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The Benefits of Agrometeorology

Productivity in agriculture relies on the weather. The growth and harvest of plants is a response both to genetics and the surrounding environment. With careful planning and research, agrometeorologists help farmers meet the world's demands for food and other agricultural products. Unpredictable weather patterns, because of climate change and other meteorological phenomena, has increased the need for precise weather data.

Farmers pay close attention to rainfall. Too much can overexpose and ruin a crop, whereas too little may cause it to dehydrate and die. By predicting the weather farmers can identify when to plant and water a crop. During rainfall they can cover their crop with plastic sheeting and postpone the sowing of other produce.

In reflection of this, Gambia typically stores their groundnuts outside and if the pods get wet they are highly susceptible to develop aflatoxin, which can completely ruin crop; to avoid this happening farmers cover the nuts with plastic sheeting. More rigorous ways of accessing rainfall link to irrigation which involves taking water balance calculations, estimating the infiltration of water within crop, measuring evapotranspiration and soil moisture. In particular, soil moisture can be measured by using a Soil Moisture & Temperature Sensor and this helps to deduce whether the soil has enough water retained in it to help the crops grow.

Aside from the effects of rainfall, there are many other aspects of meteorology that affect agriculture. Wind and humidity can drastically affect crops through events such as forest fires and by observing these weather issues agriculturalists can control the burning and prevent the spread of fire. This in turn will allow for farming animals to graze on unharmed crops, providing more money to the economy. Moreover wind can also be measured in less endangering occurrences, such as strong gusts, and in such an event fixtures will need to be attached to crops to allow them to stay upright and not damage. Another basic practice which can be implemented into a farmers day to day routine is planting crops near shady areas, such as large trees, and by doing so they can ensure their plants are not overly exposed to sunlight and grow to their full capacity. Therefore, by applying this rationale to farming, farmers can increase yield and produce larger, quality harvests.

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Slip Risk in Restaurants

Slips and trips are a common cause of injury and fatality in the restaurant industry. These are usually as a result of spillages and poor cleaning practices. Companies are required by law to protect the health and safety of their employees and anyone who may be affected by their work. There are a number of precautionary measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of a slip accident taking place.

It is a commonly thought that covering the affected area with cardboard is sufficient. However, this can create a surfboard motion for anyone who walks over it and may increase the chances of slipping. The best solution is to thoroughly wipe the area with a clean, dry tissue to return it to its original state.

The consequences of not cleaning effectively can be seen in an HSE case study titled ‘Chef slips and suffers severe arm burns from hot oil’. Here it is reported that a chef, while on duty at work, slipped as he walked over a pool of water and burned his outstretched arm in nearby hot oil. HSE had previously warned the company about wet floors and fined them £14,000.

Another cause of slips which many businesses fail to address is a poorly specified floor. In this scenario, the risk of slipping cannot be easily lowered - even with an effective cleaning regime. It is good practice to assess the slip resistance of a surface at regular intervals. This can be done by using a skid resistance tester, which gives an indication of how slippery a floor is. If the instrument indicates that the surface is slippery, it may be necessary to replace the flooring with a more suitable material or treat it in some way. This does not dispense with the need for good cleaning practice, nor the requirement that employees in high-risk areas wear slip resistant soles and low heels.

 

If you would like further information on assessing and managing slip risk in restaurants, please get in touch via email (info@munroinstruments.com) or by phone (+44 (0) 20 8551 7000).