In the interest of health and safety of both contractors and clients, the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) have issued a list of practical measures for all contractors and their teams to consider during the 2020 silage harvest.
They have urged contractors to make sure their team are given a clear set of instructions and that these instructions be fixed to a prominent place in the tractor cab.
They ask that contractors inform their teams of the following measures:
- Disinfect the interior tractor cab at the start and at the end of each day with a disinfectant spray;
- Disinfect the tractor and harvester cab door handles at the start and at the end of each day with a disinfectant spray;
- One driver, one machine, if you change drivers disinfect the cab and controls thoroughly;
- Stick to social isolation and do not allow others, especially children into the tractor or harvester cabin with you;
- Bring enough food and drinks with you for a day’s work;
- Take a minimum of two food breaks; deli/coffee shop stops are not ideal as a source of food during present restrictions;
- It’s great that farmers can provide food for contractors and their operators but you must adhere to social distancing rules so preferably eat outside on patio tables/yard tables – do not enter a customer’s home for food;
- Provide a box of disposable plastic gloves in each tractor cab for your operators and replace each week;
- Wear overalls and change them for a fresh set each day or use disposable overalls and dispose each day;
- No hand contact, no shaking hands, it is possible to give the instructions over the phone;
- Maintenance of a minimum of two-meter safety distance;
- Cough into your elbow;
- If you have symptoms, call HSE Live at 1850 24 1850.
The FCI has acknowledged that there is a difficult balance between health and safety and work requirements, and therefore have asked contractors to take a reasonable approach in order to get the best outcome for all parties involved.