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Farming health and safety - machinery

Farming is considered the most dangerous sector to work and operate in and can sadly, experience high levels of fatalities.  The majority of these fatalities or serious injuries are a result of farming machinery use, accidents, misuse or overturning.  It is essential that farming machinery use has thorough procedural processes in place as part of a wider farming health and safety management plan.  

Safe stop

The majority of farming machinery accidents occur once the driver has left their vehicle because the engine is still running. It is therefore imperative that the safe stop vehicle procedure is always followed:

Safe driver

It is common for farming machinery to be operated in a lone working situation. Therefore a clear lone worker policy should be in place. We recommend this includes staff reporting back in at the end of the day and, preferably, at various points throughout the day.

Drivers should always complete a pre-operational checklist before using any machinery. This checklist might typically include:

  • Am I wearing suitable clothing and any necessary PPE?
  • Have I read and understood this machines instruction manual?
  • Have I completed all pre-start checks for this machine?
  • Have I planned my work using this machine?
  • Have I informed someone where I am working?
  • Am I familiar with the safe stop procedure?

Safe site

Traffic routes and effective management of traffic moving around a farm can greatly reduce the risk of a pedestrian collision. Wherever possible it is advised to separate pedestrian and machinery traffic. Routes should be planned to include only the minimal amount of reversing and it is recommended that reversing alarms are fitted to machines. Pedestrians should also always wear high visibility clothing.

Need further advice?

As sector experts in farming we can support you in identifying risks, creating risk assessments and procedures and producing safety checklists. Get in touch today for a free, no obligation consultation.

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