Safety briefings for pre-harvest issued to farms

Picture by SANDY McCOOK  18th July '17
An early harvest in Muir of Ord as Ali Martin and his staff start cutting their winter barley on the 18th of July, a new record.
Picture by SANDY McCOOK 18th July '17 An early harvest in Muir of Ord as Ali Martin and his staff start cutting their winter barley on the 18th of July, a new record.

Pre-harvest safety briefings should be held with farm and estate staff to reduce the dangers during one of the busiest times of year, according to land agents Strutt & Parker.

Mary Munro, the company’s head of farming in Scotland, issued the advice ahead of Farm Safety Week.

She said the intensity of the harvest period with extra workload, more machinery movements and extra employees meant it was important all employees understood health and safety measures.

She added: “Pre-harvest health and safety briefings are strongly recommended as a way of reinforcing the importance of health and safety issues and are a practical way of providing employees – and family members – with the information, instruction, training and supervision that they need to stay safe.”

Ms Munro said briefings should include information on the location of first aid kits, accident books, assembly points, fire extinguishers and electric isolation points.

Workers should also know if there are qualified first aiders and how to report any accidents and injuries.

Other recommended measures include having a map which shows workers the location of all overhead and underground services and ensuring employees understand risk assessments and safe systems of work

“If taking on temporary workers, it is also important to assess their competence and check what certificates they hold and take a copy of them, and to ascertain their prior level of knowledge and experience,” said Ms Munro.

“If employees are not instructed and trained in the use of machinery or equipment, they must not operate it unless under the direct supervision of a qualified member of staff or trainer.”

She said everyone should be familiar with the “safe stop” policy.

“This requires drivers to use the handbrake, put the controls in neutral, switch off the engine and remove the key every time they leave the seat or when anyone else approaches.”

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