Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Saturday 3 December 2016

The €80 investment that can prove a life-saver

Published 20/04/2016 | 02:30

Teagasc's Tillage Advisor Michael McCarthy pictured with Kildalton Agriculture College students, David Rennick, Trim Co Meath and Stephen Morrissey, Fethard-on-Sea, Co Wexford.
Teagasc's Tillage Advisor Michael McCarthy pictured with Kildalton Agriculture College students, David Rennick, Trim Co Meath and Stephen Morrissey, Fethard-on-Sea, Co Wexford.

Large high-powered machines now play a major factor in many of the deaths and crush injuries around farmyards, explained Teagasc health and safety officer John McNamara.

  • Go To

The year before last he pointed out there were 16 farmers found crushed with horrific injuries. "Children are falling from tractors, people are lying under tractors and not putting the handbrake on," said Mr McNamara highlighting the importance of chocks to keep machinery from moving.

"Any bit of a slope and a machine can move, a variant of it would be people foddering cattle and the tractor moves forward and pins them or people with cattle boxes on jeeps moving and crushing them," he said.

"If you get crushed in the centre of your chest, your lungs are inactivated, the blood can't flow and the outer part of the body turns blue. It is hard to get help as you may not be able to put your hand in your pocket for your phone.

"Keeping machines stable and keeping them in place is crucial for safety - just slowing down and wondering what is around the next corner is key."

Mr McNamara pointed out the types of injuries and deaths from machines may have moved on from PTOs to crush accidents but complacency should not be allowed creep into safety measures around the potentially-deadly PTO shafts.

PTO

Teagasc's Michael McCarthy said an €80 shaft cover for a PTO spinning at 1,000rpm can prove lifesaving and urged farmers to investigate the simple to use options on the market.

Also Read


"Entanglements in PTO shafts are horrific and life changing events," he said, adding people were more aware of the dangers of PTO shafts now and they were all covered on new machines purchased.

"You are more than certain to lose a limb, a leg or an arm. For a cost of €70-€80 it is a lot cheaper than an arm and easily replaceable," he said.

Mr McNamara urged farmers to properly prop machines before going in underneath them to fix a problem.

"It might take an extra five minutes to make sure it is properly propped but you'll be sorry for the rest of your life if you don't do it," he said. "Make sure the prop can hold the weight of what it is supposed to prop up, proper axle stands and do not use concrete blocks as concrete can crack. A strong timber block is more flexible," he said.

"If you are going to lie in under a machine and you are nervous that this thing is going to fall down on top of you then don't go in under it unless you prop it up properly. There is one chance with all this stuff and if something happens then lives are changed."

He said another danger point for farmers was changing wheels on a tractor. "Tractors are much bigger now than what they ever were, when you are going at a job like that make sure there are two people around," he said. "If you are removing a wheel make sure the space around you is clear so there is nothing you could trip over and the wheel could land on you."

Mr McCarthy said farmers must ensure they have the proper number of straps to secure loads on trailers, such as bales, to ensure they were not a danger to themselves and others on the roads.

Stuart Goodwin from Kildalton College pointed out they have a two year level six Advanced Certificate in Agriculture - Machinery and Crop Management that offers one-to-one training to farmers for dealing with all aspects of machinery and fabrication in a safe manner.

Indo Farming



Top Stories