Meetings-MESHA-Final Code-2010-10-0355-1-En.doc/v2 1
In accordance with decisions taken by the Governing Body of the ILO at its
298th Session in March 2007, and its 306th Session in November 2009, a Meeting of
Experts on Safety and Health in Agriculture was convened in Geneva from 23 November
to 1 December 2009 to consider a draft code of practice on safety and health in agriculture.
The meeting was composed of seven experts appointed following consultations with
Governments, eight experts appointed following consultations with the Employers’ group
and eight experts appointed following consultations with the Workers’ group of the
[Text referring to subsequent steps is to be developed following adoption of the
ILO codes of practice are technical standards which provide practical guidance for
specific sectors or topic areas. They often complement existing ILO standards, notably
Conventions and Recommendations, but, unlike Conventions, they are non-binding. Where
they deal with occupational safety and health (OSH), they provide detailed technical
advice about the hazards and risks associated with the particular sector or topic area, and
how such hazards/risks can be effectively managed and controlled so as to prevent
occupational accidents and diseases.
This code of practice is devoted to improving OSH in agriculture and complements
the Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention 2001 (No. 184), and its supplementing
Recommendation (No. 192), and provides further guidance for their application in practice.
It provides guidance on appropriate strategies to address the range of OSH risks
encountered in agriculture in order to prevent – as far as is reasonably possible – accidents
and diseases for all those engaged in this sector. It also provides guidance on the roles of
the competent authorities, employers, workers and their organizations in promoting OSH
within this sector. Its provisions are based on principles contained in Convention No. 184
and many other ILO Conventions and Recommendations, all of which are listed in the
bibliography at the end of the code.
The provisions of this code are not intended to replace relevant national legislation or
good practice on OSH in agriculture, especially where these lay down higher standards of
control. More stringent requirements should take precedence over those of this code, but in
the absence of national legislation and guidance, this code together with other national and
international standards should serve as helpful guidance in improving OSH in agriculture.
Importantly, OSH standards affecting women workers have been traditionally
underestimated because these standards and exposure limits to hazardous substances are
based on male populations and laboratory tests. Since the majority of agricultural workers
are women, this code takes into consideration the gender dimensions of OSH in
agriculture. This is a positive development which more closely reflects the reality of the