Farm Safety - Using Machinery and Vehicles Safely
We haven’t talked about this in a while but it is a very serious matter indeed as statistics show that the farm is the most dangerous workplace throughout the country!
There are almost 2000 reported injuries on the farms in Northern Ireland every year, according to HSENI. 46% of these injuries caused were involving or by Vehicles and Machinery. The victims are not just machine operators, but also those in the surrounding area.
Tractors are machinery essential on almost any farm as they bring much needed help and save plenty of time, however they must be operated appropriately.
Before starting any work with machinery you must stop and think about safety first.
Make sure all machinery is properly maintained and in good order.
Check all-round visibility. Make sure the driver can see all-round with mirrors in place. External cameras and reverse cameras can help remove some blind spots.
If there are children or other people in the farm make sure you can see them before operating.
Never use your phone whilst operating heavy machinery.
If you need to make phone calls you should use a Hands-free kit.
If you are exiting a vehicle apply the brake, put controls in neutral, turn off engine and remove the key.
These are an extremely useful attachment to any tractor and spin at very high speeds making them highly dangerous.
Ensure your PTO shaft is well maintained and fitted correctly.
Do not wear any loose clothing whilst operating a machine powered by a PTO.
Always have your PTO shaft guarded.
Children on the farm
Ensure there is a safe and secure play area for young children and prevent them from playing in or around the yard or animals.
Make sure all of your vehicles have good all-round visibility.
Do not let any child under 13 ride on tractors or machinery.
Secure any gates, heavy equipment or materials that may and ensure any dangerous parts of the farm are fenced of e.g. slurry pit.
Make sure all family members or farm workers know what to do in an emergency.
Most of these steps only take a few seconds so why risk serious injury.