Dutch Labour Inspection Results 2017 not positive for agricultural sector

As part of the Meerjarenplan 2015-2018 (long-term plans), the Social Affairs and Employment inspection (formerly the labor inspection) carried out additional inspections in 2017, aimed at compliance with the Arbowet (Working Conditions Act) and regulations in the agricultural and green sector. These inspections led to a new initiative from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the sector partners: zeroaccidents2020.nl.

Accidents: the facts and figures
The number of accidents in the agricultural sector is worryingly high. A report from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment shows that in 2017 alone there were 93 victims and the unreported accidents are on top of that. In the past 10 years, there have been 190 fatal accidents. The majority (41%) of these are situations in which someone has been hit by an vehicle. In addition to collisions, the victim comes into contact with moving parts of machines in about 25% of the reported cases. For example, the risk of injury is significant if maintenance work is performed on dangerous machines such as hammer mills and mixers.

Finally, the report shows that almost all companies that were inspected suffer from health problems due to physical overload. Physical (over) load is caused by lifting (heavy) objects, poor posture at work and routine work in which the same movements are made during a considerable part of the day.

No more fatalities
The inspection aims to have zero fatal accidents in the agricultural sector from 2020 onwards. You too can contribute:

  • Identify traffic flows that can lead to dangerous situations. Place facilities that make traffic on the company premises safer, such as lines or mirrors. Prepare a traffic plan containing driving routes, driving speeds, priority rules, etc.
  • Make an inventory of the machines, conveyor belts and installations where employees can come into contact with rotating parts. Provide a solid screen or suitable protection at these locations to prevent contact with moving parts of the machine.
  • Find out where physical overload occurs in your organisation. Determine what the risks are and provide employees with information about risks and measures. Consider, for example, the use of lifting aids or advice on the correct posture for lifting activities.
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