Farming is a labour intensive occupation and it can also be dangerous if you do not maintain the high safety standards that are required. According to the Irish Farmers association more than 1,000 injuries occur on farms and farm fatalities reach double figures each year. We have put together some tips on farm safety when using agricultural vechiles.
Faulty farm machinery or machinery that is not used properly is one of the major causes of farming injuries and fatalities. Common accidents involving tractors are, run overs or roll overs, other farm machinery that can be dangerous is quad bikes, harvesters and so on. Below are some tips on how to maintain the required safety standards according to the farm safety guide.
- It is very important that your farmyard allows orderly movement of livestock, machinery and people. Fences and gates should enable the safe movement of livestock between various buildings.
- Areas that are used for parking farm vehicles and equipment must be level to avoid rolling vehicles.
- Do not have any long hair or loose clothing near any rotating shafts due the risk of getting tangled.
- Ensure that all hydraulic systems are kept in good condition and that they are used safely. Do not work on any hydraulic system until all the pressure has been let out. And never use your finger to plug leaks in pipes.
- Make sure that you identify any corners or blind spots where accidents may occur and put safety measures into place.
- Fit guards or sprocket drives and chains, pulley drives and v-belts to avoid any risk of them becoming entangled.
- Fit guards to rotating ancillary equipment, rotating shafts, PTO shafts for example slip clutches etc.
- Passageways must be at least 4.8 meters width between buildings and provide 12 meters of space at the front of your silage pits to allow enough room to turn your farm vehicles.
- Do a regular check of all farm machinery to ensure that they are in safe working order. Make sure all farm vehicles lights indicators and brakes work.
- Make sure all loads are secure and stable.
- Make sure that all farm staff are competent and have undergone formal training for using farm machinery.