If equipment is not used safely, serious or fatal injury can occur – that is one of the key messages from Teagasc’s new joint collaborative farm safety digital media campaign with the HSA, Farm Safety Partnership and FBD Insurance.
The bodies have produced a series of short videos containing industry-leading life-saving advice covering livestock handling, farmer’s health, sheep farming, chemicals, children, slurry handling, harvesting and farm machinery.
In its workshop safety video, the partners stressed that every farm has a requirement to carry out machinery maintenance and repairs.
They then highlighted that adopting safe work practices are “essential” when carrying out maintenance or repairs in the workshop.
The bodies then highlighted safety features that every workshop should contain to minimise injuries and fatalities.
Farm workshops, the bodies outlined, should be constructed of fire-resistant materials such as concrete blocks, concrete, steel, non-asbestos fibre-cement sheeting or fire-resistant composite panels, with the following features:
- Good access;
- High sliding or roller doors;
- Non-slip, concrete floors;
- Good lighting;
- Space of 2m around a vehicle;
- Workshop equipment and materials should be sited in designated areas clear of access areas, generally around the periphery of the building.
Other safety tips in video:
- Store flammable materials such as fuels, oil, paint thinners, paint or grease appropriately, and where practical, outside the workshop;
- Workshop should have fire buckets filled with sand and a fire blanket;
- Always wear visors or safety goggles to the standard E.N.166 where there is a risk of eye injury when doing repairs;
- As a general rule, if the noise is such that it is difficult to hear someone talk in normal voice, noise levels are at a damaging level;
- Reduce noise levels or wear ear protection;
- Use battery or pneumatic tools as an alternative to electrical tools;
- Never use trolley or battery jacks as the sole means of supporting equipment – Use axel stands to support the load;
- Never carry out repairs in the vicinity of hay or straw;
- A fire extinguisher must be easily accessible – Select either a dry powder and/or a carbon dioxide type for the workshop;
- When carrying out repairs or maintenance, give your health and safety first priority with every task;
- Installations and alterations should comply with the E.T.C.I. wiring rules for farm buildings and ensure they are checked annually by a competent electrician;
- When carrying out repairs or maintenance, give your health and safety first priority with every task.
Previous article on handling chemicals.