The time for seasonal jobs is coming. How to ensure the safety of employees and temporary workers?

Agriculture, manufacturing halls and road works. These are the fields that attract a lot of seasonal employees and temporary workers. However, they must follow the same safety regulations as everyone else. Read about the greatest hazards associated with seasonal work and how to prevent them.

The agricultural season begins

Accident rate in agriculture is about 4.5 injuries per 100 insured persons per annum. This is more than twice the average of all economic activities. The most frequent causes of accidents in agriculture include:

  • Slipping on a soggy or muddy terrain.
  • Accidents when using faulty or unsuitable tools.
  • Hazard of falling from unsecured places.
  • Risk of being pressed, crushed, trampled or attacked when in contact with animals.
  • Inappropriate location, labelling and storage of chemicals. Burns, splashing, face contact, airway hazard.
  • Risks of non-compliance with the operating instructions and incorrect use of the equipment.

How to protect yourself against risks?

  • Use proper and high-quality tools and protective equipment and clothing.
  • Do not leave chemicals freely accessible and store them in properly labelled containers.
  • When working at heights, use harnesses and other suitable PPE.
  • Be careful when in contact with animals.
  • Only operate machines and technical equipment for which you have the professional qualification and always check their technical condition.

Manufacturing halls and assembly plants in summer

Namely elevated temperatures pose a problem in manufacturing halls and assembly plants in summer. However, this does not have to be necessarily associated with sunlight. Even various machines emit a lot of heat. For this reason, facilities at risk include, for example, brickworks, iron foundries, laundries, rubber plants or glass factories. What particular risks can we expect not only in these facilities?

  • Nausea caused by oxygen deficiency due to poor ventilation.
  • Overheating due to incorrect clothing.
  • Insufficient hydration.
  • Injuries to limbs on overheated floor and when operating machinery and handling loads.

Safety can be ensured through:

  • Cooling and air conditioning. Each part of the hall should have its own ventilation system to reduce temperature and remove humidity. Besides employees, production machinery must also be cooled. In the event of increased dustiness, appropriate air filtration must also be provided.
  • Clothing. Light-fabric clothing (linen or cotton) of light colour that is well ventilated is suitable for summer operations. Avoid synthetic materials and dark colours. Of course, the clothes still have to correspond to the nature of the work.
  • Hydration. Do not wait until you are thirsty and drink regularly during the whole shift when doing shift work in the hall. 2-4 glasses of unsweetened liquid per hour are recommended, depending on the physical demand of the job. Avoid beer and other alcohol that dehydrates the body.
  • Proper footwear and gloves. The choice of the right shoes to protect your feet against the hot floor and gloves to prevent burning while handling the machinery is key when working in hot halls. Non-slip soles should be a matter of course; select other safety features based on the type of work.

The amount of road work increases in summer

Backfilling holes, building new roads and repairing the old ones. Summer is the season of road works that rank among the most dangerous. In 2015, 37 out of a total of 122 work-related deaths were on the road (including road traffic accidents).

The risks namely include:

  • Quick driving passing vehicles.
  • Vehicles moving directly on site.
  • Poor visibility.
  • Crossing busy roads when working.

The key to workplace safety includes:

  • Barriers and lower speed limit in the place where roadworks are taking place.
  • Ensuring adequate PPE. In this case, namely clothing with reflective elements for better visibility.
  • Training of employees on workplace risks and advice about correct behaviour.

A few tips that apply to all facilities

Protect your snack against the sun

It may sound banal, but food that has gone bad can pose a risk during summer work. Lunch in a box that is not in cold may go bad very quickly. Therefore it is good to always have at least a portable refrigerator on the workplace.

Do not underestimate allergies

Allergy can be a creeping hazard in all summer workplaces. Whether it is triggered by dust, pollen or chemicals. Therefore, do not forget allergy relief pills as well.

Ensure first aid administration

It is the duty of every employer to ensure availability of first aid (not only) during summer works. A well-equipped first aid kit is the basic premise, but a trained person who will provide first aid should also be present at the workplace.

Think about temporary workers as well

In addition to the hot weather, summer is also characterized by the fact that companies hire cheaper labour for seasonal work. However, temporary workers are employees like everyone else and their safety must be ensured. Even from the legal point of view.

The temporary worker must be primarily fit to do their job. They must undergo medical examination in the event that:

  1. they are going to carry out category 2R, 3 or 4 work,
  2. the work includes:
  • Health risk - for example working in health care, social services, operation of heavy and light machinery, vehicles and other transport equipment, handling of explosives, operation of pressure vessels, electrical equipment, working at heights and night time work.
  • Driving a motor vehicle.
  • Work in electrical equipment requiring professional qualification.
  • Railroad operation.
  • Work requiring a pilot licence.
  • Work requiring a boat licence.
  • Work of a juvenile employee.

Therefore, the categorization of work is necessary - thanks to it, you can determine the riskiness of work from the perspective of temporary workers and other employees.

The inspection is carried out by the employer's contractual medical service provider. The employer pays the inspection in the case of a contract for work or an agreement to complete a job. In other cases it is paid by the temporary worker, unless the agreement stipulates otherwise.

The temporary worker must undergo OSH training based on the requirement of the job to be done. The employer is obliged to make the temporary worker acquainted with the risks present at his / her workplace and job. Temporary workers are entitled to be given PPE if these are required by regulations.

In terms of working hours, it can last a maximum of 12 hours in consecutive 24 hours. However, occupational safety also includes mandatory rest and refreshment breaks. After 6 hours at most and for at least 30 minutes.

As regards work-related accidents, the same conditions apply to temporary workers as to other employees. A temporary worker must always report any accident immediately.

  • Acquaint them with this duty.
  • Take precautionary measures preventing the recurrence of the accident.
  • Investigate its causes.
  • Record it in your accident log and provide compensation for the injury.

If the sick leave lasts longer than 3 working days after the injury, write a record of the accident.