Facebook Pixel
Person in green wellies walking through a farmers field

Enhancing Physical Working Conditions on Farms: A Guide for Agricultural Employers

Back to Blogs

As an agricultural recruitment agency, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists understand that attracting and retaining the best talent in the farming industry requires more than just competitive wages. The physical working conditions on farms play a crucial role in the overall job satisfaction and productivity of farm workers. Here, we offer insights and practical advice for farm employers looking to improve working conditions, based on findings from “Level the Field” by Farmers Weekly and a number of industry partners.

Lady farmer smiling in a farmers field

Why Physical Working Conditions Matter

Farm work is inherently challenging and physically demanding. Typical activities include heavy lifting, operating machinery, repetitive tasks, exposure to noise and chemicals, and working in extreme weather conditions. Poor working conditions can deter potential employees and make it difficult to retain experienced staff.

Key Areas to Address:

Protecting Female Health and Hygiene

Women face unique challenges in farm work, from using machinery designed for men to finding appropriate workwear and PPE. According to Farmers Weekly, nearly half of the women surveyed reported difficulties in using machinery and equipment, largely due to a lack of training and unsuitable design.


  • Sanitary Facilities: Ensure access to clean, private bathrooms with running water, soap, sanitary bins, and feminine hygiene products.

  • Appropriate Workwear: Provide workwear and PPE that fit all employees, including women and those who do not fit the average build.

  • Training and Inclusion: Offer training on using machinery and equipment, and create an inclusive environment where women can openly discuss and address their health and hygiene needs.

Using Machinery and Tools

Machinery and tools should be accessible and safe for all employees, regardless of gender or physical strength. Ensuring that equipment is properly maintained and that staff are adequately trained can reduce the risk of injury and improve efficiency.


  • Ergonomic Design: Choose machinery and tools designed for a diverse workforce.

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance and safety checks on all equipment.

  • Comprehensive Training: Provide thorough training on the safe and effective use of machinery and tools.

Workwear and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Suitable workwear and PPE are essential for safety and comfort. Employers must provide gear that fits properly and is appropriate for the tasks being performed.


  • Risk Assessments: Conduct risk assessments to determine the necessary PPE for each task.

  • Diverse Sizing: Ensure availability of PPE in a range of sizes to fit all employees.

  • Feedback Mechanism: Encourage feedback from staff on the fit and functionality of workwear and PPE.

Two farmers wearing wellies walking through a farm field

The Business Case for Improving Conditions

Improving physical working conditions is not just about compliance or ethics; it makes good business sense. A safe and comfortable work environment can lead to higher employee satisfaction, reduced turnover and increased productivity.

Key Benefits:

  • Attract and Retain Talent: Better working conditions make your farm more attractive to potential employees.

  • Increased Productivity: Comfortable and safe employees are more productive and efficient.

  • Enhanced Reputation: A commitment to employee well-being can enhance your farm's reputation and appeal.

Practical Steps for Improvement

1. First Impressions:

  • Clear Signage: Ensure clear signage and well-lit parking areas.

  • Safe Access: Provide safe and designated areas for staff to park and enter the farm.

2. Heating and Ventilation:

  • Climate Control: Provide sheltered, warm areas and strategically placed heaters in winter, and shaded, cool areas with access to water in summer.

  • Comfort Breaks: Encourage regular breaks in comfortable areas.

3. Toilets and Washing Facilities:

  • Essential Amenities: Ensure access to clean, private toilets with hot water and towels.

  • Sanitary Products: Offer feminine hygiene products and sanitary bins.

4. Staff Room:

  • Break Areas: Create a clean, quiet area with tables, chairs, a fridge, microwave, and clean crockery for staff to take breaks.


Improving physical working conditions on farms is a multifaceted approach that involves addressing the specific needs of all employees, including women and those with different physical capabilities. By taking these steps, farm employers can create a safer, more inclusive, and productive work environment. Agricultural Recruitment Specialists is committed to helping you attract and retain the best talent by promoting best practices in farm management and working conditions.

AgriCulture Live banner