Potato farmers are being warned they must prioritise the safety of their workers as the harvest gets under way.
The Health and Safety Executive issued the warning as it kicks off a nationwide series of safety inspections at farms that grow, pick and process spuds.
Safety risks of potato harvest
Investigators will check to see whether farms have in place measures to keep workers safe and that risks are being managed.
The HSE highlights that 30 people have died after incidents on British farms in the past year. Farm workers involved in potato harvesting specifically face risks including entanglement with machinery and being hit by vehicles.
Farmers are reminded that they can find lots of information on the HSE website regarding how to keep workers safe during the harvest.
A collaborative approach
HSE’s head of agriculture Rick Brunt called for farmers and employees to work together and follow straightforward precautions to reduce risks during the busy harvest.
He said: “HSE is calling on anyone involved with the potato harvesting season to do what they can to reduce the likelihood of incidents on their farms. By following guidance freely-available on the HSE website, farmers will be ensuring that risks are adequately controlled.”
Reference: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 26, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown