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Riding Safely

News for July - September 2009

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Key news reports  (Go to all news reports by topic )   H

 RACING  07/10/09 - UK: Remounting during horseraces banned from November

Remounting horses during a race will be banned from next month under new rules set out by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) for the safety of both horses and jockeys.

Source:  Horse & Hound


HSE  05/10/09 - County Durham - UK: Riding instructors saddle up for safety training

Riding school owners and instructors from across County Durham saddled up for a free training day to get their health and safety knowledge up to date.

Representatives from 16 riding schools across County Durham attended the special event on 5 October at South Causey Equestrian Centre in Stanley which was organised by Durham County Council in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The aim of the event was to provide business owners and instructors with practical, common sense guidance on health and safety at riding schools.

This covered areas such as complying accident reporting, manual handling, personal protective equipment and the general safety and welfare of staff and visitors.

There was also a session on how to prevent the health problems dust can cause and an equine fire safety expert offered advice on how to protect against arson and general fire prevention.

Ian Bousfield, Senior Environmental Health Officer, who helped organise the event, said: "We are delighted with the take up and interest shown in the event by local businesses. It has been both informative and enjoyable for everyone concerned and we hope to run similar events in the future."

Paul Spurrier, Partnership Manager for HSE in Yorkshire and the North East, said: "It is great to see councils taking the initiative and working with us to provide free events for small businesses and individuals so they can benefit from up to date sensible health and safety advice. We hope that the riding schools owners and instructors got a lot out of the day and that more free events like this can be provided in the future."

Source:  HSE


 INDUSTRY  28/09/09 – UK: Horse riders take action as new campaign website and e-petition to the Prime Minister go live

Horse riders across the UK are joining together to urge the Government to think again about imposing an “unfair tax in all but name” on every horse owner in the UK.

The “Rethink the Horse Tax” campaign, launched today by a coalition of organisations representing a broad cross section of the UK horse industry, is calling on riders, breeders and veterinarians to make their voices heard by visiting a new campaign website – www.RethinktheHorseTax.org – and take action by writing to their constituency MPs and by signing an online petition to the Prime Minister.

Campaigners are further concerned that plans to create a new agency will place mounting costs on horse owners at a time when Government support is needed to help boost rural economies and encourage wider participation in outdoor sport.

 Under the plans, horse owners would be charged on the same basis as keepers of livestock farm animals such as sheep and pigs – despite the fact that a significant proportion of horses are kept for leisure and sporting, rather than commercial activities, paid for from of income that is already taxed.

Veterinary surgeons have also made it clear that plans to create a new agency responsible for animal health could needlessly complicate the process of managing outbreaks of animal disease animal health, putting at risk the clear single line of command essential in the event of a major disease outbreak. A lack of clarity over the roles of the four Chief Veterinary Officers in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in the proposals has also been highlighted as a major concern by the campaign.   

And campaigners have further highlighted the fact that the new body would spend much of its time collecting charges from people who own just one horse (65% of horse owners), meaning that the cost of physically collecting the charge will almost outweigh the charge itself – an estimated 2.3m would be needed to collect just 4.5m from horse owners under the plans.

With costs of 14.3m to set up and millions more to maintain the new body in the coming years, campaigners have made it clear that the proposals do not represent value for money for either the equine community or the taxpayer.

Andrew Finding, Chief Executive of the British Equestrian Federation said: “Through this campaign the horse community has an opportunity to make its voice heard and send a strong message to the Government on cost sharing. The proposals just don’t make a convincing case on how hitting horse owners with new costs and extra bureaucracy will benefit either the equine community or taxpayers in general.”

Mark Weston, Director of Access Safety and Welfare at The British Horse Society, said: “We need to make sure that politicians in Westminster are made fully aware of the potential damage that these proposals could do to the horse sector, and the lack of any perceived benefit that they would bring to the millions of Britons who enjoy horse riding each year.”

More about the Rethink the Horse Tax Campaign:

Rethink the Horse Tax is a not-for-profit campaign led by a coalition of organisations representing all parts of the UK horse industry, encompassing horseracing, leisure riding, competitive sport, professional breeding and veterinarians. Organisations behind the campaign include:

       The British Horseracing Authority (BHA)

       The British Equestrian Federation (BEF)

       The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA)

       The British Horse Society (BHS)

       The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA)

       The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA)

       The National Trainers Federation (NTF)

       The Racecourse Owners Association (ROA)

Further information on the Government’s proposals:

       Defra’s proposals are available to view here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/new-independent-body-ah/index.htm

       Under the proposals, horse owners would be charged an annual fee of 10.50 per animal (as set out in Defra’s Impact Assessment).

       The new Bill has yet to be debated in the Houses of Parliament.


 PUBLICATIONS  21/09/09 - UK: New welfare compendium launched

The National Equine Welfare Council has launched the third edition of the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium at this year’s British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Congress in Birmingham.

Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium

This third edition reflects the significant changes in animal welfare legislation as well as improved scientific knowledge of welfare issues.

Whilst previous editions were used extensively in supporting welfare investigations and legal proceedings, the new edition is designed to assist anyone responsible for the welfare of horses, ponies and donkeys in meeting their obligations under the new welfare legislation in England, Wales and Scotland.

NEWC Chairman and Head of Welfare at Redwings, Nicolas de Brauwere MRCVS, says: “The Compendium is designed to underpin the Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Equines by providing a greater level of detail and information to enable people to understand how they can best meet the needs of the equines under their care.”

The Compendium was funded, written and produced by the industry, with the full support of Defra and HRH The Princess Royal.  It has been made available to the public for no more than the cost of postage. Uptake so far has been very strong, in particular by equine educational institutions such as the vet schools.  The industry is keen to also see the Compendium in the hands of horse owners and others responsible for the day to day care of equines

President of BEVA, Chris House said, “The Compendium is an excellent tool as a reference to assist in raising equine welfare standards nationwide.”

For your free copy of the Compendium, download here or contact NEWC on: 01926 866655 or by email: info@newc.co.uk

More about NEWC… The National Equine Welfare Council was set up in 1977 with the aim of uniting the equine welfare industry and raising welfare standards nationwide. It now has a membership base of over 60 welfare organisations, including equine welfare charities large and small throughout the United Kingdom as well as a multitude of organisations from the equestrian and veterinary sectors of the horse industry. Its work includes support for small welfare organisations, making representations to Government and advising individuals. It also produces a Code of Practice for those organisations involved in the keeping of horses, ponies, asses, mules & donkeys and supports members by providing up to date information, running annual seminars and representing them to Government and other bodies. Member organisations include involved in the keeping of equines can be relied upon to achieve excellent standards of care for their animals. Many operate loan schemes whereby horses and ponies go out on loan to inspected homes whilst remaining the property of the charity and being protected for the rest of their lives. Visit www.newc.co.uk for more information.

Responsible Re-homing’ and ‘Cutting Cost without Compromising on Welfare’ are two leaflets that have been produced by NEWC in response to the high number of requests for help that our members are receiving from horse owners struggling financially across the UK.  The leaflets have been produced as a result of collaboration between members of the National Equine Welfare Council.


 OTHER NEWS   27/08/09 - Buckinghamshire - UK: Riders benefit from new safety initiatives

Riders in Buckinghamshire are set to benefit from two new safety initiatives. 

Rural safety Pack

At the County Show, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, supported by local organisations and a charity gave away over 500 Rural Safety Packs providing hints and tips on how to make agricultural, equine and farm-related property and buildings safe and secure.

Each pack includes leaflets and information from Thames Valley Horsewatch, Neighbourhood Watch, the RSPCA, Bucks Economic & Learning Partnership (BELP) and Buckinghamshire Rural Affairs Group (BRAG), as well as fire safety advice, including a 12 point checklist for farms and equestrian premises:

        Nameplate -- is your house/farm sign displayed at the entrance?

        Fire hydrant - which is your nearest Fire hydrant?

        Water supplies -- location of available additional water supplies for example tanks, ponds, rivers?

        Evacuation plan -- is a written animal evacuation plan available at all times?

        Dangerous animals -- stables/stalls/fields identifiable if you are not there?

        Flammable risks -- what materials do you have on site and a suitably stored away from fire risks?

        Chemicals -- what chemicals are stored, how many and where?  Are they marked with the relevant safety instructions?

        Fuel/diesel -- supplies/tanks/pipes clearly marked?

        Staff – Are your staff aware of emergency procedures and contact numbers?

        Housekeeping -- are your electrics, workshops and yard is maintained and kept tidy?

        Public -- are you hosting the general public on your property?  How many are likely to be present?

Agricultural buildings -- how many buildings do you have on your site?  What size are they and what is their current use (animal, crops, hay, chemicals, machinery)?

Bucks County Show
click to enlarge

Community safety partnership manager Jo Oliver from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service said: “We and our partner organisations don’t tend to think of the members of our farming, equine or agricultural communities as being vulnerable, but they are definitely a group that we find hard to reach and don’t often come into contact with other than at barn, farm or field fires.

“There is lots of information out there, but nothing is in one easy location for them to find. This pack is the first part of a plan to help people from our rural communities gain access to information that can help them and is specific to their needs, in a format that is easy for them to use.”


In the second initiative, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has begun a joint initiative with local horse welfare charity, The Horse Trust, and Thames Valley Horsewatch, to help ensure that firefighters are better prepared if called to help a large animal in difficulty.

Firefighters are sometimes called out by concerned owners and members of the public to help rescue animals that have got into difficult situations, and national guidelines are currently being set up to ensure best practice procedures are used nationally.

The joint initiative was developed to ensure that firefighters have the skills, training and equipment they need to maximise their own safety and minimise the risk of further injury to the animals they are called to help.

Area Manager Denis O’Driscoll, who heads up Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Operational Response Department, said: "Although we do not receive a large number of these types of calls, we know that there will be occasions where we will need to undertake this kind of activity. As a result, we need to ensure that we are adequately prepared and equipped to deal with these incidents and we are grateful to The Horse Trust for the support and assistance that they are providing. This is a good example of an increasing number of joint initiatives and collaborations that Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is engaged in that will provide real benefits to our local communities."

Among the large animals Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is asked to assist are horses, usually those who have got themselves stuck in ditches, stables or cattle grids, but also to horses trapped in overturned trailers on roads or motorway.

It is also possible that firefighters could be called to a fire at an equestrian yard or stables. When trapped in unusual conditions, any animal is likely to become frightened, which can make a situation more dangerous both for the animal and firefighters.

The Horse Trust has provided horse-handling training to members of operational staff from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service. During evening sessions at The Horse Trust’s stables in Speen, firefighters from Great Missenden and Winslow were taught about animal behaviour and awareness, as well as how to approach and catch horses safely.

Paul Jepson, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust, said: “With over 100 horses, ponies and donkeys here at the sanctuary, we are very aware of the real risk of fire and regularly have drills to remind our staff of the process of evacuating the stables at speed with safety foremost in the minds of our staff and horses.  Over the years, a number of our geriatric horses have got themselves stuck under fences and become distressed as they have been unable to stand up, so we understand the importance of horse handling knowledge when dealing with these situations.”

The Horse Trust has also given Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service a grant of 11,636 to enable them to buy the specialist equipment needed for the rescues.  

The specialist animal rescue teams will be formally launched later in the year.

Further Information:

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue: www.bucksfire.gov.uk

The Horse Trust (www.horsetrust.org.uk) is the oldest horse charity in the world, originally established back in 1886 to help the working horses in London. Its expanding welfare department has a number of initiatives underway which will provide tangible welfare benefits to horses in our area and their owners, as well as emergency service and partner organisation personnel. These include provision of specialist horse training which will prepare and equip emergency responders to deal safely with horse encounters and increase safety for all present at the scene. 

Thames Valley Horsewatch (www.thamesvalleyhorsewatch.org.uk) is a Thames Valley Police initiative to combat equine crime and aims to raise awareness of equine crime and improve communication and security among horse owners and riders.


 PEOPLE  24/07/09 – UK: Chairman of British Riding Clubs dies

It was with much sadness that the Trustees of the BHS and the members of the British Riding Clubs National Executive Committee learnt that Laurie Punnett died on Thursday 23 July.

BHS Chairman Patrick Print said "Whether it was as a Trustee of the BHS, Chairman of the BRC NEC or Chairman of Gower Riding Club, Laurie's commitment was total.

 “In his element as a cross-country controller, witty and informed in the commentary box and totally dedicated as 'chef d'equipe’ for his wife Sarah, Laurie put his heart into the Riding Club movement, earning the respect and affection of all those who reaped the benefit. I will not be the only one mourning the loss of a very good friend today."

Source:  British Horse Society


 FIRE  20/07/09 – UK: Arson attack on donkeys

A donkey escaped being burned to death in a suspected arson attack at stables in Scarborough.

Source: Scarborough Evening News


 LEGAL  20/07/09 – UK: Horse owners urged to check their equestrian insurance policies

A specialist equine barrister is urging horse owners to scrutinise their insurance closely after learning that many policies do not cover third-party liability when a horse is being cared for on a livery yard, by a visiting practitioner or by a horse-sitter.

Source: Horse & Hound


 ACCIDENT  19/07/09 – Ireland: Woman out riding in critical condition after being hit by a truck

A woman is in a critical condition in hospital after she was hit by a truck.  The accident happened on 19 July (10 a.m) as she was out horse riding on the R666 road to Fermoy, Co Cork.

Source: Ireland Online

21/07/09 Update

The Irish Independent reports that the 52 year old woman remains in a critical condition, having suffered serious head and chest injuries. The horse was killed instantly in the accident. 

Source: Irish Independent


 ACCIDENT  17/07/09 – Cornwall, UK: Girl kicked by horse airlifted to hospital

A girl had to be airlifted to hospital after she was kicked by her horse which she is thought to have been walking alongside.

Source: This is The Westcountry


 INDUSTRY  15/07/2009 – UK: Criminal Records Bureau reduces fees 

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has announced that it will reduce the fee for Standard Disclosures from October with total savings to customers of 1 million.

Following a pricing review, the government agency has agreed to reduce the fee charged for a Standard Disclosure from 31 to 26.

Home Office Minister David Hanson MP said:

“The CRB plays a vital role helping to protect the most vulnerable in our society by giving employers the extra tools they need to make informed recruitment decisions. The cost of a CRB check now represents even greater value for money given the protection and assurance that such checks provide.”

The recently published Business Plan for 2009/10 shows that during the past 12 months the CRB has

prevented a further 18,000 unsuitable people from gaining access to children and vulnerable adults as a direct result of a CRB check, bringing the total to around 98,000 in the past five years.

The following fee levels will apply from October 1 throughout the remainder of 2009/10:

- Standard CRB check  26 (reduced from 31)

- Enhanced CRB check  36

- POVAFirst check  6

Further information about the CRB

The CRB was established under Part V of the Police Act 1997 and commenced operation in 2002.

It provides access to criminal record information through its Disclosure service. It enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving children or vulnerable adults.

Source: Home Office

Go to the Criminal Records Bureau website


 RESCUE  13/07/09 – New Hampshire – USA:  Horse frees itself after getting stuck in mud

A horse stuck in the mud on Monday was in danger of being put down until it managed to pull itself out.

Source:  WMUR


 RESCUE  12/07/09 - UK: Vets and fire crews work to make horse rescues safer

 Vets and fire crews in the south-east held a "local rescue meeting" on Tuesday (7 July) as part of a continuing drive to make horse rescues safer and more efficient.

The initiative builds on the "emergency services protocol" launched in May 2007 by BEVA and the British Horse Society (BHS), after H&H reported a worrying variation in the way police and firemen handle 999 calls involving equines.

The protocol is soon to be relaunched and Horse & Hound would like to hear if your horse has been involved in an emergency where fire crew and/or police attended. Please email abi_butcher@ipcmedia.com

Source:  Horse & Hound


 FIRE  11/07/09 - Eastern Pennsylvania – USA:  4 horses injured in barn fire

Four horses have been injured, one critically, as three barns burned at Pink Star Equestrian Center, Eastern Pennsylvania. Most of the farm's 30 horses were in pastures and stayed away from the flames.

Fire broke out around 11 p.m. Thursday 9 July at the farm near Limekiln in Oley Township, about 45 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It took more than 120 firefighters from 30 fire companies in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties to get the fire under control.  

Officials are investigating the cause of the blaze, which leveled two barns, left a third partly standing and is estimated to have caused damage in the region of $700,000 to $1 million.

Source: PA/Reading Eagle

13/07/09 – Update

It’s reported that the four horses injured in the fire are expected to recover.  However, two of the horses suffered severe burns to their backs and damage to their lungs. One of the two also suffered burns to its head and side.  The owner said that neither horse will ever will be ridden again and one may lose its vision.

Source:  Reading Eagle


 ACCIDENT  10/07/09 - North Carolina - USA: Woman dies on trail ride

A Pennsylvania woman on a trail ride died on Thursday evening (9 July) when the horse she was riding in Madison County reared and fell on her.

Source: News Record & Sentinel


 ACCIDENT  10/07/09 - Worcestershire - UK: Man falls from horse on old railway

A man in his 60’s, found unconscious, was airlifted to hospital after falling from his horse on a disused railway track in Prescott, Cleobury Mortimer.  It’s believed that the horse may have rolled on him. He was treated at the scene for a minor head and hand injury and taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for further assessment and treatment.

Source: Berrows Worcester Journal


UK: ABRS Annual General Meeting & Conference 2009

The Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) is holding its Annual General Meeting and Conference on Monday 19 October at Shrigley Hall, Pott Shrigley, Manchester, Cheshire SK10.

Further information about the event and booking can be found at: www.abrs-info.org/


 HSE  Dorset – UK: Free health and safety training workshop for equestrian businesses

Local Councils in Dorset are working in partnership with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Kingston Maurward College to bring those in the equestrian industry a free health and safety training workshop.

The workshop will take place at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester (DT2 8PX) from 10.30 – 3.45 on Thursday 12 November 2009.

Topics during the day will include how to comply with legislation and the supporting role of the HSE and Local Authorities. At a practical level there will be a focus on manual handling, ATV (quad bike) and machinery safety, human and equine personal protective equipment, supported by ridden demonstrations from the equestrian department at the College.

Those attending will have the opportunity to ask questions in a friendly and relaxed environment.

To register to attend this event e-mail Glenda Treneary at shads.glendatreneary@hse.gsi.gov.uk or call 01752 276300 and ask for Glenda Treneary or Paul Webber.  Closing date for registration will be on 1 November 2009.

Click on the picture to find out more details
Poster with details of event

 UK: When do the clocks change?  Information to 2011



The third edition of the Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium has just been launched.  I’ve not yet met a horse owner who knew of the existence of the previous editions, first launched in 2002. They’re an absolute gem and I suggest everyone involved with the care of horses download a copy, and hang a hard copy in every yard.  The guidelines represent good practice and can act as a basis for any other country wishing to set up guidelines of its own.  They’re there to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our horses, ponies and donkeys.  We owe it to them to read and act on them.


Ken Law


Check out the latest local, national and international weather forecasts from the Met Office


UK: Get detailed weather forecasts for where you live (by postcode)

 UK: DEFRA / AHT / BEVA Equine Quarterly Disease Surveillance Report - Volume 5, No.2: April – June 2009

Highlights in this issue:

• Borna Disease

West Nile Virus Lineage

   "In sicknes and in health"

BHS in sickness and health campaign

   Breaking the Strangles hold

In February 2007, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and British Horse Society (BHS) launched a nationwide Strangles Campaign, which has two aims. The first is to raise awareness of this dreadful equine plague, and the second is to gain support for the research programme.

For this, the target is to raise 250,000 to fund research into the next stages of the development of improved means of diagnosis and prevention – ultimately to eradicate this terrible disease.

The campaign was launched by the President of the AHT, HRH The Princess Royal, at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. It continues to make great progress, with the total raised so far standing at 159,000.

For more information about Strangles and the campaign visit www.strangles.org


   World Horse Welfare (formerly ILPH) 'Make a Noise' campaign


Rider Protection
Riding Hats/Helmets
    Riding hats and helmets are just different terms used to describe the same thing - protective headwear.
    Wearing properly fitted and secured hats saves lives. 
    The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) consider that hats to the British PAS 015 1998 offer the best in terms of shock absorbency, penetration and retention.

Other hats also considered to offer a high level of protection are:

The European Standard EN 1384
The ASTMF 1163-95
ASTM Snell E95 (SEI)
Australian/New Zealand SNZ 3838 1998

    A high performance helmet standard offering greater protection from side impacts and aimed at competition riders was launched in 2005.  Helmets in accordance with BSEN 14572:2005 are intended for use in high-risk activities, and not to supersede the current standards.

    Some organisations and competitions impose certain hat standards - check before you ride.

    To work properly hats must must be fitted correctly by someone competent. In the UK, this will preferably be by someone who has received training in hat fitting through BETA or manufacturers such as Charles Owen. It is usual for anyone who has attended  training to receive a certificate.
    You'll probably buy your hat through a saddlers, tack shop or riding school. Ask if the person fitting it has been trained.  Very often certificates are displayed. Remember your life may depend on having a properly fitted hat.
     A riding hat is lined with microscopic bubble wrap. When a hat hits the ground or a hard surface the bubbles burst absorbing the impact. The hard shell spreads the area of contact over a much larger load bearing area. Anyone who has ever played with bursting bubble wrap knows that once all the bubbles are burst it's no longer any good for its intended purpose. That's why a hat should be replaced after being dropped on the ground or following a blow to the head, especially if the wearer loses consciousness.
     Don't buy or use a second-hand hat  - you don't know its history.
     Look after your hat carefully. Don’t leave it on the back shelf of your car exposed to the sun during summer – excessive heat can damage it. Similarly, leave it in a warm, dry place overnight after riding. Don’t be tempted to dry it in front of a fire or on a radiator. To reduce the risk of rusting of the metal components don’t store it in a plastic bag before it is dry. he expected
     The expected life span of a hat for the average rider is five years.
Body Protectors
    Coming soon...
    Coming soon...
Protective equipment used in the workplace
    UK: Any personal protective equipment (PPE) used by staff in the workplace is subject to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations. The main requirement of the Regulations is that PPE is to be supplied and used at work wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. Examples of “PPE” include: riding helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and clothing affording protection against the weather.
Riding Out  

    Always wear a helmet

...it make sense to do so. Make sure it is fastened securely and meets current standards. For children under the age of 14 when riding on roads this is a legal requirement. 

    Always wear high visibility clothing

For both you and your horse. This will help drivers and pilots of low flying military aircraft see and avoid you. It can also help the emergency services locate you in the event of an accident. Consider a mix-and-match of pink and yellow that can help you be seen better in differing lighting and weather conditions. 

British Horse Society poster advises ‘Be Seen – Be Safe’

    Ride out with someone
...when possible.
    Tell someone where you are going
...and when you expect to be back.
    Carry a mobile phone
...switched to silent for outgoing emergency calls only.  Make sure you keep it on you and not in an attached saddle bag.  Think about keeping it away from your major bodily organs that your phone might damage in the event of an accident.
    Identify yourself
...consider carrying some form of personal information that can identify you in the event of an accident.  Include emergency contact numbers.  If you carry a mobile phone include in your contacts "ICE" - in case of emergency.  This can help the emergency services to quickly contact friends or relatives - but do let them know that you've stored their details as ICE1, ICE2 etc. for this purpose.
    Identify your horse
...consider getting an disc engraved with telephone contact details of your yard, yourself and your vet to attach to the D rings of your saddle. In the event of you getting separated from your horse these contact details will help a finder to make contact.  Remember to make sure that the contact numbers you give will always be answered promptly by someone who can take action. You can get engraved (large dog) discs from your vet.
    Avoid using roads where possible
    Always use approved routes
...only ride where you have been given permission or are legally entitled to do so.
    Follow the Highway Codehighway_code.jpg

An updated Highway Code was launched in September 2007.

The Official Highway Code is published by The Stationery Office Ltd (TSO) and is priced at 2.50. Copies are also available from High Street and online bookstores.  An adapted online version of the Code is also available.  There are rules that relate to horses and animals in the code but the British Horse Society has produced its own guide for the rules that specifically apply to horses. Further background information from the Department for Transport

    Consider taking the British Horse Society's Riding and Road Safety training

The BHS Riding and Road Safety Test is taken by over 4,000 candidates a year and helps to educate riders in road safety in order to minimise the risk involved when riding on the roads.

    Make sure that you're insured

...in case you or your horse cause damage or injury.  If you're a horse owner your insurance may already provide cover but do check. One of the benefits of BHS Gold Membership is that it provides up to 10 million Personal Liability Insurance Cover for all the horses you own, look after and ride.

    If you have an accident...

The BHS is working to improve horse and rider safety on the roads. Please help them by reporting any horse/rider related traffic accidents or near misses.

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 HSE  13/07/09 – UK: HSE warns businesses not to be misled over new law poster

HSE law poster

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning businesses across Britain not to be duped into buying unnecessary and overpriced copies of its health and safety law poster.

The poster is a fixture of every workplace in Britain and employers have a legal duty to display the poster in a prominent position or provide each worker with a copy of a Law pocket card. Both outline employer and workers responsibilities and where workers can seek advice.  As from 6 April 2009, HSE is publishing new simpler versions of its approved health and safety poster and leaflet. Employers can, if they wish, continue to use their existing versions of poster and leaflet until 5 April 2014, as long as they are readable and the addresses of the enforcing authority and the Employment Medical Advisory Service up to date.

There is some evidence of misleading promotions wrongly claiming that the old poster must be replaced immediately and that the new law poster should be displayed on every notice board within the business’ premises.

This is incorrect and employers could be led to believe that they are not meeting their legal requirements.

Read more

Source: HSE  


 HSE   03/ 07/09 - UK:  HSE says safety advisers need accreditation

Health and safety advisers need accreditation to ensure they meet appropriate standards of professional competence, the chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Judith Hackitt , has said:   “We have no interest in HSE directly controlling or regulating such a scheme, but we are very keen to ensure that all professional bodies who establish an accreditation scheme do so in a way that measures competence in practice, not just acquired knowledge.' She added: 'Accreditation must include continuing professional development as a requirement as well as a means of sanction, with real teeth, for anyone who acts unethically in their professional activities - including providing inappropriate advice or guidance.”

Source: HSE


 LEGAL  11/06/2009 – UK: Northamptonshire animal feed company fined after worker falls from height

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reminding employers of their duties to the safety of staff following an incident in Kettering where an employee fell six foot and suffered serious injury.

Kettering-based Dodson and Horrell Limited were fined 2,000 and ordered to pay costs of 2,255 at Kettering Magistrates Court on Thursday 11 June, after pleading guilty to breaching Health and Safety legislation.

Dodson and Horrell contravened Regulation 3(1)a of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in that they failed to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees undertaking maintenance that involved working at height.

On 17 July 2008, at the company's premises in Ringstead, Northamptonshire, a 53-year-old local worker was oiling the chains on a machine that stacks bags of animal feed onto pallets, when he fell approximately six feet, resulting in bruised ribs and a punctured lung.

Prosecuting, HSE Inspector Michelle Morrison said:

"The risks of working at height always need to be fully assessed as every month 1,000 workers suffer a serious injury following a slip, trip or a fall in the workplace.  The outcome of this incident, the injuries and the subsequent fine remind us that the results can be serious for people and for businesses that fail to comply with their health and safety duties."


Further Information:

1. HSE produces a wide range of guidance to assist companies carrying out work at height. These assist companies carrying out such work and identify appropriate control measures to prevent potential injuries. www.hse.gov.uk 

2. Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states: "Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work."  

Source:  Health and Safety Executive (East Midlands)



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