Workers in this sector undertake activities where they are exposed to high levels of dust and micro-organisms resulting in respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis. Activities that lead to exposures and therefore respiratory disease include:
- Grain workers - harvesting, drying, storage, transport, dock activities and associated maintenance/cleaning.
- Livestock, arable, vegetable cultivation and horticultural workers - preparation of bedding and feed, hay/haylage/silage making, straw bailing, harvesting/cleaning/grading vegetable crops and flower bulb cleaning/grading/packing.
Examples of interventions include:
- Development of web pages to explain the risks from dusts.
- A series of free events for employers highlighting the risks of exposure to dusts and suitable controls.
Information on these and other initiatives is available by registering on the Occupational Disease Community site.
Specific guidance for employers on reducing the incidence of respiratory disease is available on HSE’s agriculture web pages.