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Health & Safety in the working environment
Health & Safety in the working environment
Health & Safety in the working environment
Health & Safety in the working environment
Health & Safety in the working environment
Health & Safety in the working environment
Health & Safety in the working environment
Health & Safety in the working environment
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Health & Safety in the working environment

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The agricultural workplace is full of hazards, with farmers at particularly high risk of work related injuries, illnesses and even death. It is vitally important therefore that the right precautions …

The agricultural workplace is full of hazards, with farmers at particularly high risk of work related injuries, illnesses and even death. It is vitally important therefore that the right precautions are taken consistently to protect the health and safety of everyone in the farm environment, be they farmers themselves, those that work for them, both employees and contractors - as well as visitors and family members.

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  • 1. Digital Re-print - July | August 2012Health & Safety in the working environment Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2010 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872 www.gfmt.co.uk
  • 2. FEATURE HEALTH & SAFETY in the working environmentT he agricultural workplace is full of by Roger Bibbings, Occupational Safety Adviser, Royal hazards, with farmers at particu- Society for the Prevention of Accidents, United kingdom larly high risk of work relatedinjuries, illnesses and even death. It is health damage, for example, lung diseases, to plant when and where, as well as makingvitally important therefore that the right noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases, regular assessments of risks such as pests andprecautions are taken consistently to and certain cancers associated with chemical plant and animal diseases.protect the health and safety of everyone use and prolonged sun exposure. When it The management of health and safety isin the farm environment, be they farmers comes to working out what action needs to no different. This is why a risk assessmentthemselves, those that work for them, be taken to prevent these things happening, is integral to ensuring that the agriculturalboth employees and contractors - as well carrying out some basic risk assessments is a workplace continues to run smoothly, asas visitors and family members. good place to start so that you can manage well as providing the business with a cred- the risks sensibly and maintain a safe and ible action plan for the future. If assessments Taking farm safety and security seriously is sound working environment. are suitably comprehensive, they will nota key part of any successful business plan in The law is pretty clear. The Health and only pick up risks from hazards such as farmthe agricultural sector. Get it right and things Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) machinery, electricity and animals, but willgo much more efficiently. Get it wrong, puts a duty on all employers to ensure, so far also help to pinpoint any fire risks and helpeven for a second, and things can easily tip as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety assess the best and safest way of storinginto disaster with tragic consequences for and welfare of employees and any others fertilisers and other hazardous substances.individuals and indeed the whole business. who may be affected by what they do. The Of course attention has to be focused Management of Health and Safety at Work Hidden hazards >on the big hazards that can maim and kill, Regulations 1999 backs this up with key Many hazards are obvious but it is vitalbut accidents like slips, trips and falls, chronic management tasks. Self-employed people that everyone on the farm, especially newpoisoning, eye injuries, cuts and crushing can also have a duty to look after themselves starters and those who are new to theall happen in an agricultural setting, so it is and others. But it is not really about the industry, know about hidden dangers suchimportant to raise everyone’s awareness and law. Taking sensible precautions is the right as oxygen deficient atmospheres in confinedhelp prevent these accidents from becoming thing to do. And if the resources and effort spaces, such as those found in grain/foragea regular occurrence. And farming is one are properly directed at the main threats, it silos and bins, slurry pits etc. These enclosedof the few high-risk industries where the makes good business sense too. spaces can be accidents waiting to happenworkforce has to share its working environ- After all, healthy quality crops and animals and in some cases people have been killedment with the family; most farms are homes are what keep the farming industry thriving just because they were ignorant of theas well as workplaces and the dangers for and they enable farmers and growers to stay hazard. Serious injuries can result from fires,children especially are ever present. in business. So how much more important near drowning in pools or asphyxiation from is it that those who deliver these outputs being crushed by bales etc. Risk assessment > should be healthy and safe too? When carrying out an assessment, ask It is not just about accidents. Farming Effective agricultural practice is all about yourself: can the work be done anotheralso brings with it a high risk of work-related good planning, such as focusing on just what way? If it involves substances hazardous to18 | July - august 2012 Grain &feed millinG technoloGy
  • 3. FEATURE health like solvents, can it be done outside? people. For example, if tractors, farm vehicles Alternatively, check the area in question has and other workplace vehicles fall into the adequate ventilation before starting and in wrong hands, the repercussions can be lethal. case of the worst case scenario happening, Obviously, these vehicles should be properly make sure you have proper emergency maintained and suitable training given to all arrangements in place and provide rescue operators. equipment. Remember, in agriculture the most com- mon cause of serious and fatal injuries Getting caught out > involves moving and overturning vehicles. But it is often the apparently mundane Proper guarding is absolutely vital, for exam- and routine things that catch people out. ple, to prevent the terrible accidents that That is why it is so important to constantly can occur with PTO shafts. Incidents occur check that work areas are free from obstruc- when the vehicle has been left unattended; tions such as trailing cables and that buildings always check the vehicle braking system and are kept in good repair. And remember to make sure it is properly maintained. It is also think about visitors’ safety as well; once they advisable to use the ‘safe stop’ procedure have set foot on your premises their safety whenever you leave a vehicle; handbrake becomes your responsibility. Toilet and on and controls in neutral, before turning welfare facilities should also be provided and the engine off and removing the key. Each cleaned regularly as well as a clean drinking vehicle and piece of machinery needs to be water supply maintained. Microbiological assessed against actual conditions of use so hazards are critical too. It is not just the well that safe systems of work can be put in place. known zoonotic infections such as brucel- losis or ring worm, but the need to maintain Avoiding falls > awareness of the threat of infection from Falls are the second highest cause animal wastes and other materials that can of death in agriculture, but most fall harbour hazardous micro-organisms. injuries can be avoided. To stop your farm losing out on time and money as Machinery and vehicles > a result of fall injuries, ensure that all Farm machinery continues to increase work at height is planned and super- in size, power and sophistication. Often it vised, with competent people in charge. is complex and highly expensive. Its use Falls often happen from roofs, ladders, needs to be restricted to trained, competent vehicles, bale stacks, among others, so it Ingenious Overpressure Breather Valve System Protection for Oil & Gas for low Pressure Applications KUB® ELEVENT® bursting discwww.rembe.de All rights reserved - © REMBE - KUBELV-4C-E ✔ Unparalleled ✔ Optimized sealing cycling capability ✔ Modular assembly ✔ 98% operating ratio ✔ Torque independent ✔ Maximized corrosion resistance ✔ Leak tight metal to metal sealing ✔ Low operational cost ✸✸✸ WE DO IT BETTERR✸✸✸ REMBE® GMBH · SAFETY + CONTROL · Gallbergweg 21 · 59929 Brilon/Germany T + 49 (0) 29 61 - 74 05 - 0 · F + 49 (0) 29 61 - 5 07 14 · www.rembe.de · sales@rembe.de Grain &feed millinG technoloGy July - august 2012 | 19
  • 4. FEATURE is important to be risk aware and follow trained to associate people with feed- the law: ing, grooming or exercise. Handling aids Health & Safety in the mill · Avoid work at height where you can such as bull poles and halters are not a When weighing, milling and mixing · If not, use work equipment or measures bad idea and no one should ever enter animal feeds it is important that employ- to prevent falls an enclosure when a bull is loose - as it ers, the self-employed and contractors · If not, use work equipment can kill. comply with the Control of Substances that minimises the distance and Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 consequences of a fall. Prevention: education & training > (COSHH). This law exists to protect Forward planning here goes a long In summary, despite less than 1.5 per workers’ health when coming into con- way; for example, stacking materials is cent of the working population being tact with high dust levels produced by the a skill and requires trained staff to carry employed in agriculture, the sector is moving and processing of grain and seed. out the job safely and properly. responsible for between 15 per cent and Lung diseases such as asthma can Thorough inspections and correct 20 per cent of fatalities to workers each ensue as a result of short-term and long- use of ladders for access to the load will year. According to the HSE, in 2010/11, term exposure to the dust which con- help to minimise the risk of injury, as there were 42 fatalities reported, which tains bacteria, fungi and insect residues. will ensuring that full loads are secured is consistent with the agriculture average Controlling the level of exposure is the before leaving the field. A falling bale, for over the past five years. To reiterate, best way to help prevent occupational example, can kill quite easily, so remain- the main causes of death to workers are lung diseases from developing. If breath- ing alert is a must when unloading and being run over by agricultural transport ing in the dust is unavoidable, the use of destacking so that no people are hurt in or a vehicle overturning. This is closely respiratory protective equipment (RPE) the vicinity. followed by falling from a height and is advised. Workers should receive train- It is also necessary to check that the being struck by moving or falling objects ing on how to use RPE properly, includ- ladders which you are using are set up such as bales. So what is the answer with ing the importance of keeping it clean on level ground, free from obstruction regards to reducing this number of inci- and stored away from dust. Some dusts, so that they are not leaning against a dents? Fundamentally it lies in education such as barley, can irritate the skin. fragile surface and secure enough to and training and encouraging individuals Only trained people should be prevent them from slipping. to make significant changes to their present during the milling process and behaviour. It also requires leadership by there should be plenty of ventilation, Livestock dangers > example by farmers themselves and farm typically five to 10 air changes per Another area that needs to be managers. hour, with a through draught. The assessed to make it safer and more Do not be afraid to ask for help. equipment should also be checked for efficient is that of livestock handling. There are many bodies out there; suppli- signs of damage, ensuring that the dust The handling of cattle in particular needs ers, major customers, RoSPA, the NFU, extraction and gauges work properly. great care and attention as it always safety groups, and colleges that can all A ventilation engineer should examine involves a risk of injury. There have been help you to take stock of where you are the extraction and test its perform- many incidents of crushing, kicking, butt- now and where you can make improve- ance at least one every 14 months ing or goring of humans by cattle and ments. Remember, safety is no accident. and non-disposable RPE should also many people have died as a result. But If you fail to plan for safety, then you are be examined and tested at least once the risk of injury is greater if the animals planning to fail. every three months. Keeping records have not been handled regularly and of these examinations and tests for at there should be a culling policy in place least five years will highlight where pre- for temperamental animals. More InforMatIon: ventive maintenance may be needed. The Health and Safety Executive Website: www.rospa.com Ensure you have the up-to-date (HSE) states that all bulls should be For more information on agricul- safety data sheets for all chemicals tural health and safety, visit www. and products and plan for as well hse.gov.uk/agriculture/index.htm as practise emergency procedures. Include supervisors and managers in health and safety training and supervise your workers, making sure they know what to do if something goes wrong as well as following the correct work method. Above all, make sure you consult them to get their views, ideas and buy-in. More information can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/ agriculture/resources/coshh/ ag3-animal-feed.htm20 | July - august 2012 Grain &feed millinG technoloGy
  • 5. c 3 th b th T to u ty re is in m o p a m m re d te u te e d th o to a ti o c te T 14 | July - august 2012 &feed millinG technoloGyGrain July - august 2012 | 21
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  • 7. This digital Re-print is part of the July | August 2012 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full LINKS online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on www.docstoc.com. July - August 2012 • See the full issue • Nutritional impact of pellet binders • Visit the GFMT website • Contact the GFMT Team • A fresh perspective on UK milling wheat In this issue: • Generating added value by extrusion • Health • Technological & safety in • Subscribe to GFMT expertise the working Understand enzyme recovery environment in pelleted feed • Powder Containment A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edi- tion please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more informa- tion on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: jamest@gfmt.co.uk or visit www.gfmt.co.uk/reprints www.gfmt.co.uk

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