Netherlands: Reducing worker exposure to harmful dust in the arable farming sector
Farm workers can be exposed to harmful crystalline silica dust from soil, posing a risk to health.
The small Dutch farming business Mansholt BV, through collaboration with the sectoral occupational health body Stigas, has addressed dust exposure in potato sorting by implementing a range of collective technical and organisational measures to minimise dust. Equipment and processes were changed gradually to spread costs over time, a vacuum cleaner and an electrical forklift were purchased, eliminating exposure to diesel exhaust in the premises, and workers were actively involved in identifying and implementing solutions.
The approach taken by Mansholt BV is a good example of how a small business with limited resources can make real improvements to worker safety and health.