This Agribusiness Hazard & Risk Safety Alert is brought to you by Richard Read, Insurance House Risk Management Consultant.
There has been a recent spate of tragic farm incidents the last few weeks. It has been a trying year for many managing drought conditions. We take this opportunity to issue an alert notice to help keep you and your staff safe this summer.
Recent tragic industry incidents that have received our attention include;
A worker fatally run over by a tractor he was operating
A worker fatally crushed by bale accumulator
A worker killed in fall from Grain Auger
A quad bike fatality while back-burning
Here are some safety tips Read Consulting recommend when operating and using machinery and farm equipment.
Risk control measures for when using tractors:
- Never climb on or off a tractor that is moving. Do not get out while the engine is running unless the transmission is in the neutral or park position and the handbrake is engaged.
- Reduce speed before turning or applying turning brakes.
- Descend slopes cautiously with the tractor in low gear. Extra care needs to be taken if towing trailers or implements down slopes, as often they will not have their own brakes.
- If an attachment becomes blocked, the tractor should be stopped, the drive to the attachment disconnected and the moving parts of the implement stopped before the obstruction is cleared.
Risk control measures for when operating machinery that uses hydraulic power:
- Always make sure that you read the instructions provided by the manufacturer and follow all safety directions
- Never place yourself in a position where you could be crushed in the event of hydraulics failure or inadvertent operation of the hydraulics
- If a backup safety prop is provided on the plant, always use it before entering a high-risk zone
- If a safety prop is not provided on the machine, make sure you use another prop that is load rated and has adequate strength to safely withstand any loads that could be applied to it.
Risk control measures for when operating an auger:
- Ensure the auger is empty before moving it
- For height adjustable augers, the auger is as close to the ground as possible during travel
- The auger is stowed in the correct transportation configuration prior to it being transported or moved
- The auger is moved slowly to prevent the likelihood of the auger tipping over, particularly long inclined augers
- Before moving the auger, inspect the ground conditions along the intended path of travel to ensure the auger can maintain stability during travel
- The auger does not travel over potholes, depressions, soft ground, uneven ground surfaces or any objects that could destabilise the auger and cause it to tip over.
Risk control measures for when using quad bikes:
- Ensure a quad bike is the right tool for the task
- A compliant helmet and other personal protective equipment such as boots, gloves and eye protection is supplied and used
- Operators are trained (preferably through formal training) and competent before using a quad bike, particularly when riding on steep slopes, at speed, with attachments or carrying loads
- Operators have sufficient strength, weight and agility to operate safely and to react quickly to changing terrain or conditions
- Operators are aware of heat stress, fatigue or other limiting conditions which may affect concentration while operating a quad bike
- The quad bike is maintained to manufacturer’s specifications, including equipment such as brakes, are working and tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and guards are in place.
This Insurance House Agri Hazard & Risk Safety Alert is provided by our in-house agribusiness risk consultant Richard Read of Read Consulting. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how an agribusiness risk consultant can help you or call 02 8913 9148