Agricultural installations

Author:International Labour Organization
118 Meetings-MESHA-Final Code-2010-10-0355-1-En.doc/v2
14. Agricultural installations
14.1. Summary
14.1.1. Agricultural installations include farm workshops, animal housing, storage
facilities, wells and pumps, crop and machinery maintenance structures, pens, stockyards
and other structures of various types and sizes.
14.1.2. Many hazards can be prevented or minimized through design, construction
and maintenance. Deficiencies in any of these aspects may result in hazardous exposures to
14.1.3. Safe design, construction and maintenance should be considered for the life
cycle of each facility. Facilities should meet building regulations. Major considerations
include siting, structural soundness, layout and housekeeping, ventilation, fire, storages
and electrical installations.
14.1.4. Good housekeeping greatly reduces the risk of ―lost time injury‖ in
enterprises and thereby increases productivity. Good housekeeping measures include, but
are not confined to, such items as:
the cleaning of workshops and removal of refuse at the end of each day;
proper storage of goods, materials and gear on tidy shelving or pallet stack shelves.
Stored materials should not obstruct passageways or traffic lanes or interfere with
adequate lighting in work areas, ergonomic friendly work areas;
separate and clearly painted travel routes for persons and mobile equipment on
workshop floors; and
regular ―housekeeping‖ meetings with workers, their representatives, and
management seeking feedback and input to improve housekeeping practice.
14.1.5. Design, construction and maintenance practices for agricultural installations,
along with important safety behavioural practices for employers and workers, are
described below. Hazards are discussed below under the headings: (1) Hazard description;
(2) Risk assessment; (3) Engineering controls; and (4) Safe work systems and procedures.
14.2. Risk assessment
14.2.1. The competent authority should ensure that safety standards are established
with regard to construction and maintenance of agricultural facilities. Such standards
should be based on sound scientific criteria and accepted international practice.
14.2.2. Employers should inform themselves of the relevant standards and carry out
a risk assessment to determine the measures required to eliminate the hazard or the control
strategies required to minimize workers’ exposure.
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14.3. Design, construction and maintenance
14.3.1. Hazard description Major design components common to many agricultural installations
include building materials and layout, illumination, ventilation, storage of hazardous
materials and electrical installations. Deficiencies or inadequacies in these areas create hazards and risks
involving the movement of workers, fire hazards, electrocution hazards as well as vision
and breathing problems.
14.3.2. Engineering controls Building clients, architects, developers and engineers should ensure that
all requirements of the competent authority are included in specification and tender
documents. They should maintain records of the location and type of building materials
used so as to provide the necessary information to those who may have potential for
exposure in the future. Building clients and main contractors should always use contracting firms
which conform to the requirements where these have been set out by the competent
authority. Chemical safety data sheets and labels, as well as other product
information on safety and health should be prepared in conformity with the requirements
of the competent authority, by the manufacturers of building products (e.g. protective
coatings, soldering lead and insulation wools) and made available to suppliers and users.
The production of chemical safety data sheets in electronic format should be encouraged. Suppliers and importers, as the link between manufacturers and users,
should ensure that the information and instructions of the manufacturers are transmitted to
their customers. Any repackaging by the supplier should meet the requirements set out for
manufacturers on packaging, storage, transport, labelling, chemical safety data sheets and
product information. Buildings and structures made of steel, iron or metal present less risk of
fire loss. Insulation materials should be non-combustible and non-toxic. The potential
generation of hazardous fibre and dust should be considered. Long open structures should
have fire barriers in the roof and ceiling areas at distances of no more than 76 metres for
low or moderate heat release structures, and 30 metres for high heat release structures. Separate pathways for workers and mobile equipment should be provided.
Blocking devices should be used to protect workers required to perform work in vehicle
travel areas. Exits for workers should be clearly marked and lit. Pathways for mobile
equipment should include sufficient width, height and turning space for the intended work.
Walking and working areas should be sufficiently high for workers to move without
stooping or bending. If there are low-hanging beams, structural supports or ceilings, they
should be marked with hazard tape and workers provided with bump caps. Racking and shelving should be arranged so that goods can be safely
loaded and the structures onto which they are being loaded are protected from strikes by
vehicles. Arrangements for stacking sacks and bails should be subject to design systems to
ensure they will not collapse.

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