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Tractor Safety and You

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General Details

Tractors and the attached machinery are by far the largest cause of deaths on Irish Farms.

The HSA (Health & Safety Authority) states:

Our vision: A national culture where all commit to safe and healthy workplaces and the safe and sustainable management of chemicals.

Most at Risk:

  • Elderly Farmers
  • Young Children
  • When Tired
  • When Rushing
  • On Hills
  • On Roads - causing others to crash
  • Around the yard
  • Unguarded moving parts
  • Young Males
  • Elderly farmers – Keep tractor maintained with adequate rollover protection – limit hours worked – know your limitations
  • Young children – shouldn’t be there – keep them away from tractors
  • Young males – work under supervision - ensure training and machine familiarity and suitability
  • When tired – the only cure for fatigue is rest – organize more drivers - take adequate rest breaks
  • Unguarded moving parts/power drives – cover them fully
  • Around the yard – slow down – no children – care with hitching/unhitching and reversing, use the “Safe Stop”, use axle stands, prop hydraulics before getting under raised loads
  • On hills – slow right down – experienced drivers only – maximize traction and controlled braking – avoid wet slippery surfaces – stop if feel insecure
  • On roads – don’t speed – let traffic through – be highly visible – keep well to the left – mark wide loads – secure loads
  • When rushing – plan your work, allow enough time, don’t take chances or short cuts
  • The Consequences

    Accidents involving tractors and machinery result in far more deaths and severe injuries than other farm accidents – crushed, entrapped, entangled, deep cuts, amputation, paraplegia, death. You have no chance against the weight and power of the tractor or machine. Take action to prevent accidents with tractors and machinery.

    Five Minute Check

    Before you start work always check these items:

    • Brake Pedals Locked Together - brakes pull evenly
    • Clean all Windows - visibilty
    • Clear Cab Floor - can't jam pedals
    • Hydraulics - equipment collapse
    • Hand Brake - stop tractor moving
    • Transmission Oil - avoids damage
    • Steps - slips and falls
    • Tyres - gives good control
    • Engine Oil - avoid engine damage
    • Lights and Mirrors - visibility
    • Radiator - prevent overheating

    Only now should you start work - but slow down and work safely

    Safe Tractor Operations

    Competent Drivers Always Follow 'Safe Systems of Work'

    • Know your controls - a key to operating safety
    • Correct Speed - adjust to conditions
    • Stop if Danger - whenever you sense danger or risk
    • Safe On & Off - good footing, use handholds, no jumping
    • Concentrate - keep mind on job
    • Seat Belt - use it
    • Passenger Secured - see the Code of Practice

    Safe Tractor and Machinery Work - Is In Your Hands

    The Safe Stop

    “Safe Stop” will eliminate most yard accidents. You or your family won’t get crushed, entrapped or entangled if you follow these six simple steps.

    1. Bring it to a Stop at a Safe Place
    2. Apply the Hand Brake
    3. Disengage
    4. Lower Implements
    5. Engine Off
    6. Remove Key - Only Now Dismount
  • Tractor and machinery accidents may have multiple causes but there is usually one key factor – that’s YOU!
  • You make the critical decisions. Most tractor accidents come back to a decision by the driver – that’s YOU!
  • Attitude, YOUR ATTITUDE is the Key Factor in Tractor Safety
  • Understand the risks to you and to others – then DO SOMETHING TO ELIMINATE OR REDUCE THE CHANCE of an accident
  • Check Out H.S.A. Website for more information.

    Technical Specification