20th August 2017

HSE gets to the root of potato farm risks

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Potato farmers have been reminded of the importance of risk management for their workers as the Health and Safety Executive launches its latest inspection initiative.

HSE inspectors will travel the country to visit farms that grow, pick and process potatoes over the next few months to ensure risks during the harvesting season are being controlled.

They will also ensure measures are in place to protect farmers and their workers.

The initiative announcement follows the latest HSE statistics which reveal there have been 30 deaths on farms in Great Britain over the last year.

Incidents during potato harvesting season remain a common cause of serious and fatal injury and include falls from a height, entanglement with dangerous parts of machines and being hit or run over by vehicles.

Farmers can access a range of free resources available on the HSE website which offers guidance and advice for what can be a hectic time for workers.

Rick Brunt, head of agriculture at HSE, said: “The risks during potato harvesting are well-known but the precautions are straightforward. 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.

“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.”