Guide to safety in agriculture

The purpose of this guide is to suggest some ways and means of achieving progress towards greater safety on the farm. It will be seen that it is not only necessary to provide safe equipment and safe working conditions; everyone working on farms – farmers, foremen, specialists, labourers and the rest must possess the necessary training and education to enable them to keep the work safe.

The present guide, whose publication was authorised by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office at its 155th Session (May-June 1963), was drafted for the Office by Mr. H. Renntun of the Swedish Workers' Protection Board and finalised by a meeting of experts held in April-May 1964.

The guide was revised and given its present form in the light of the views expressed and the amendments suggested by the meeting. The experts considered that it would have considerable value for economically advanced countries, but that it would be especially useful for developing countries, and countries where agricultural mechanisation was spreading rapidly.

In particular they hoped that it would be consulted with advantage by teachers in the field of agriculture, persons responsible for safety in large-scale and medium-scale agricultural undertakings, employers' and workers' organisations and public authorities and other interested bodies.

The ILO published in 1967 a Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Agricultural Work, which it prepared in collaboration with the same experts. It covers much the same ground as the guide, but its recommendations are ex- pressed concisely in the form of rules, and it lacks explanatory material and illustrations. It may perhaps be described as a condensed version of the guide and many readers may find it a handy companion to the latter.

The ILO published a separate guide to occupational health in agricultural work, and accordingly the present guide only deals in summary fashion with matters of health and hygiene. The Office realises that it may be venturesome to attempt to deal in one volume with all aspects of safety on all kinds of farms, but it feels that the guide, the work of an international body of experts, will help to preserve life and limb in a vital but, from the prevention point of view, rather neglected branch of economic activity.