The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has yesterday, Wednesday, (May 29th) published a safety factsheet for contractors and farmers for the 2019 silage harvest, in order to provide advice so that they can work together to keep everyone on the farm healthy and safe during the silage season.
Better communication is highlighted as a key method approach to help to reduce accidents around the busy silage harvesting time.
FCI advises that Contractors must make sure;
- Any risks from their work that could affect the farmer, farm workers or other contractors on the farm are reasonably managed. If a risk can't be eliminated then it must be minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
FCI advises that Farmers must make sure;
- Any risks from farm work are reasonably managed (eliminated or minimised) to protect the health and safety of contractors,
- Risks from any previous work carried out on the farm (eg land drainage, levelling, spraying hazardous substances) are reasonably managed to protect the health and safety of contractors,
- That farm buildings and any area where work is being carried out is safe for everyone including contractors,
- Any risks from low overhead wires should be made known to the contractor for the safety of operators.
How can farmers and contractors co-ordinate activities?
- Farmers and contractors must work together to meet their overlapping duties every time a contractor comes on the farm,
- Having a face-to-face or over the phone meeting before work starts can help farmers and contractors to reach a common understanding and establish clear roles, responsibilities and actions,
- It will also prevent any gaps in managing health and safety risks.