HSE encourages potato farmers in the East of England to consider...

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reminding farmers who grow potatoes in the East of England of the importance of managing risks to workers during the potato harvest as it launches its latest inspection initiative.

HSE inspectors will be visiting farms across the country that grow, pick and process potatoes over the next few months to ensure risks during the harvesting season are being controlled and measures are in place to protect farmers and their workers.

Those working in the industry are reminded of the range of free resources available on the HSE website which offers guidance and advice for what can be a hectic time for workers.

The initiative announcement comes after the latest HSE statistics show that there have been 30 deaths on farms in Great Britain over the last 12 months. With incidents during the potato harvest remaining a common cause of serious and fatal injury, including falls from height, entanglement with machinery or being struck or run over by vehicles, HSE inspectors will be checking to see if farmers are mitigating risks.

HSE’s head of agriculture, Rick Brunt, 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.”

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