The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a new inspection initiative targeting the agricultural sector, and potato farmers in particular, to remind them of the importance of managing risks to workers
during the potato harvest.
HSE inspectors will be visiting farms across the country that grow, pick and process potatoes over the next few months to ensure risks during the harvesting season are being controlled and measures are in place to protect farmers and their workers.
The initiative announcement comes after the latest HSE
statistics show that there have been 30 deaths on farms in Great Britain over the last 12 months. Incidents during potato harvesting season remain a common cause of serious and fatal injury and recurring causes include entanglement with dangerous parts of machines, being struck or run over by vehicles and falls from height.
Throughout the inspection initiative, inspectors will be checking:
- Haulm and clod rollers are properly guarded;
- PTO guards are in good condition;
- Harvester operators have been trained;
- All drivers follow Safe Stop;
- Work equipment is adequately maintained;
- Moving vehicles are segregated from pedestrians; and
- Risks or falls from trailers and in potato stores are managed.
“The risks during potato harvesting are well-known but the precautions are straightforward,” explained HSE’s head of agriculture, Rick Brunt. “Farmers and their employees need to work together to make sure equipment is safe and work is well-planned. This inspection initiative is about ensuring those participating in any harvesting activity remain safe and go home from their work healthy.”
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