Open Farm Sunday – why hand washing is crucial for visitors

The WashStand Xtra handwash unit for farms and visitor centres

HSE calls on farmers to help keep visitors safe

Open Farm Sunday takes place this year on Sun­day 9th June, with the stated aim of giving vis­i­tors “the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about farm­ing and the coun­try­side, and farm­ers the chance to talk about what they’re so proud of: British food and farming!” In the lead up to this exciting annual event, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reiterated the need for “farmers to do all they can to make sure those visiting their farms are kept safe”, according to a recent report on the Agriland website

The article by Eva Osborne-Sherlock quotes Wayne Owen, an HSE inspector, who indicated a number of essential measures that should be put in place – not only for this coming weekend, but also for other open farm events throughout the year.

Hand washing is a high priority

Mr Owen is quoted as saying “ is important that farmers understand the risks on their farm and ensure that visitors are protected from them.”

Listed as a key component in the article, is making suitable essential soap and water hand washing facilities available on areas of the farm where they will be most needed.

“Providing suitable facilities for washing hands and directing visitors to use them after petting animals, before eating food, before and after using any play equipment, and before leaving site.”

The report also warns against the apparent “quick fix” of using alcohol gels instead of the more robust method of hand hygiene – a rigorous twenty second soap and water wash.

“Hand washing gels are not an acceptable substitute for washing facilities.”

If the consumption of food and drink is allowed during the course of a visit, hand washing facilities must be available for use in that area, writes Osborne-Sherlock.

The Open Farm Sunday website advises potential visitors of the importance of diligent hand hygiene.

“Keep clean! Wash your hands thor­ough­ly with liq­uid soap and run­ning water, and dry them with paper tow­els, after touch­ing ani­mals, before eat­ing, and as you leave the farm.”

Similarly, HSE guidance Preventing or controlling ill health from animal contact at visitor attractions or open farms advises that effective control measures – including hand washing – “will help ensure that the risk of infection from contact with animals is low.”

They also emphasise that “alcohol gels and wipes are not a substitute for hand washing on farms”.

And that hygiene facilities must be available wherever they’re needed.

“…washing facilities should be sufficient for the expected numbers of visitors needing to use them at one time, and should include running water (preferably warm), soap and paper towels.”

HSE calls on farmers to keep visitors safe ahead of Open Farm Sunday »

The importance of hand washing on Open Farm Sunday
The importance of hand washing on Open Farm Sunday

Teal mobile hand wash sinks – place them wherever they’re needed!

There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks for use with pre-heated hot water.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact ClassicHandSpa, CliniWash – and now the new WashStand Xtra.