August 22, 2008
Harvest Season Brings Dangers
NEARLY 400 farm workers in the West Midlands were killed between 1997 to 2007 - almost a third in harvesting accidents, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The HSE is urging all farmers in Coventry and Warwickshire to take extra precautions with agricultural machinery during harvest season.
Major factors for this increase include long hours, use of heavy machinery, worker fatigue, inadequate training of staff, inexperience and the dangers of overhead powerlines.
According to HSE figures in the 10 year-period there were 399 fatal accidents involving farm workers, and 134 occurred during the harvest months of August, September and October.
HSE inspector Alan Plom said, "Clearly the nature of farm work carries more inherent risk than most other occupations - these risks include use of heavy machinery, the use of chemicals, working in poor or dangerous weather conditions and working atheights.
"When it comes to agricultural machinery our message to the farming community is: Stop it before you unblock it.
"We want farmers to take action to improve safety during their harvest season."
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