Labour Education 2000/1-2, Nos. 118/119

Top on the agenda: Health and dafety in agriculture

These articles portray a grim picture of poorly remunerated labour, usually unorganized, supported by six-digit figures of accidents and deaths around the world. All the articles are variants of the same sad story: inclement conditions; poor accommodation; working and living on the same sites; no protective clothing or equipment or, even when available, not well adapted to climatic conditions; farm machines imported from industrialized countries which are not ergonomically suited to the functionality requirements; bites and stings from animals and insects; and, not least, the ill effects of pesticides on workers’ health and the environment. The demands of agricultural work also take their toll on children: they drop out of school to assist their parents in the fields, many falling victims to the risks and hazards of fieldwork.