How Lone Working affects Grooms, Stable Hands and Farriers in the U.K

The estimated horse population, including both private and professional ownership, in the United Kingdom is just below one million horses (988,000)¹ . There are around 2,800 registered farriers¹ and around 77,000 Animal care service occupations which include Grooms and Stable Hands² .

Looking at horse related accident statistics, we find that in 2014 there were a little over 100 instances of personal injury accident cases involving horsesᵌ.

There are lots of different types of horse related accidents, and injuries are frequently sustained not only by horse riders, but many injuries occur whilst on the ground, by those who are employed to care for horses.

Injuries commonly occur from kicks and bites. As a horse’s teeth and feet are its only means of defence, grooms, stable hands and farriers can often find themselves the recipient of a nasty bite or kick when a horse feels threatened. Also working in close proximity to horses, often inside stables, means there is more chance of crush injuries occurring. A horse weighs about half a ton and if they are not properly controlled in stables or other confined spaces where people are moving about there is the risk of being accidentally crushed by a horse against a wall, gate or fence.

Those who work with horses are owed a duty of care by their employer. Grooms, stable hands and farriers are frequently on their own working with horses in rather dangerous circumstances. Staff should be using a lone worker system that enables them to be monitored correctly. The system should ensure all workers are safe and able to check in or request help if needed. This is crucial to staff well-being, but also necessary to comply with lone working regulations in The U.K.

Ok Alone offers a solution to this problem. The lone worker safety app allows workers to check in at regular intervals and request help if they need it. The system has GPS that can locate a worker if they are out on a ride and something happens. Using Ok Alone is not going to stop a horse from kicking, but it will mean that someone else will be alerted and can then act to get help.

1 Equestrian Statistics, The British Horse Society, 2013

2 Office of National Statistics – Labour Force Survey May 2018

3 https://www.legalexpert.co.uk/how-to-claim/horse-accident-or-riding-injury-claims/#horse9