Tractor in field ploughing

Check your farm machinery is up to scratch

Don’t let your machinery put you and your team at risk this spring. Nick Lay, Claims Technician at Cornish Mutual gives some machinery safety tips.

“This is a busy time for many, and in the rush to get jobs done there can be a temptation to take short-cuts with machinery safety,” explains Nick. “Maintenance and servicing should always be a priority but it is especially important before periods of heavy use. Machinery or vehicles must be safe and roadworthy every time you take them out, even if it’s only for a quick job.”

With more farm traffic on the move at this time of year, it is also important to keep pedestrians safe. “Last year the most common cause of accidental death on the farm was being struck by a moving vehicle. Avoid unnecessary risks and accidents by keeping vehicles and pedestrians apart wherever possible – one-way systems, mirrors and using turning circles can help. Whenever you leave a vehicle, or someone approaches the cab, follow the ‘safe stop’ procedure – apply the handbrake, check all equipment is safe, stop the engine and remove the keys.”

“Keeping machinery clean and well maintained can also reduce the risk of fires”, reminds Nick. “Pay close attention to combustible materials such as dried-on grease, oil and crop materials, particularly in the engine bay. Electrical faults are also a common cause of fires so it’s worth checking machinery electrics frequently, dealing with any faults straight away, and making sure electrical accessories are fitted correctly.

“Machinery maintenance may not always seem a priority but delaying regular checks, and not complying with equipment and health and safety regulations, can be both costly and risk serious accidents,” concludes Nick.

For more advice, click here to see our Safety on the Farm Guide