Friday, October 16, 2015

IRRI to reduce risks and increase safety in its farm operations

The Experiment Station (ES) at the IRRI Headquarters is undertaking stricter measures for safer farm and machinery operations after completing its risk analysis with the Risk Management Quality Assurance (RMQA) unit.  The five teams under ES--BioEnvironment, field operations, mechshop and warehouse, crop pesticides applicators, and rice mill and crop production--participated in identifying occupational risks, the severity of each, and corresponding steps for mitigation.

Risk awareness and capacity building
Four machinery operators and two members of the ES management team are now certified through a Philippine Department of Agriculture and TESDA program. In addition, all ES staff have completed first aid training with IRRI’s Safety and Security Services.

New safety equipment
ES has acquired new safety equipment, including a radio transmitter, which provides coverage across the farm, and a protective safety barrier for the combine harvester.

In-house training
The machinery operation certification program, developed collaboratively between the Training Center (TC), ES, and Postharvest started on 14 October. All equipment operators and mechanics are expected to complete this ongoing program before the end of the year. This certification program will be held annually and evaluated and updated on a regular basis.

The integrated pest management and agro-chemical safety training and certification program is designed for the crop production team responsible for pest and disease management. The program was developed in collaboration with TC and will start in November. The team is also undergoing training on pest and disease identification and management with the CESD entomology and plant pathology groups.

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