When most people think of agriculture they have this lovely little image in their heads of farmers sat on tractors, feeding lambs and eating porridge.
Working At Height In AgricultureFalling from height is the second highest cause of death in this sector. These falls usually happen from roofs, bales, vehicles and lofts.
- Avoiding work at heights when you can
- If you have to then use equipment/processes to prevent falls
- And use equipment that minimises the distance if that isn’t an option.
- Always plan the work to be done
- Check the weather forecast for any adverse conditions
- Make sure that all workers are aware of the precautions
- Any ladders used should be secured in place
- Make sure there are adequate warning signs
- Take time when climbing down from the cab and use any provided steps or handrails.
- Make sure that you are wearing suitable footwear
- Jumping down from vehicles are bad for the knees and can cause you to fall awkwardly.
- Trailer floors are in a good condition
- Full loads should be secure before leaving the field, and no one should be riding on them.
- Inspect stacks regularly
- Stacking is a skill and should only be done by trained and competent people.
Machinery In AgricultureMachinery is necessary in the day to day running in the agricultural industry, but misuse of the machines can cause permanent injury and even death so it’s important to understand how they work and the processes that should be followed.
- The vehicle is suitable for its intended use.
- All the safety mechanisms are in place and working
- The user is fully trained to use the vehicle
- A risk assessment has been carried out.
- Don’t use the machine if safety guards are off or damaged. These should be put on or fixed/replaced before the machine is used again.
- Make sure there are no pedestrians or bystanders that could be hurt during the running of the machine.
- If the machine is going to be checked again after the test run all the safety procedures should be re-run. If you experiences problems or other issues
- You should always follow the Safe Stop procedure before you carry out any investigation.
- Secure anything that could move or rotate and anything that could fall on you.
- Follow the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual.
- Be careful when dealing with springs and coils, some energy can be stored in them even when the engine is off and can cause injury.
- All movement on the machine has stopped.
- The correct equipment is being used when working on the vehicles.
- The correct tools, instructions and relevant manuals are provided.
- Plant is used for its correct purpose and installed correctly.
- You know the safe working pressures and temperatures of the machinery you are working on.
- Safety valves are fitted to relieve any built up pressure.
LivestockHandling cattle and livestock can always be tricky and presents its own risks and issues.
- Handling facilities, which are maintained on a regularly basis
- A race and a crush which are adequate for the animals you handle
- That workers are trained and competent to deal with livestock
- Shedding gates, these allow animals to be sorted into groups after the crush.
- Work will be more convenient if it us under cover with a workbench
- Also before you start working on an animal make sure that you are able to restrain it from kicking. Kicking can cause bad and in some cases fatal injuries.
- Do not use makeshift gates or hurdles.
Training & Qualifications In AgricultureWhen working in the agricultural industry it is imperative that everyone is trained and competent, especially if working daily with heavy machinery and/or livestock.
- Trade unions and associations
- Colleges and further education
- Private training
- Qualification awarding bodies such as City & Guilds NPTC or Lantra Awards
- Manufacturers, dealers and suppliers.
Author Bio - Laura Holland
Social Media and Web Content Coordinator, Jan 2014 - May 2015