Vehicles

Deaths due to Tractors and Farm Vehicles 2008-2017 (30% of total Fatals)

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In this video, Sean talks about and shows the injuries received when a combine harvester fell on him.

In this video, David talks about how the tractor he was driving ran over him leaving him in a wheelchair.

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Tractors

Tractors are potentially lethal and accidents involving tractors account for a very high proportion of all farm accidents each year. Ensure that:

  • the tractor is maintained in good working condition
  • a cab or safety frame is fitted
  • all controls are in good working order and clearly marked
  • brakes are checked regularly and are always in sound working condition
  • all relevant guards are in place and that PTO and Hydraulics are functioning correctly
  • mirrors, lights and wipers are in working order at all times
  • the tractor is always parked safely
  • the guidance in the operator's manual is followed and operate the tractor in a safe manner

 

Tractor maintenance

  • A cab or safety frame to OECD standards must be fitted. Look for corrosion on frames of older tractors
  • Always ensure that the tractor can be started by the key and that the engine-stop control is effective
  • The vehicle controls should all be in working order and clearly marked. A tidy cab allows safe and easy use of the controls
  • Ensure that the cab floor is kept clear to allow safe use of brakes and clutch
  • Brakes should be in good working order, balanced and interlocked, except when being used for field work
  • A properly functioning handbrake is essential
  • Ensure that the power take-off (PTO) can be turned on and off correctly, and that the PTO shield is kept in place at all times
  • The hitch points of both tractor and trailer must not be worn
  • Do not leave the tractor seat while the engine is running
  • Maintain all tractor components, including hydraulics, u-guard and hitches


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Hydraulic Systems

  • Examine hydraulic pipes before using hydraulic equipment. Repair or replace damaged pipes or couplings before use
  • Never place a finger near any leak in a hydraulic hose pipe, no matter how small the leak. This is likely to cause infection and possibly the loss of a limb
  • Seek immediate medical assistance if even the smallest amount of oil is forced under the skin


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Parking

  • Follow the instructions in the operator's handbook
  • Stop the engine and leave the fuel-control stop in the shut-off position
  • Apply the hand brake securely
  • Park on level ground where possible. Leave the vehicle in gear. If on a slope, use the reverse gear if facing downhill and low forward gear if facing uphill
  • Use wheel stops if necessary to prevent a vehicle rolling from its parked position
  • Lower hydraulic implements and loaders to the ground
  • Remove the key if there is a risk of the vehicle being started by an unauthorised person


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Driving on slopes

  • If you use tractors or equipment on slopes, carefully assess the risk of overturning
  • Always assess the slope and ground conditions before commencing work
  • Consider if it is worth taking the risk of operating on sloping ground
  • Make sure you are familiar with the slope. Walk the slope before driving on it
  • Use a four-wheel-drive tractor
  • Select the right gear before approaching the slope, to avoid gear change on the slope
  • Use engine braking when you drive down a slope
  • Keep as much weight uphill as possible
  • Turn uphill if working across a slope
  • Avoid quick, sharp turns
  • If a tractor is about to overturn, do not attempt to jump clear. Stay in the cab and hold on to the steering wheel
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All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)

  • Consider the risk of overturning on sloping ground
  • Professional training is essential before using an ATV
  • Never carry a passenger on an ATV
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including a helmet

 

ATVs require on-going maintenance as specified by the manufacturer. Check, in particular, that:

  • tyre pressures are correct
  • brakes give a straight stop
  • the throttle operates smoothly in all steering positions
  • Many ATVs have no differential, so the vehicle speed and placing of your body weight is crucial for safe cornering.
  • An Information Sheet on the safe use of ATVs in agriculture and forestry is available
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Vehicle Checks

  • Cab/Roll bar in good condition
  • U guard is in place to cover the PTO stub
  • All controls in working order and clearly marked/ understood
  • Brakes in good working order and adequate for the work
  • Handbrake fully operational
  • Mirrors, lights, indicators and wipers functioning, clean and visible
  • All hitching equipment free of defects
  • All visible defects identified and rectified
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Fatal Accidents

Farm vehicles and machinery account for the highest proportion of farm deaths and accidents. People at risk include vehicle or machine operators and others in the vicinity.

Deaths due to Tractors and Farm Vehicles 2008-2017 (30% of total Fatals)

vehicles_08_17


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