Each year between 40 and 50 workers are killed on British farms; a higher death rate than in the construction or manufacturing industry. Creating an awareness of the hazards associated with agriculture will help your clients operating in this sector reduce risk.
Your clients should review the following key areas:
- Health risks
- Agricultural workers are exposed to numerous health risks in their working environment including:
All the hazards need to be assessed and managed.
- the use of chemical pesticides
- manual handling
- exposure to diseases that can be transmitted from animals
- exposure to poultry dust and those created during harvest
- Every year, a significant number of agriculture employees are injured or killed while operating machinery. It is critical that:
- machinery is suitable for the task
- machinery is properly maintained with dangerous parts safeguarded
- training is provided to ensure it is used in a safe way
- Consideration needs to be given to:
- proximity of overhead cables as electricity can jump gaps if machinery is used to close
- the line routing of underground cables particularly before excavating land
- Appropriate livestock handling systems should be in place to reduce the risk of injury.
- The risk of falls can be minimised by implementing simple measures such as using appropriate and secure platforms or ladders when working at heights and ensuring that bales are stacked safely.
- The public
- Access by the general public ( especially children), to machinery, animals and dangerous areas (such as chemical stores, reservoirs and grain bins) should all be guarded against.
- Confined spaces
- These areas heighten the risk of injury because ventilation is inadequate. On farms, confined spaces are common in produce stores (such as grain bins) and pits (such as slurry or vehicle inspection areas).
- Heavy work
- Farm duties by their very nature involve heavy work at times and periodic inspections should be made to ensure that employees are following the correct procedures.
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