Biosecurity

Rowleys Commercial Energy Assessment Limited is committed to assisting our agricultural clients and other livestock or plant premises to maintain biosecurity on their premises. We understand that the action you take on your premises is vital in stopping the introduction and spread of animal and plant diseases and pests in the UK. We actively support the practice of good biosecurity measures at all times.

We understand that disease or pests may not always be apparent, especially in the early stages, and there are many ways in which they can be introduced and spread. We recognise that visitors to your premises, particularly those that visit a number of different similar premises in an area, are a potential source of disease and contamination. We are committed to taking appropriate actions to minimise this risk.

The policy’s purpose is to:

  • Ensure compliance with The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002.

  • Promote, as far as practicable, high standards of biosecurity to maintain human, animal and plant health.

Zoonoses

All farm animals naturally carry a range of diseases, some of which can also affect humans. These diseases are known as zoonoses, and if you work with animals your health may be at risk from them.

Zoonoses are caused by micro-organisms, which are subject to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). COSHH requires employers and self-employed people to:

  • assess the risks to health from work activities which involve a hazardous substance (eg a micro-organism);

  • prevent or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately control exposure to the hazardous substances;

  • introduce and maintain control measures;

  • inform, instruct and train employees about the risks and precautions to be taken;

  • regularly review risk assessments and the effectiveness of control measures.

Diseases transmitted from animals to humans can also affect visitors to farms – especially children or the elderly, who are more vulnerable to infection. These illnesses include those resulting from infection with the organisms Escherichia coli O157 (E coli O157) and Cryptosporidium parvum.

Pests and Plant Diseases

It is not just animals that are at risk from poor biosecurity. The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), The Forestry Commission, the National Trust and various other agencies are increasingly concerned about the spread of plant diseases and pests in the UK.

The information below summarises these issues:

Biosecurity - Protecting Trees from Pests and Diseases

<< Additional information available – click here >>

General Precautions

Rowleys Commercial Energy Assessment Limited has responded to advice issued by the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs by implementing the following measures:

  • We train all our staff on the principles of biosecurity, hygiene and disease security. Additionally, we provide regular refresher and update training relevant to the specific work project being undertaken.

  • We direct our staff not to feed animals and to minimise direct contact with animals, crops and other plants whilst visiting livestock and other premises where animals, crops or plants are present.

  • We direct our staff to park away from livestock and working farmyards where possible.

  • We provide our staff with appropriate PPE which we expect them to use appropriately and maintain in a clean and functional condition.

  • We expect our staff to cooperate with any reasonable biosecurity measures that the premises they are visiting have in place. Additionally, we provide cleaning and disinfectant materials to our staff when visiting premises with livestock and expect them to disinfect hands, footwear and, where necessary vehicles, before and after visiting each premises. We provide a DEFRA approved broad spectrum disinfectant (Virkon S by Du Pont).

  • We maintain records of sites visited and will make these available to relevant authorities in the event of a disease outbreak.

Disinfection Procedures

The following procedure is to be followed when visiting any premises where high levels of biosecurity risk exist. These premises include, but are not limited to, all premises where livestock are likely to be (or have recently been) present.

  1. Immediately prior to entering the premises:

    1. Clean as much dirt and mud from your footwear as practicable before disinfecting footwear using the DEFRA approved disinfectant issued for the purpose.

    2. If your vehicle is to be taken onto the site, clean as much dirt and mud from your vehicle as practicable before disinfecting wheels and tyres using the DEFRA approved disinfectant issued for the purpose.

    3. Clean hands using a suitable anti-bacterial hand sanitiser.

    4. Where possible, park off-site or in areas specifically designated for visitor parking and walk on to the premises. In particular, avoid driving through or parking in areas where livestock or farm machinery are present or used.

    5. Report immediately to a suitably responsible member of the site’s staff, book onto the premises and follow any additional biosecurity measures they may have in place.

  1. During your visit:

    1. Record your visit on our “Biosecurity Visit Record” and provide a completed “Biosecurity Confirmation Certificate” to the site’s staff. These records may be important in quickly controlling any disease outbreak that may occur.

    2. Promote awareness of Biosecurity and the company’s Biosecurity policy.

    3. Seek advice from the site’s staff as to how you can effectively minimise your exposure to any risks present.

    4. Minimise your exposure to animals, crops and plants follow good hygiene practices.

  1. Immediately after leaving the premises and before attending other sites:

    1. If your vehicle was taken onto the site, clean as much dirt and mud from your vehicle as practicable before disinfecting wheels and tyres using the DEFRA approved disinfectant issued for the purpose.

    2. Clean as much dirt and mud from your footwear as practicable before disinfecting footwear using the DEFRA approved disinfectant issued for the purpose.

    3. Ensure any contaminated equipment is either cleaned and disinfected or disposed of in an appropriate manner. Where this is not immediately possible, ensure that it is stored in a manner as to minimised the risk of any further cross-contamination.

    4. Clean hands using a suitable anti-bacterial hand sanitiser.

  1. After your visit (within 48 hours):

    1. Return your completed “Biosecurity Visit Record” to Head Office where it will be made available to the relevant authorities if required.

    2. Report any specific risks you are made aware of during your visit to the General Manager at Head Office.

    3. Report any concerns you may have from your visit relating to plant or animal health or welfare to the General Manager at Head Office.

All employees are made aware of their individual responsibility to take care of themselves, the environment and others that may be affected by their work and to cooperate with the company to fulfil its duties under Health and Safety legislation and this policy.

This policy is reviewed on an annual basis and is freely available to our customers, suppliers, employees and the general public. Additionally, this policy is to be immediately reviewed upon any change to the employment of staff members identified by name within it or upon any other significant change to the business or working practices.

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