Farming is dangerous when safety measures are not followed.

With calving ongoing, stock going out to grass and farmers trying to get fieldwork up to date, it is easy to take your eye off safety and start cutting corners.

This is when accidents happen that can prove to be fatal.

So, as the workload ramps up, outlined are five areas to keep in mind for farm safety.

1. Children

Children are a great source of help on farms, especially when there are multiple jobs to carry out and time is limited.

As farmyards get busier with moving machinery, make sure that young children cannot enter the yard unless they are supervised at all times.

Wearing a high-visibility jacket may seem excessive, but it will make children much easier to see, especially when driving machinery.

2. PTO guards

Make sure all moving parts on machinery are properly covered. The PTO shaft should be fully guarded and chained into a stationary position.

Always make sure the PTO and tractor engine has been disengaged with carrying out repairs to any moving part.

In addition, make sure that no loose clothing can come into contact with the PTO, or other moving parts, when making repairs or alterations to machine settings.

3. Loaders

When using a tractor with a front loader or telehandler for tasks such as filling fertiliser into a spreader, always stand to the side of the raised bag when opening.

This reduces the risk of serious injury should the loader fail or bag handle break.

4. Slurry

As cattle go to grass, there will be farmers looking to get slurry mixed and storage tanks emptied.

Once tanks are agitated, toxic gases are at their most potent during the first few minutes of mixing.

Therefore, stay outside of sheds when mixing slurry, especially after turning on the pump.

Adjustments can be made to the pump later when the concentration of gases has reduced.

Keep openings to slurry tanks covered, especially when you leave the yard to empty the tanker or tend or grazing livestock.

5. Cows and calves

Freshly calved cows can be temperamental and extremely protective of their calf.

Keep this in mind when loading cows in trailers before turning stock out to grass.

If cows are calving outside in a sheltered paddock next to the main farmyard, keep your safety in mind when tagging the calf.

Offer some concentrate to distract cows when handling the calf. Also, when carrying out tasks such as ear tagging, never turn your back on the cow.

With breeding due to start in May for many farmers, always be wary of the stock bull when checking on cows.

Read more

Don't lose focus on later-calving cows as fieldwork increases

Five things to consider when reseeding