August 3, 2021
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Statistics recently released by the HSE show the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector to be particularly hazardous with a rate almost of 11.4 fatalities per 100,000 workers employed. This is particularly poor when compared to the all industry average of 0.43 fatalities per 100,000 workers in England, Scotland and Wales.

There can be particular risks for those parts of the industry that rely on seasonal labour where workers may be unfamiliar with the workplace or where the use of different languages may lead to difficulties with communication.

To help manage these risks the Irish Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have published a new guide to “Safety for Seasonal Workers in Horticulture”. This covers hazards such as manual handling, vehicles and machinery, slips, trips and falls, chemicals, confined spaces, electricity and fire.

While the guide is based on the legislation and practices in the Republic of Ireland the health and safety hazards covered are universal and the guidance is likely to be relevant wherever you are.

What may also be helpful is that, as well as English, the guidance is available in a number of languages including: Belarusian, Bulgarian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Thai and Ukrainian.

Safety for Seasonal Workers in Horticulture is free to download from the HSA’s website at:

Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using [email protected]  if you have any questions regarding safety in agriculture and horticulture or would like assistance with assessing and managing risk in your workplace.