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Preparing your staff for the new season

Publication Date: 
21 April 2016

Preparing your staff for the new season

In June 2016, AHDB releases an updated suite of online, Safe Potato Operations, training modules which integrate the importance of health and safety with the correct use of farm equipment and preserving quality and marketable yield.

A whole team approach to health and safety is vital says, Phil Bradshaw, AHDB Potatoes’ Knowledge Exchange Manager.

“Potato harvesting and handling is an area of work that continues to be one the most dangerous in agriculture. Farm owners and managers have a legal duty of care for their own safety and that of their employees, and the modules are designed to assist you meeting these obligations.”

The practical film footage was developed through consultation with farm owners, managers and operatives and is endorsed by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the Farm Safety Partnership; and sponsored by the Potato Processors Association and Grimme.

“The training films are an ideal refresher to staff ahead of the season and a powerful training tool for new or casual employees that reinforces the basic messages in a very visual format appropriate to farm workers, even if their first language is not English,” says Phil.

New modules will be available at:

Each film includes footage of high risk elements, supported by graphics and sub titles in English, Polish, Portuguese, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Bulgarian.

“The need for formal risk assessments and a review of procedures to eliminate or mitigate risks is included, as well as highlighting the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”

“A test of understanding follows each of the modules (except Induction). Each are designed for supervised individual or group training,” adds Phil.

A new feature of the modules is the facility to generate a registration form for the group to be trained, allowing supervisors to complete an official record of training.

Safe Potato Induction

  • WHO: All new employees, permanent or casual, covering all the general safety risks.
  • WHAT: Risk elements including: slips & trips, accident reporting, site rules, machinery accidents, vehicle accidents, manual handling, chemical accidents, drowning in reservoirs and electrical deaths.

Safe Potato Harvesting

  • WHO: For all staff involved in harvesting from harvester drivers, trailer drivers to picking staff.
  • WHAT: High risk elements of dealing with harvester blockages and the importance of the Safe Stop procedure.

Safe Potato Grading

  • WHO: For all staff involved in grading operations
  • WHAT: In field or back at the grading shed.      

Safe Potato Storage

  • WHO: For all staff involved in potato store management.
  • WHAT: Addresses the risks of working at height and lone working.

Safe Potato Handling

  • WHO: For all staff involved in transportation, loading, driving trailers & bulkers, and unloading staff.
  • WHAT: Box, bulk bag & bulker transport options are covered.

Available on-line from June at:

For more information contact: Phil Bradshaw, Knowledge Exchange Manager,, Mob: 07776492274

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