The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has produced an information sheet on working safely with bales on farms.
In the document, it reminds members of the public that several fatalities have occurred whilst people are working with bales on farms across Ireland.
Some have died as a result of being crushed by falling bales or rolled over by round bales, while others have been crushed or trapped by tractors or farm machinery which was involved in transporting or moving bales on the farm.
The document covers safe stacking locations, transporting bales using tractors and loaders, removing bales from stacks, child safety around bales and transporting bales using trailers and trucks.
That’s Farming will publish segments of the document in the coming days, with this article focusing on child safety and bales.
The document contains the following advice:
- Ensure children are not allowed to play on top of stacked bales or use the stack as a play area/den;
- Do not allow children to be present during stacking and de-stacking work;
- Do not allow children to ride on a stack of bales being carried on a trailer or on bale handling equipment;
- Remove ladders to prevent children gaining access;
- Children should not be allowed in the farmyard or fields where bales are being moved, handled or transported.
Make sure all workers, including employees, the self-employed and contractors, are:
- Properly trained;
- Aware of the dangers;
- Aware of safe working procedures;
- Equipped with, and wear, appropriate personal protective equipment;
- Medically and physically fit for the work being carried out;
- Aware of what to do if working on their own, and;
- Aware of what to do if there is an accident or emergency.
“A 9-year-old child fell from a moving trailer transporting bales on the public road and died in hospital some days later.” the information sheet states.