Card 06.02 Cultivation phase in greenhouse

 

THE RISKS:

  1. Intoxication (due to inhalation and coming in contact with hazardous products caused by phytosanitary products use, even in normal use conditions)
  2. Heatstrokes and faintness symptoms (due to hostile climate: hot and high percentage of humidity)
  3. Cut and sting caused by sharp tools (due to scissors, knives and shears use)
  4. Back and neck injuries and damages (due to manual load moving for transport operations or load support, including weight lifting, pushing, laying down, moving and pulling)
  5. Hurting articulations (due to prolonged uncomfortable positions and repetitive movements)

 

It is necessary to remind that:
Diverse cultivation operations carried out in greenhouses need a specific and in-depth analysis by the employer. In particular temperature, humidity and ventilation conditions shall be checked as well as systems to improve usually uncomfortable working positions.

 

PRACTICAL AND OPERATING INDICATIONS:

 

If the greenhouse extension, warehouse included, exceeds 400 square meters of public surface and if the heating system tops 100,000 kcal/h a Fire Prevention Certificate issued by the Local Fire Brigade is needed.

 

Operator shall use mechanical equipment to avoid manual transportation of heavy loads (for example wheel systems, fork-lift truck and transpallets).

 

Inside the greenhouse there shall be enough room to permit operators to move correctly potted plants, equipment and any other material needed for greenhouse cultivation.

 

Passageways shall be on even ground, without holes or ramps and realised to prevent slipping risks due to water on the floor.

 

Benches shall have a sound structure, bear the cultivation weight and lacking in sharp edges and splinters.

 

Dangerous part of each and every equipment shall be adequately protected and beyond operator's reach (e.g. air supply/extractor fan, fan heaters and any other equipment transmission device).

 

Operator's walk and vehicle's path zones shall not be blocked by equipment, tools or any other material.

 

Emergency exits shall open on the outside and be provided with panic bar (where many operators work and the fire risk is considerable).

 

In winter, during working time, weak natural light shall be substituted with artificial one.

 

Operator shall be extremely careful while working on equipment higher than 2 m (for example during shady sheets spreading and gathering operations, and glasses and plastic row cover substitutions). If workers operate inside the greenhouse, staging and adequate ladders shall be used, whereas outside the greenhouse suitable equipment with tugs may be used.

 

Whenever the operator shall work on iron-and-glass structures or equivalent (for example during maintenance), structural check must be conduct before any intervention to prevent falling from heights due to the breaking of the structure itself.

 

Operator shall be extremely careful while working on multitunnel structures to substitute plastic row cover in polyethylene or spreading shading sheets. He/she shall be provided with structures projected and built with fixing devices to allow hooking with safety belts rather than forcing the operator to walk inside the water collection channel (higher than 2 m).

 

The thermal power station room shall be a restricted area provided with lock and padlock, where neither people nor unauthorized operators shall enter. The ban shall be indicated with adequate signals.

 

Any heating equipment with low capacity production placed inside greenhouses shall be protected against vehicle accidental bumps and far from unauthorized personnel reach.

 

Proper ventilation openings shall be provided and, next to the boiler, there shall be enough room to work efficiently during ordinary and extraordinary maintenance operations.

 

Were it possible, operator shall try to alternate the tasks to carry on in order to avoid repetitive gestures.

 

Operator shall be aware of other risk factors, such as power used to operate tools, positions to keep and long working time. However secondary factors shall not be forgotten and operator shall try to minimize their effects (e.g. use of vibrant tools, inadequate gloves and hand used as a beating tool).

 

Microclimate in the greenhouse shall be kept under control through instrumental observation of climatic parameters. Temperature, humidity and air speed exhibit "wellness" signs.

 

Activities performed on the less exposed sunny side of the greenhouse shall be preferred.

 

Operator shall always use proper P.P.E. He/she shall check them periodically for wear and tear which may make P.P.E. lose their protection efficacy (gloves with strong resistance to cut and adequate clothing without fluttering parts).

 

First-aid kit shall always be ready and complete with all predetermined material and drugs which are not out of date (see card 1.07 "Emergency Procedures").

 

FURTHER INDICATIONS AND ADVICE

  • The minimum gutter height shall be of 2 m.
  • Emergency exits shall be enough (generally one every 15 m, two next to the thermal power station ­ if it is inside the greenhouse ­ and for greenhouses in iron-and-glass/concrete one door each 1000 square meters of covered surface).
  • The surface complete with opening doors shall be of 10% at least of the cropped inside area.
  • Openings shall close automatically.
  • Forced ventilation system shall be provided in the greenhouse (artificial ventilation).
  • Ventilation openings shall be placed at 70 cm at least from the ground.
  • The cooling system maintenance shall be carried out regularly, if present.
  • Working times shall be alternated among greenhouses and other work places.
  • Whenever possible, load transportation shall be performed with wheeled systems.
  • Tools shall be properly organized in an adequate external place.
  • In case the covers are not fire-proof, enough fire extinguishers shall be provided (approximately one for each of the two farthest entrances and one in the middle).
  • Preparation of plant protection product mixes must be done outside the greenhouse.
  • Plant protection products distribution times shall be limited to less than one hour.
  • Treatments shall be organized to guarantee re-entry interval.
  • Pumps for plant protection products distribution shall be regularly cleaned and maintenance shall be performed after each use.
  • If threshold or obstacles of reduced height are present, protection devices against head bumping shall be adopted.
  • Adopt systems which prevent interferences on the inside between greenhouse structures and the tractor appropriate use (e.g. path limitation signals, signal elements placed at specific height on the tractor, next to obstacles etc).
  • The electrical systems shall have an adequate protection degree (at least IP55).
  • Illuminating bodies and wires placed at height <2,5 m shall be protected against bumps
  • Al the metallic structures shall be linked to the validated earthing system.
  • Earth plates shall be placed at <25 m one from another and adequately linked together.
  • If a heating system with a capacity > 30,000 kcal/h is present, it shall be tested ISPESL; if it overcomes 100,000 kcal/h it requires the Fire Prevention Certificate (C.P.I.).
  • Heat generators shall be provided with validated safety and control devices.
  • Direct exchange heater blower units shall be applied on REI 30 of 0 class walls.
  • Burners shall be provided with total safety automatic devices (fuel feeding locking in case of dousing the flames or in case of reaching dangerous temperatures).
  • In the room there shall be adequate warning signals ("open flames are forbidden" and indication of flammable depot).
  • If the generator is inside the greenhouse, 60 cm at least shall be guaranteed between the generator and walls and 100 cm at least between the generator and the ceiling. Alternatively a screen REI 120 shall be interposed.
  • Gaseous fuel depot shall be installed outside.
  • Liquid fuel tanks shall be tightly fastened.
  • Tanks covering shall be checked for waterproof.
  • If the sunken tanks are located inside the greenhouse, they shall be at 20 cm at least of depth under the floor surface if vehicles can not run on it. If vehicles can run of the floor surface the sunken tanks shall be at 70 cm at least of depth.

 

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Fire prevention system certificate

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Greenhouse with heating

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Spine vertebrae misalign after repetitive movements trauma

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Multifunction measuring tool: pressure, humidity, speed and air level

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Gloves with strong resistance to cut

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First-aid kit