November Farm Safety Shorts
Type Media Article
By Anthony O'Connor, Teagasc Adviser, Galway/Clare Regional Unit
Winter cometh, with short days, cold conditions and icy blasts. There's much ado on farms in feeding stock and treating animals for parasites.
Short days - Darkness descends earlier. Most farm accidents occur in evening time. Plan your day's work. Aim to finish tasks before onset of darkness. Have a work plan organised. Before starting in the morning, have a quick check of your farmyard area to see that all is safe. Deal with any safety risk that exists there.
Salt n' Sand - Be prepared for cold weather, have a bag of sand or salt available to sprinkle on much used paths around farmyard and house in frosty or snowy weather.
Farm Machinery Safety - Machinery will be in use on the majority of farms on most days, bringing in fodder, pushing in bales or blocks of silage. All machines used need to be in a tip top state of repair;
- Check that the 3 point linkage is secure.
- Ensure PTO guards are in place.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or jackets with dangling drawstrings or cords.
- The braking system of the tractor, including the handbrake, needs to be in perfect working condition.
- For a clear view, clean windscreen, mirrors, rear window and side windows on the tractor before starting any task.
- Plan to carry out all tasks safely. Avoid rushing any job. Drive machinery slowly in farmyards and over rough ground. Keep back a safe distance from any working machinery.
- Ensure children are supervised at all times.
- Elderly farmers need to stay clear of any working machinery.
- Be Safe, Be Seen - wear a high visibility vest when working near machinery. Keep clear of backing tractors with shear grabs or bale handlers.
Untidy yards - You or a member of your family will be in the farmyard on most days, viewing stock, putting in or pushing in fodder. Keep farmyard and working area tidy, free of obstacles that may cause trips or falls.
Viewing Stock - Avoid climbing into pens of slatted sheds to view or stir up stock. See them from a height, like the seat of tractor when feeding them. If you climb into a pen for any reason, have an escape route planned to avoid being crushed.
Moving tyres - Removing or moving tyres from high pit faces onto shear grab can be dangerous in wet or frozen conditions. Slips and falls can occur easily. Safest suggested practice is to knock tyres down onto silage pit floor. Load tyres onto shear grab or loader from ground level, where there is a safe surface to work on.
Dosing Stock - When treating stock, organisation is vital. Work in pairs; know what your work partner is doing or positioned at all times. Wear protective gloves and clothing when using pour-ons or when dipping flock. Any chemical coming in contact with skin should be washed away immediately. Do not frighten cattle by shouting or making noise. Avoid using dogs; use a stick to guide stock when moving them. Never enter a cattle crush or leave hands on rails when cattle are in it. Plan any movement of stock between sheds and cattle pen.
Diet feeders - Stay clear of Diet feeders when they are being filled, or when dispensing feed. Never climb up on the ladder or safety cover of diet feeder when the paddle is in motion. Knock off engine of tractor if climbing up to safety cover. Lifts for machinery, such as farm loaders, should be set at DOWN position when not being used. Lock cabs and remove keys when finished.