Safety guide for horticultural workers published by HSA

New guidelines on “Safety for Seasonal Horticultural Workers” were released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) today (Thursday, June 10).

Since most injuries and health problems in the workplace are “predictable and preventable,” these guidelines “will help employers and employees identify hazards in horticultural workplaces – and reduce the associated risks,” according to the company. ‘authority.

A recent Central Statistics Office (CSO) Workforce Survey found that 75% of employees working in horticulture in Ireland were not of Irish nationality.

To cater for this large segment of the horticultural workforce, HSA has provided this guide in 11 languages, including: Irish; Belarusian; Bulgarian; Lithuanian; Latvian; Portuguese; Polish; Romanian; Russian; Thai; and Ukrainian.

The guide, which is now available on the HSA website, highlights the main hazards to horticultural workers, including:

  • Untrained / unauthorized drivers;
  • Poorly maintained tractors, vehicles and machinery (eg brakes, mirrors and running boards);
  • Incorrect manual handling techniques;
  • Dangerous work at height; and
  • Slips, trips and falls.

Commenting, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English said:

“All workers have the right to have their safety, health and well-being protected while performing their duties at the workplace.

“The Health and Safety Authority guidelines are a welcome resource for seasonal workers, including those for whom English is not their first language.

“Seasonal horticultural workers face many hazards, such as working near tractors, trailers and machinery or working with chemicals and pesticides.

“I would encourage employers in this sector to take advantage of the advice and provide it to all of their workers,” the Minister said.

Mark Cullen, Deputy CEO of the Health and Safety Authority, said:

“The HSA aims to ensure that all horticultural workers have a clear understanding of the hazards in their workplace and the actions needed to prevent injuries and health issues at work.

“Reducing workplace accidents and fatalities in all sectors remains our priority and the authority will continue to work with employers and employees on preventive measures.

“These guidelines will serve not only as a useful resource for non-Irish national employees, but also for all those working in the industry,” he added.

The HSA’s guidelines for the safety of seasonal horticultural workers can be downloaded from the HSA’s website here.


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Susan W. Lloyd

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