSE AROUND YOU SAFE