Safety on the farm is vitally important. Agriculture is a huge part of Ireland’s economy with a long history embedded in our culture. Farms are hives of activity with lots of heavy machinery and livestock. As well as this, a lot of farms are passed on from one generation to the next so they are also family homes as well as workplaces. This means that children are being raised on farms, so it’s important that farm safety is demonstrated to the younger generations of farmers.
SAFETY ON THE FARM IN THE SUMMER MONTHS
Of course, during the summer months, things are extra busy on the farm. Not only is it the busiest time for a farmer with crops and livestock needing the most attention, children are off school and are therefore spending the school holidays being entertained on the farm. So it becomes even more important to practise farm safety measures to ensure that everyone on the farm is kept out of harms way. City Oil have over 120 years of combined history and experience of supplying farms in Cork with agricultural fuels and products. We know how crucial farm safety is to all our agricultural customers. Here we are sharing some handy safety guidelines to practice on the farm.
TRACTORS AND MACHINERY
The farm simply would not be able to operate without the use of tractors and machinery such as bailers, trucks, air compressors, irrigation equipment, vacuum pumps. All of these help farmers to save time, money and increase productivity. However they can also be dangerous if not operated in a safe manner. The majority of accidents involving tractors and machinery are caused by inexperienced operators, poor mechanical condition, excessive speed, lack of concentration, steep gradients and unguarded parts, such as PTOs (Power Take Offs).
Accidents can be avoided by ensuring that regular risk assessments are carried out on all tractors and machinery being operated on the farm. Ensure that every person operating tractors and machinery have been given the necessary training and are fully competent in handling the machinery. Take the time to check that all safety parts such as machine guards, especially the PTO shaft, are maintained and checked regularly. Replace immediately if damaged or missing. Nearly all machinery requires the use of lubricants. This minimises direct metal to metal contact and protect engine parts against corrosion for longer lasting performance. Learn more about lubricants suitable for farm machinery available from City Oil here.
The gas, Hydrogen Sulphide is highly toxic and dangerous. This gas is emitted from slurry tanks which is why slurry tanks should be approached with great caution and care. On some farms, the slurry tank is positioned in an open yard. If so, it should be fenced off and covered to avoid the risk of children gaining access to it. However, most slurry tanks are located in sheds and the slurry needs to be agitated regularly. This is what causes the slurry to emit the toxic gas. Never enter a shed when the slurry is being agitated and the shed should always be well ventilated. Leave it at least 30 minutes after agitating before re-entering the shed.
ANIMALS AND LIVESTOCK
While farm animals are wonderful and exciting, especially for children, it’s important to remember that they can be dangerous. Children should never be allowed on their own with livestock. Bulls in particular can be aggressive. Be sure to cull cross bulls, cows, rams, stags from your farm. If you have horses on your farm, ensure that all the necessary safety equipment such as helmets are worn when riding and handling horses. Another important point is that animals can carry infections and diseases that can be passed on to humans. E.Coli, Weil’s Disease and Toxoplasmosis are all examples of potential of these. Ensure you are always wearing gloves and washing your hands when in contact with livestock.
FUELS, CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES
The use of chemicals, flammable fuels and pesticides is essential in farming. It is vitally important that the necessary precautions are taken when using these on the farm. Chemicals pose a risk by different routes including inhalation, ingestion and absorption. The risk posed by the chemical depends on its chemical properties, particularly its toxicity. Chemical sprays should only be handled by those who have had the necessary training. Anyone using them should be wearing the correct protective clothing such as mask and goggles. All pesticides and chemicals should be kept in a secure environment, away from the reach of children. Ensure that they are correctly labelled and follow the manufacturer’s advice on proper use, storage and disposal. Make sure that any fuels are kept away from anything that could ignite and cause an explosion.
AROUND THE FARM YARD
A tidy farm yard is a safe one. It’s important to ensure that the farm is kept tidy and free of obstacles or visual obstructions. Anything that could lead to an accident requires attention. Cutting back on overgrown hedges and trees for example can help give anyone operating machinery full vision of where they are manoeuvring. Wearing high visibility clothing should always be encouraged. This is especially important at times when there is a lot of machinery on the move around the farmyard.
Warning signs should be erected to warn the public of dangers or hazards such as “Tractors Crossing”, “Beware of Bull”. Be aware of electricity cables – overhead power lines and buried cables can be extremely dangerous. If working at height, workers should ensure that all safety procedures are being adhered to. Always make sure that the correct ladder is being used for the working location. Fire extinguishers and first aid kits should always be maintained and kept close at hand.
SAFETY ON THE FARM IS IMPORTANT TO US
Of course, if you wish to order any agricultural fuels or lubricants, we are happy to fulfil your order here at City Oil. We fully understand the importance of delivering fuels to farms and businesses on time, especially during busy times. This is why we have invested in a fleet of trucks as well as a team of fully qualified, highly skilled drivers who are knowledgeable of all local routes. We can assure you that our drivers will always adhere to the safety guidelines when delivering your fuel to your farm.
To schedule a home delivery, give us a call on 022-4222011 to speak to one of our sales team or you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org Unsure of which fuel to choose? Check out the full range of fuels available on our website www.cityoil.ie or you may want to have a look at our parent company website www.tria.ie. We are one of the leading Cork Agricultural Diesel Suppliers and happy to manage your home heating oil needs.