Clarkson’s Farm 2 is the number one show on Amazon, and Health and Safety (how not to do it) is a key theme of the series.
Fans of the show have been quick to praise the second series, as Clarkson attempts to turn Diddly Squat Farm into a profitable business. Classic Clarkson appears in a scene where he falls asleep in front of a health and safety instructional video. It seems his nap meant he missed key safety lessons, and we see him contravening Working at Height regulations. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), this refers to:
“Work in any place, including a place at or below ground level, or obtaining access to or egress from such a place, while at work, except by a staircase, where, if suitable measures were not taken, a person could fall a distance likely to cause personal injury.”
In one episode, we see Clarkson working in a raised telehandler bucket, just one of several health and safety breaches broadcast on the show.
Despite praise for educating and highlighting the varied challenges faced by farmers, not everyone is impressed. Clarkson’s apparent cavalier attitude towards farm safety has come in for criticism from the Health and Safety Executive. A spokesperson said: “We are aware of some concerns made about the programme and the image it portrays of poor risk management in farming. As a result, enquiries are being made.”
Elizabeth Creed, Farm Safety Consultant at the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health commented, “It is frustrating that the team at Clarkson’s Farm did not recognise that their platform has a huge potential for influencing and encouraging a positive safety culture in farming. We have suffered a number of fatal incidents this year. The HSE report detailing the injury rates and ill health published in December, showing that 12,000 workers have suffered an injury in the past year, requires us all to commit to making a change to our industry.”
It’s a hit with the public, and Clarkson’s Farm is entertaining and educational, but Jeremy Clarkson and his team can do better. They are powerful influencers that should help support the farming industry’s drive to improve safety standards, not undermine it.
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