Falling bales account for 5% of farm workplace deaths
Figures released by the Health and Safety Authority (HAS) detail that falling bales account for around 5% of farm workplace deaths.
The summer months are a busy time for farmers and contractors, who will be working to make, transport and stack bales of silage, hay and straw. Bales are a vital method of conserving winter feed and providing bedding, but it is also important to remember that these activities have many safety risks.
SHP has reported in the past how farming is amongst the most hazardous occupations. The HAS data highlights that being crushed by falling bales or rolled over by a moving round bale, being crushed or trapped by tractors or farm machinery which were involved in transporting bales are some of the main dangers.
Transporting bales from the field
When removing bales from the field it is necessary to be careful and have this job done by a skilled driver in order to avoid accidents. The job must be properly planned to ensure machinery is appropriate and safe, drivers are aware off ground conditions including slopes and the presence of overhead power lines. Drivers should travel at an appropriate safe speed and be considerate of other road users.
Transporting bales using trailers
Trailers used to transport bales must not be overloaded. Bales should not hang over the edges of the trailer. Secure the load with suitable straps using double straps at the rear of the load. Avoid high speeds and take account of the effects of the weight of the load on the effectiveness of the brakes.
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