WHS is defined as a set of knowledge and interpretation to prevent any injury. Injury happens because there is a cause and effect of unsafe actions and conditions. Several human factors causing injury are the level of skill set, procedures and work methods, work environments, work tools, habits, and obedience to applicable regulations. The goal of implementing WHS is to have a safe, healthy, environment with no accidents occurring in the working area (plantation) resulting in farmers increasing his/her productivity.
Several types of equipment that can help protect the farmer during field activities include helmets, safety shoes, masks, and gloves. During harvest, standard equipment to be used by farmers are a helmet to protect head injuries (for example from being hit by falling FFBs), gloves to protect hands from sharp objects (for example when picking up FFBs holding dodos and egrek), safety shoes to protect feet from any injuries (for example being hit by falling FFBs, getting bit by an animal, or stepping on unsafe or slippery ground), and goggles to protect eyes from direct contact injury (for example falling palm fronds).
When applying chemicals, like pesticides, farmers have to wear safety equipment. Without wearing any safety gear there is a possibility of injury from direct contact of chemical materials, either through hands or the nose. Equipment to be used are masks to protect from breathing the chemicals directly, goggles to protect direct contact through eyes, rubber gloves to protect hands from direct contact with the chemicals, aprons to protect farmers from the the solvents used in formulating the pesticide, boots to protect feet from any direct chemical spill, and hats to protect any skin irritation. The effects may not be felt directly or immediately but can have long term deleterious effects to the farmer’s health. Therefore, preventing contact with chemica to occur by using safety equipment will safeguard the farmer now and into the future. Besides having this equipment, farmers also need to know on how to store chemical materials. Storage of the chemical materials in a safe and secure location far from children’s reach is important. In the storage room, there has to be air ventilation and warning signs for unauthorized or untrained persons. The farmer must have a logbook which records when chemicals are being used, the dosage used, and current stock levels.
Applying WHS in daily activities and making it habitual is not easy, farmer must demonstrate a strong will and understand the importance of WHS measures to protect him/herself and others.