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Farm Safety Week 2019: Top tips to help keep you safe on the farm

Young farmer and NFU graduate Hannah Binns gives us her top tips for staying safe on-farm.

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#FarmSafetyWeek: Top tips to help keep you safe on-farm

I’m incredibly proud to be a part of the British farming industry. It is a profession that is diverse and rewarding, with no two days being the same.

 

But I am less proud of our safety record which sees our industry taking the spotlight as the most hazardous, with a total of 39 farm related deaths occurring last year alone.

 

This needs tackling and is why am I supporting Farm Safety Week.

 

Here’s my top safety tips for all farm workers...


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Machinery

Machinery

Perhaps unsurprisingly, transport and machinery were the biggest cause of death for farm workers last year, killing a total of 9 people.

 

  • Keep all PTO shifts covered, in good condition and the safety chain attached. Also never wear loose clothing when operating machines powered by PTOs.
  • Use the Safe Stop procedure and switch off the machine before getting out – even if it is just to open a gate.
  • Consider your visibility by keeping windows cleaned and mirrors in the correct position.
  • Maintain your vehicles at any costs necessary. If you cannot fix it properly, take it to someone who can – there is no point taking a risk with your life in order to save money.
  • Drive at the appropriate speed for your load to avoid losing control. This is the most common cause of serious accidents involving quad bikes so know your limit and stick to it!

Working at height

Working at height

Everyone falls over. I always fall down stairs. But falling from a height can have serious medical complications that could ruin your livelihood.

 

  • Carry out a mental risk assessment before carrying out the task. Inform work colleagues/family so they know where to find you/what you are doing.
  • Make sure the equipment is in good condition – only use ladders that are in good condition and long enough for the job.
  • When carrying out the task, keep 3 contact points with the ladder and ideally get someone to hold it/tie it down for support.
  • Avoid overhead power cables and roof lights as they won’t hold your weight!
  • Look for corrosion on sheets before starting the task.
  • Consider if the task can be carried out safely from below.

Livestock

Livestock

Everyone has been chased by a cow at some point in their life.

 

But incidents involving animals can become severe quickly so it is vital you work with animals safely.

 

  • Be competent and agile – if you feel unsafe at any point tell someone.
  • Have an escape route. Animals, like humans, can become aggressive, especially if offspring is involved, and you need to be able to get to safety as quickly as possible.
  • Keep cattle calm when handling them & never turn your back on a bull.
  • Make sure work surfaces are clean to avoid slipping.
  • Protect yourself against disease by maintaining a good hygiene practice.
  • Always treat animals with respect – they remember bad experiences.

Children on-farm

Children on-farm

Growing up on the farm can be the best thing ever. It certainly was for me!

 

But the farmyard is an incredibly busy place that offers many dangers for adventurous children.

 

  • Keep track of family members and where they are playing/what time they are expected back.
  • Make sure all family members know what to do in an emergency and have a prepared list of emergency numbers.
  • Implement good hygiene practises in the home to stop diseases spreading.
  • Have a safe and secure play area for the children to prevent them from playing near livestock/machinery.
  • Keep children away from moving farming machinery and vehicles. My mum once accidently ran over my foot – it is easily done!
  • Keep children away from animals unless accompanied – I was bitten by a working dog when I was one!

 

Read more from Hannah here: hannahbinns.blog/

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