NFU Mutual has launched a free coronavirus health and safety service for its farming customers.
The rural insurer, which provides cover for more than three-quarters of UK farms, said the service was designed to help the agricultural industry through the toughest harvest since the Second World War.
Delivered by a team of 85 health and safety specialists in NFU Mutual’s risk management services (RMS) division, the service aims to provide specialist guidance to protect farmers and their staff from coronavirus.
Farmers will be given access to online resources with advice on how to maintain social distancing at work and how to manage contractors and visitors.
It will also provide special induction training for new recruits to farming jobs, including furloughed workers taking up roles as pickers on fruit and vegetable farms.
“Farmers are under intense pressure to keep the nation fed and desperately need specific information on how they can keep themselves, their families, employees and customers safe from coronavirus,” said Ian Jewitt, managing director of RMS.
“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.
“Businesses are also providing their services in new ways, from offering drive-through farm shops to delivering goods directly to customers.”
He said the new safety service was designed to provide practical health and safety solutions for time-poor farmers.
“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,” added Mr Jewitt.
“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 come out better, safer and stronger when the pandemic is over.”