Industry News

British Growers News Update: Covid-19 Farm Safety Guidance

By April 9, 2020 April 20th, 2020 No Comments

Latest guidance from PHE for on farm situations.

British Growers would like to make you aware that further guidance from Public Health England (PHE) has been released on the Government Website which provides more specific guidance for ‘on farm situations’. The following is a brief extract of the advice. Please refer to the links below for the full text.

The Government website states that

During this time of unprecedented disruption, the UK Government is not asking all businesses to shut – indeed it is important for business to carry on.

The main guidance from PHE continues to be that all employees should be encouraged to work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so. Not everyone can work from home: certain jobs require people to travel to, from and for their work.

The guidance released 08.04.2020 is specifically aimed at outdoor businesses, which include farms, and covers instances where social distancing cannot be achieved:

  • If a 2-metre distance cannot be maintained, staff should work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible.
  • where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
  • If workers have to share enclosed spaces such as the cabs of vehicles, they should keep the window open for ventilation and they should be careful to avoid touching their face at all times. On leaving the enclosed space, they should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more or use hand sanitiser when they cannot wash their hands.
  • as much as possible, keep teams of workers together, “cohorting”, and keep teams as small as possible. Where possible, fixing these cohorts so that where contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same individuals

 

A link to guidance can be found here.

 

Additional guidance available here, also released 08.04.2020 relates to food processing plants:

Food safety practices in food processing plants should continue to be delivered to the highest hygiene standards including the use of some personal protective equipment and frequent hand washing.

Food hygiene guidance: A Food Safety Management System (FSMS) that includes existing food hygiene guidance and HACCP processes should be followed.

All employers are expected to follow social distancing guidance, including food businesses, as far as is reasonably possible. Where the production environment makes it difficult to do so, employers should consider what measures may be put in place to protect employees. Once staff have left the food processing areas and removed protective clothing, social distancing and further hand washing guidance should be adhered to.

 

It is likely that as understanding of Covid-19 increase the guidance will continue to be updated. We will keep you informed of any additional information. Please not that this document is not advice given by British Growers Association Limited but comprises extracts of PHE guidance.

 

 

Stay safe in these difficult times.

 

British Growers Team