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Safety Risks in the Agriculture Industry


Safety Risks in the Agriculture Industry

The agriculture industry is one of the most dangerous industries for workers. Many risks come with working in this field, including harmful gas, falling from a height, dangerous noise levels and inhaling dust, solvents and other toxic substances. Our blog on the Agriculture industry will tell you everything you need to know about these risks and how to protect yourself or your workers from these dangers.

The agriculture industry is vital in providing people with products and crops to eat. Farmers grow and take care of livestock and crops for a continuously growing population, so look for intelligent, safe and efficient means of farming. Although the Agriculture industry tries to ensure safe and responsible practise, according to Government statistics, the UK Agriculture industry was responsible for emitting 46.3% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. UK Government data also shows that from the total emissions, the agriculture sector was responsible for -

What gases are found in agriculture?


To try and combat the adverse effects the agriculture industry has had on the environment, the government has created legislation to decrease the number of greenhouse gases emitted in agriculture, and farmers are increasingly focussed on monitoring the presence of gas in their operations. The government support and encourage the industry to reduce the emitted greenhouse gases through initiatives such as the Carbon Positive Programme, Farming for a Better Climate and the Methane capture and Reuse scheme.

Although the agriculture industry contributes widely towards greenhouse gases and climate change, a wide range of gases in the industry are used for farming and livestock activities and aid the industry in growing, farming and harvesting. Due to this, the workers in the industry are at risk of a wide range of gases, not just environmentally damaging ones.

With legislation combined with the need for responsible practise, those in the agriculture industry should have safety measures in place to protect themselves and the environment from dangerous gas, to keep humans and livestock safe and healthy and ensure an efficient operation of everyday farming activities.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2022 (COSHH) requires any employer to efficiently assess and control the risk of any hazardous substances in the work environment. This includes all hazardous substances, including chemicals, fertilisers, fumes and natural substances, all of which can be found in the agriculture industry.
This means it is the employer’s responsibility to assess the risk, decide what precautions to put in place and ensure safe practices are followed.

  • Low Oxygen (O2) and high Carbon Dioxide (CO2) are used in the Refrigeration of harvest to slow the ripening process
  • High levels of Ammonia (NH3) in soil management
  • Phosphine (PH3) is used in Insecticides for fumigation.
  • Oxygen (O2) depletion in confined spaces, stores for products such as grain silos and bins and fresh produce stores, slurry pits and chambers.
  • Oxygen (O2) depletion in areas with little ventilation – cattle housing 


A wide range of hazardous gases can be found in the agriculture industry. Different gas risks depend on the type of activity in each agriculture. Farming livestock has a more significant risk of methane, whereas harvesting fruit and vegetables have a risk of CO2 for produce storage and ripening.

Various gas risks throughout the agriculture industry include -

Noise Protection for Agriculture

Agriculture industries use a lot of heavy industrial machinery and vehicles. Over time, being subject to loud noise can lead to permanent hearing damage or total loss. Typical noise levels in this industry can range between 80dB for a modern tractor to 108dB for the hand grinding of metal. Frontline Safety has a wide range of noise monitoring equipment from industry expert brands Casella and TSI

Respiratory Protective Equipment for Agriculture

Some workers in the agriculture industry may require respiratory protective equipment due to the nature of their job role or environment featuring high levels of harmful particles. Respiratory protective equipment should be used when cutting or handling dusty materials like grain and poultry litter and using solvents like paint or glue. It may also be required in emergencies as a backup for other safety controls that have failed, or extra protection is needed. Frontline Safety is an official channel partner of Drager specialising in respiratory protection. Shop their full range here to find the proper protection for your needs.

Fall Protection for the Agriculture Industry

The second most significant cause of workplace death in agriculture is falling from height. Falls from height pose a substantial risk as workers need to commonly use equipment such as ladders, platforms, roofs, vehicles, bale stacks and pallets. All workers across the industry should be fully trained in working at height to protect their safety and the safety of others. Workers in these environments should also be fully equipped with the appropriate fall protection equipment to ensure no falls or injuries. Frontline Safety supplies various fall protection equipment for the agriculture industry, including complete kits for - roofing, confined space and platforms. Explore our full range of fall protection equipment, including products from leading manufacturers Abtech, MSA and Miller.

Products for Detection

Our recommended multi-gas detectors some of which can be used for confined space pre-entry, personal protection, or area monitoring. For confined space pre-entry checks, it is recommended that a pumped monitor is used. The use of a pumped monitor allows for a sampling tube to be fed into the confined space from the outside, confirming it is safe for workers to enter.

Products for Protection

Our recommended personal protection equipment...