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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Should farm businesses have a social media policy?

Tesco has one, law firms have them, but few farm businesses do. Should they?
Farms are one of the most dangerous places to work.
Don't tweet and drive!
 (Don't worry, this is a mock-up, courtesy of Lamma 2013)
Whereas, for office-based businesses, social media 'issues' tend to be about using work time for keeping up with news from your friends and family, for farm businesses another issue comes to the fore: safety. Machinery and messaging your mates don't mix; handling livestock and your handset at the same time is a recipe for disaster.
How can farm businesses lay down some guidelines to make sure safety isn't compromised? One answer is to have a social media policy that sets out clearly where the lines are drawn, and to refer to it when necessary.
Our employment and agriculture bods have put their heads together and drawn up a template social media policy for farm businesses, where workers have their own devices but do not have access to the farm’s own computer systems. Its main focus is on the health and safety aspects of smartphone use around farm machinery and livestock.
You can download the template here.
Clearly, one size does not fit all situations and we strongly recommend that you review the draft against the specific needs of your own business to make sure it works for you.
If you would like further advice about this policy – how it can be adapted to your specific circumstances, when and how it can be introduced, or what to do in the case of serious or repeated breaches, please get in touch with Maz Dannourah on 01733 898967 (