Borton Fruit Host’s Hands-on Tractor Training Course

Yakima, WA – Borton Fruit, WSTFA (Washington State Tree Fruit Association), Labor & Industries and OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center of Washington) hosted a very important tractor training course here at the Borton office this past week for all field supervisors and tractor drivers to attend.  The training focused on how to safely operate a tractor and what protocols need to be followed out in the field.  “This hands on training, both in the classroom and on the tractor, benefited our employees immensely.  We had all 65 of our tractor operators trained and certified.  We hope to see more trainings available in the future,” said Jeremy Leavitt, our Food Safety and Compliance Director.

Agriculture is still one of the most dangerous areas of work, according to the latest figures released by Health and Safety Executive;  In the last ten years, almost one person as week has been killed as a direct result of agricultural work.  Many more have been seriously injured or made ill by their work.  Tractors have been identified as the leading case of deaths and disability injuries on farms, being the most frequent cause (one-third to one-half) of injuries for fatal farm accidents accounting for a much smaller percentage of non-fatal farm accidents.  Most tractor deaths are caused by overturn and run overs, which could be prevented with proper Roll Bars, seatbelts and the knowledge of how important it is to use them both when you can.  Here are some ways to help in preventing these tragedies;

In recent years, Borton Fruit has enhanced all safety processes throughout all aspects of the business ensuring employee safety. Coreen Anderson, our Orchard Operations Quality & Safety Manager said, “Because of these statistics, and with the help of the WSTFA, we were able to have Labor & Industries and OIC come and give our tractor operators a full tractor training that complies with the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 296-307).  I feel it’s good to have someone else conduct these important trainings to keep our employees sharp on these topics, while changing up who they are hearing the information from, allowing a different voice and new faces to enhance and encourage mental attendance.”  Dave Silvernail, Borton’s Regional Ranch Manager added, “Having a 3rd party come to do these trainings is very beneficial, especially since many of these instructors and/or inspectors know the code and standards of the industry and can not only help us make sure our employees are safe, but can also help in preparing us for future audits and inspections.”

Borton Fruit will continue training all employees in all faucets of the business to ensure their safety as well as the safety of our fruit. Providing other families with healthy and safe products is very important to us, and accomplishing that while ensuring employee safety is our top priority.




Posted January 20, 2017

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