HSE Agriculture e-Bulletin December 2015
Welcome to the HSE Agriculture e-Bulletin
Welcome to the HSE Agriculture e-Bulletin
As the festive season approaches we would like to wish all our subscribers a Happy Christmas and Good Health for 2016. Remember to ‘Make the promise. Come home safe’ to your family and loved ones as you celebrate the season and look forward to the New Year.
In this edition, we cover maintenance and repair work to roofs and farm transport.
Our next edition will also be during the winter months so will focus on machinery maintenance around the farm and controlling risks during lambing time.
Working on your building roof?
It’s that time of the year when roofs get damaged and unsafe roof repairs can lead to life changing serious injuries and family tragedies. If your roof needs attention then do take a few minutes to decide your best course of action.
Stop and think: Can you really do that repair yourself? Do you know what the right access equipment is? Do you have it or can you borrow or hire it? Are you agile and fit enough to do the work? Is it still windy? Remember carrying roof sheets in gusty or windy conditions can blow you off the roof, or a ladder, without warning.
Consider getting a professional qualified person to do the work. If you are going to do the work yourself make sure you have the right equipment organised before you start the job.
Ask yourself: Have you got enough help? Is the roof fragile? What about skylights? Is the roof too damaged to take your weight? How are you going to prevent a fall from a height?
Check: Is your ladder in good condition? Consider: whether it would be better to hire a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP).
Working at a height?
When we think about working at height most of us would think about working on or around roofs or cleaning out gutters. However, other jobs on the farm can also involve working at height and can cause you serious injury if correct precautions are not taken.
Working on silage clamps
Think about how you gain access to the top of your silage clamp, maybe to remove plastic sheeting and tyres, and what work you do close to the edge. A fall off the open edge of the clamp can often be in excess of 3 metres and you may land directly onto concrete.
Edges of silage can be crumbling; plastic sheeting may be damp or icy. Consider removing the tyres and pulling back the sheeting by using a long handled tool which allows you to stand well back. Use a fixed ladder preferably away from the front edge or secure a leaning ladder in a safe place to stop it slipping.
Remember how easy it is to lose your footing especially now the dark nights are with us. And
Don’t be tempted to use a bucket on a telehandler to gain access onto the clamp.
Think it through, don’t let it be you.
Fuel delivery news
Over the years serious injuries have occurred where drivers delivering fuel to farms have fallen from ladders propped up against the tank, often in slippery conditions. We are working with the fuel delivery industry to help improve safety.
You also have a duty to ensure that visitors to your farm including fuel delivery drivers. You can help reduce the risks by:
- arranging for sight glasses to be fitted to avoid having to climb up to check how much fuel is left in the tank, and by
- reducing the use of ladders by having a low level filling point fitted to your fuel tank or
- provide a safe means of access e.g. stairs, guardrails etc
Manage workplace transport around your farm this winter
Workplace transport accidents continue to be a major cause of death and serious injury in farming. The most common cause of serious and fatal injuries in agriculture involve moving and overturning vehicles.
To help you manage workplace transport effectively, we have identified three key areas for you to consider when assessing the risks and implementing the necessary measures:
- Safe site
- Safe vehicle
- Safe driver
Failing to properly assess risks and take precautions can have tragic consequences.
A worker was struck and killed by a telehandler during a loading operation inside a feed store. No arrangements had been made to segregate vehicles from pedestrians, visibility inside the store was poor and the telehandler driver had not been trained.
Safe workplace transport including Vehicles at work and farm vehicles
Safe machinery maintenance during winter
The Farm Vehicle Health Check Scheme can help you manage your vehicle and machinery maintenance. It provides a structured checklist for essential items and can be used to record what checks have been made. There is also information on how to check brakes are effective.
Always follow the safe stop procedure before making any adjustments on a machine.
Further guidance is available on farm vehicles and using tractors safely.
Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs)
This year’s farming programme of Safety and Health Awareness Days (SHADs) is well under way and we have posted all of the events on our SHAD diary pages.
SHADs offer an opportunity for selected farmers and farm workers to gain free advice from trained instructors on how to avoid the common causes of accidents and ill health on their farms.
If you are a family self-employed farmer, or employ up to four people then SHADs are designed for you. In fact, independent research showed that 99% of farmers that attended said that they would recommend them to other farmers.
If you have received an invitation then please treat it as a positive opportunity and book yourself a place on the invite reply slip or by email to [email protected].
This year we have updated the topic content, so even if you have attended an event in the past, we are sure that you will learn something new.
If you enjoyed a previous event and thought it was worthwhile, then please encourage other farmers to go along with you, particularly if they too have received an invitation, but let us know who is going. If you did not attend then please tell us why so they can improve them in future.
If you have not attended a SHAD before and would like to find one in your area; please visit our farming SHAD page.
We’ve introduced the H& ABC logo onto guidance and tools to show small and medium-sized businesses just how straightforward health and safety can be.
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