Do you watch documentaries?
I know, we only watch documentary channels in our homes. None of us watch series, entertainment shows or game shows. We always have documentary channels on our TV at home as well as in our workplace. At other times, we watch news channels. I’m not asking for the times when the above-mentioned programs which you do not watch accidentally appear on your TV. I’m asking for the times when you actually watch documentaries.
I have always loved and continue to love documentaries about the wild, factories and production, history of some big brands and historical wars. I couldn’t like those about oceans, seas and aqua life much. As I observed the flora in detail whenever I went somewhere during the day, I began to be curious about the documentaries addressing that.
We all surely pay attention to the flora of our location, knowingly or not. This must be an instinctive, defensive reflex in mankind. It must be a behavior that we need in order to get to know about the surroundings, to understand and to know what things there are in where we are located.
Flora is surely not limited to the trees, flowers, weed patterns and other plants we see around. Most of us probably examine what kind of fruits, vegetables and grain grow in our location. Especially when we travel to a new place, how many of us didn’t taste the fruits and vegetables that place is most famous for. I always visit a grocery store or some place that sells fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I even return from my trip with fruits and vegetables belonging to that area in my luggage.
Have you ever thought about the significance of three life forms in shaping the world? We all know that in the order of significance this would be firstly mankind, secondly animals and finally plants. I considered that from an opposite perspective.
In every region in the world, life is changed by the climate and the flora that depends on that climate. Animal species that are compatible with that area depending on the flora are able to live, the other species cannot. Mankind made the best as the smartest species, he arranged the area to suit him rather than adapting to the area he is located. He surely couldn’t affect the climate or change the overall flora, but worked to transport a plant to another area which the plant can adapt to. He even transported plants that grow in very different areas to other areas where he thought they would be compatible with.
Beginning from the first moment of life, basic needs have been food, shelter and protection/security. Needs related to nutrition were fulfilled with animals and vegetables readily obtained from nature, however, sometime later, methods were developed for using the flora properly in order to ensure continuity of food and to make up for shortages.
Briefly, agriculture first began as mankind transported, managed and controlled plants and continued to this day. Today agriculture is made using very different technologies and first of all the tools and equipment used in agriculture have changed.
Previously made with human labor, it began to be made with machinery.
Natural materials such as fertilizers have been used for faster growth.
Pesticides have been used for eliminating factors that could cause harm on the crops.
At later stages, artificial additives began to be used for obtaining products faster.
Today we are discussing genetically modified plants.
In the past Occupational Safety and Health in agriculture meant accidents while using the vehicles, hurting each other with hand tools, falling, or accidents such as tree branches falling on people when they are cut. In later stages, the damages of sprays used against pests in agriculture on human health, proper usage of agricultural machinery, etc. began to be discussed, however, the rates of occurrence were limited in all these and therefore OHS in agriculture didn’t become a subject of hot debate. The number of people who really cared about the farmers, villagers and workers employed in the agricultural area was quite low too.
But when genetically modified food began to be discussed, we all suddenly became an expert. And we began to discuss the matter only from the perspective that related to us. We didn’t discuss about the health of the agricultural employees, but about the impacts of agricultural products on consumers’ health. Whereas, we all need to discuss about occupational safety and health in every areas related to agriculture and to come up with solutions. All segments must show the same sensitivity and authorities must convene and create a common solution as it happens in all other areas.
We have seen significant changes in Occupational Safety and Health in our country for the last 5 years. Starting with laws, awareness of Occupational Safety and Health in our country is increasing ever more as new regulations are introduced, several items are updated and missing items are completed. Together with increasing level of awareness, the measures taken are also increasing in risky lines of business. Step by step, this process moves on towards the less risky areas.
When we talk about occupational safety and health, we first think of measures to be taken by the employer. Even though I agree, I’d also like to remind that the process of the employer taking measures is actually driven by the employees. The employee must know that he needs to request measures related to occupational safety and health and to follow the rules for his/her own good. I’m sure both legislators and inspectors are aware that in our country, a paradise for organizations which were founded without or with a very limited amount of capital and have no resources other than their operating income, it is impossible to expect businesses to take all measures completely. Considering this situation, both the employers and the employees are required to hold their end of the bargain.
Today there is no enterprise where we don’t hear the term “teamwork”. Teamwork is taught even at schools. We are subjecting our children to special training so they play with other kids in harmony, we take them to pedagogues and we try to improve them personally.
While teamwork is mentioned everywhere, the lack of it when it comes to occupational safety and health makes no sense to me. I believe that doing teamwork instead of acting as parties with regard to occupational safety and health is mandatory. I think any alternative other than teamwork will be insufficient for a permanent solution in terms of development in occupational safety and health as in all areas.
The actual change in occupational safety and health in our country must come about with “teamwork”.