Summer is a busy time on farms. Farmers are making the most of the long days and dry conditions to harvest grass and crops, get slurry spread and carry out work around the farmyard. Working safely must be at the core of each and every job.
Health and Safety Authority data tells us that sadly 14 people have lost their lives on farms so far this year. A farm death is devastating for the farm family and the surrounding community. When we look at the figures for the last 10 years we can see that 30% of farm accidents are caused by tractors and farm vehicles.
People being crushed by the tractor or farm vehicle accounts for over half of the fatalities
David talks about how the tractor he was driving ran over him leaving him in a wheelchair
Safety tips to avoid crush injuries
- Use the Safe Stop procedure to bring your vehicle to a halt and make sure to secure the handbrake. To learn more about safe stop here
- Stay clear of crush zones. To learn more view video here
- Always turn off engine power, apply the handbrake and remove keys before attempting to free a blockage.
Tractors and farm vehicles should only be operated by competent and experienced people. Modern tractors have lots of technology to help make the driving experience less demanding. However, operators must be given time to familiarise themselves with these controls. Supervision and training must be provided until they have the knowledge, skills and experience to do the job safely.
Children 7 are not allowed to travel on a tractor or farm vehicle. Supervising a child under 7 and operating a tractor safely is not possible. H.S.A data shows us 21 children lost their lives over the past 10 years on farms. 80 % of these sad deaths were associated with tractors vehicles and machinery.
It is important to ensure your tractor is in good working order, with brakes, tyres, mirrors, lights, wipers and indicators in good shape. Take time to do a walk around the tractor each day to check for oil leaks, damaged pins, guards or evidence of excessive wear. Take action to fix these issues when identified. Don’t leave them on the long finger.
Watch out for blind spots and always be aware of people around the farm or on the road.
Many tractors can now travel at over 40km/hr. Driving at high speed on narrow roads creates lots of dangers for you and other road users. Drive at an appropriate safe speed. Allow plenty of time for the job. Ensure trailer loads are secured; don’t allow anyone to ride on trailers.
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