Don’t take a chance with machinery!

NFU Scotland is urging farmers to stay safe during Farm Safety Week.

NFU Scotland is urging farmers to stay safe during Farm Safety Week.

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Tuesday of Farm Safety Week focuses on machinery - as poorly used or faulty machinery is a major cause of death and injury on farms.

Farmers come into contact with a host of machinery daily - combines, choppers and hay balers which bring their own attendant dangers.

However, even when undergoing maintenance of a machine, extreme care should be taken.

According to Martin Malone NFU Mutual Regional Manager Northern Ireland and Scotland and Farm Safety Partnership Scotland: “Over the course of this week, we will have five days, five themes and five countries with one very clear question – have you thought about “Who Would Fill Your Boots?” if you were to have a farm accident.

“Machinery accidents can be prevented by keeping the machine in good repair, fitting and ensuring all safety equipment (such as guards and safe access platforms) are operating with the machine at all times and not taking risks when working with powerful machinery.”

Top safety tips:

· Follow the ‘Safe Stop’ procedure before carrying out any intervention (handbrake on, controls in neutral, engine off, keys out);

· Secure anything which could fall, e.g. by using props on tailgates/doors;

· Secure anything which could move or rotate, e.g. by using chocks;

· Remember, energy can be stored in springs or hydraulics. Consider how you will stop this energy being released or release it safely;

· Use the right tools;

· Follow the instructions/procedures as set out in the operator’s manual;

· When finished, replace the guards and check the machine before restarting.