Stay sharp this season with simple safety checks

  • Farmers are being urged to ‘stay sharp’ on safety during harvest, by carrying out machinery checks and thinking twice before performing day-to-day tasks

James Bumphrey, territory product support manager at Krone UK, says he often sees what should be standard checks, being skipped on farm due to time pressures and worker fatigue.

He says: “With harvest in full swing in many parts of the country, we should be mindful of the fact that many operators are working long days, often using heavy machinery while running on less rest.

“It can feel like you’re adding to your already packed workload, but harvest is not the time to become complacent,” he states.  The leading cause of injuries and fatalities on farm are from operating vehicles and heavy machinery.

A report carried out by the Health and Safety Executive showed that between April 2021-2022, the fourth most common cause of work-related death in agriculture was caused by contact with machinery, during operation or maintenance.

Mr Bumphrey reminds farmers of some simple procedures to carry out that may be overlooked.

“Thoroughly inspect the machine before you start your day, you can examine bearings, chains, hoses, and belts for damage or worn parts, make any necessary repairs and carry out all daily maintenance.

“These simple checks and adjustments will minimise the likelihood of downtime during your already busy day and can eliminate the stresses of something going wrong when you’re under pressure,” he says.

For those following the combine with a baler, Mr Bumphrey outlines key points to ensure operator safety is taken care of and to get the most out of your machine.

“When operating the baler, ensure the power take-off (PTO) is completely turned off before leaving the tractor cab and take the key and your phone out with you – if you need assistance, your phone is no help to you inside the tractor.

“When performing maintenance on the baler, use all the safety locks while the bale chamber is open. Make sure all the original shields are in place on the power shafts and other moving parts of both tractor and baler,” he says.

“Similarly to combines, balers have multiple moving parts susceptible to overheating, operating in dry and dusty conditions. So, it’s essential to always have a fire extinguisher to hand.”

To further prevent baler fires, Mr Bumphrey reinforces the importance of cleaning down the baler of dust and debris daily.

To help with this Krone has developed unique feature on its Gen 5 BiG Pack baler – the Krone PowerClean knotter cleaning system.

Hydraulic fans generate an overpressure inside the knotter bay to avoid debris build up, with the outlets also cleaning the side of the baler behind the twine boxes, reducing overall cleaning time.

Mr Bumphrey concludes by reminding farmers to refer to their operator’s manual for additional safety information, even just as a refresher in any downtime – you never know what tip you might pick up.

Related news:

NAAC Safety Campaign – ATV helmets #WearItandShareIt