farming health and safety Rural

Health & Safety Update | October 2018

Q4 2018

Harvest already seems a lifetime ago after a remarkable run of weather, where grass has started to grow consideration as to whether to grab a late cut of silage will be in the minds of many.

Robert Gazely

Senior Associate Director, Farming

+44 1245 254611
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Welcome to Strutt & Parker’s Farm Research Group Health & Safety Update. The quarterly Health & Safety Update is to assist you in ensuring that you are thinking about topical health and safety matters on your farm and/or estate. Health and safety is a vital part of any business operation.

Harvest already seems a lifetime ago after a remarkable run of weather, where grass has started to grow consideration as to whether to grab a late cut of silage will be in the minds of many. The autumn remains a busy time of year with winter crops being drilled, ground being prepared for spring crops where time allows and animals starting to be housed ahead of the winter months. This year the feeding of animals, be that inside or outside, will be undertaken where grass is scarce after the long hot summer months.

For further assistance or information on the issues discussed below, please call your nearest Strutt & Parker office.

Hedge cutting and flail mowers

With the bird nesting season over, hedge cutting has started in earnest especially while ground conditions are good. A good proportion of the work will be confined to fields but appropriate signage should be placed to warn road users of potential flying debris when roadside hedges are being cut even when working in the field. When working on the road, signage should be erected, flashing beacons and all lights must be working and glass should be clean and not obstructed. Working lights should not be used where they are likely to dazzle or blind other road users.

Roadside works should, where possible, be completed outside of peak traffic periods, but during daylight hours in order to minimise the risk to both the operator and other road users. Only operators who are appropriately trained should use hedge cutters, and they should pay particular attention when operating on roadsides and next to rights of way.

Hedge cutters and flail mowers have a number of dangers associated with them for both the operator and other parties, these include:

  • Debris being discharged at high speeds;
  • Numerous moving parts;
  • Contact with overhead power lines;
  • Overbalancing of machine when the arm is extended;
  • Oil being used at high pressures.

The hedge cutter and tractor should be thoroughly checked to ensure it is safe to use, prior to starting any hedge cutting work. All guards should be in place including PTO, flail covers on the hedge cutter head and cab glass protection.

In this edition, we also cover:

  • Underground services
  • Manual handling
  • Grain store safety
  • Grain sampling and monitoring
  • ATVs
  • Abrasive wheels
  • Annual reviews

Click to download the October 2018 Health & Safety Update.