Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Agriculture Safety and PPE

Over half a million people currently work in Agriculture which in the current context includes, farming, arboriculture, horticulture, fish farming and of increasing significance, amenity use of the countryside. Although employment has steadily been declining, the industry has remained a priority for HSE because of its notoriously poor injury record

Agriculture is also an industry with a poor record of occupational health. The SWI (Self-reported Work-related Illness) survey in 2001/02 estimated that 30,000 people (whose current or most recent job in the last eight years was in agriculture) suffered from an illness, which they believed was caused or made worse by their job sectors.

With a prevalence rate of 6,500 per 100,000 people, agriculture has one of the highest prevalence rates of self-reported ill health of all industries.

Musculoskeletal injuries (MSD), exposure to dusts and respiratory sensitisers, zoonoses, noise and vibration (whole body and hand/arm) are the main causes of illness:

  • 80% of those working in the industry suffer some form of musculoskeletal injury;
  • the incidence of asthma is twice the national average, and 40% of those working in the industry suffer respiratory disorders;
  • 20,000 people suffer some form of zoonotic infection each year; and
  • 25% of those working in the industry suffer some form of noise-induced hearing loss.

At Granite Workwear we have first hand farming knowledge with one director running a family farming business. We think farmers need to be more aware of the modern range of PPE, or Personal Protection Equipment, available.

Many farmers avoid wearing safety boots as they are seen to be uncomfortable and heavy. However the latest footwear incorporates high tec materials with steel toecaps and midsoles replaced with lightweight modern materials and uppers made from breatheable and waterproof materials. Trainer and hiker styles allow a comfortable choice. Wellies can now be now comfortable and safe with toe protection, ankle support and non slip soles.

Hearing protection and ear defenders is now covered by our Peltor range. Comfortable, lightweight with options for radio, intercoms etc.

Eye protection by Bolle and Peltor is stylish and comfortable with a huge range of glasses that will protect in the workshop, out in the field and from the sun.

Gloves are a rare sight on UK farms but there is a massive range of gloves to protect hands from many risks – infection, chemicals, heat, cuts, cold the list is endless.

Hi-vis clothing is standard practice on building sites and factories wherever a risk of vehicle or other impact is possible. It is high time this policy was adopted on busy farms. Granite workwear offer a large range of hi-vis clothing from a polo shirt to full waterproof breathable gear.

The safety record on UK farms need to improve, PPE is an easy and low cost way to help protect farm staff. See our range at www.graniteworkwear.com

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