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Monday, 06 June 2016 06:55

Free kits help farmers with health and safety

Written by  Mark Daniel
WorkSafe will provide free kits designed to help farmers manage onfarm risks at the National Fieldays. WorkSafe will provide free kits designed to help farmers manage onfarm risks at the National Fieldays.

Farmers interested in learning to reduce the risk of accidents with machinery are encouraged to visit the WorkSafe team at Mystery Creek.

Many accidents with machinery can be simply avoided, says Al McCone, WorkSafe's programme manager for agriculture.

"WorkSafe will provide free kits designed to help farmers [manage] risks onfarm, including machinery-related hazards.

"Machinery accidents can be down to operator error, misjudgement, inexperience or inadequate maintenance."

Unguarded machinery parts present a serious risk of injury. "These include belts and pulleys on vacuum pumps, milk pumps and auger motors, generator flywheels and gear wheels. Take care around shafts and spindles on vacuum pumps and milk pumps, and also on the tractor power take-off when you're using a tractor as a power source.

"Dangerous machine parts include drawing-in points or nip points: these occur when a belt contacts a pulley. They grab at fingers, clothing or hair and draw the operator in, causing serious injuries."

Impact and crushing areas can also be dangerous, he says. "These points crush limbs or people, like rotary platform rollers (where people can be caught between fixed rails) and the moving stalls on rotary, hydraulic or pneumatic gates (like cow entrances and exits).

"Easily seen and used emergency stop equipment is vital in large machinery, and good design in machines like log-splitters will mean the operator is well away from the impact points.

"Problems can be there even before a machine gets through a farm gate. Manufacturers and retailers need to be aware of the safety and usability of the product they are designing or selling."

Farmer and former All Black Richard Loe will join the WorkSafe team at Mystery Creek.

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