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Making Sure Your Farm is Handled Well While you are Away

11 September 2015

Find out how to make sure your farm maintains standards while you are away, with these guidelines from AHDB Pork.

While general principles are the same, nearly every farm is different, therefore each unit needs tailored work instructions.

A work instruction clearly states what should be done for a specific task, how and when this should be completed and the responsibilities and standards expected of the staff.

A work instruction should never make an assumption of prior knowledge and should always be written by the person with responsibility for physically completing the work and the manager.

Writing the Work Instruction

  • Clearly define the aim and objective of the task
  • List all essential equipment required and check legal requirements
  • List any personal protective equipment required and other safety issues to be aware of
  • Observe the stockman completing the task – identify and agree best practice
  • Record every step – however routine it may appear
  • Breakdown the task, i.e. initial checks/preparation, outline activities, and how to complete
  • Produce a simple bullet list of activities
  • Use photos to demonstrate expected standards – photos say a thousand words
  • Write in simple language, ensuring all staff are capable of understanding the activities
  • Date and identify the work instruction. Review and amend regularly or when a procedure alters

Do not include details and explanations in the main part of the work instruction. This should be covered by staff training and the further information section, not in the instructions.

Initial checks/preparation

  • This section should highlight all checks that should be made before starting the task, such as ensuring all the relevant equipment required to complete the task is available at the start
  • Include personal preparation, such as the appropriate PPE needed for the task

Outline of the work

  • Every stage of the task should be represented by a single bullet point in the appropriate order – use a numbered list when order is important
  • Each bullet point should state a specific action
  • Once written, try completing the task purely by following the bullet points – it may take more than one attempt to get this right

Additional information

This section can be used for important background information about the task.

Reference documents

This should list relevant documents where staff can find out more information if required i.e. the staff handbook, legislation etc.

A work instruction is only effective if it is regularly reviewed and can be understood and followed by anybody, regardless of their prior knowledge.

September 2015

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