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Safety guidelines for farming equipment

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farming equipmentfarming equipment

Safety guidelines for farming equipment

Owning a wine farm means that you have to own and operate any number of farming equipment. This can be dangerous for yourself and your employees, so it is imperative that you understand and follow the safety guidelines for using and keeping farming equipment.

 

Read and comply with the manual

Once you have found farm equipment for sale that suits your needs, and have made the purchase, the very first thing you need to do is read the manuals for each piece of equipment. You may find that your new pieces of equipment function differently to your old ones, which will take some getting used to.

Following the manual is important, especially when it comes to equipment you may not have used before, such as spreading machines, rock removing machines and more. You may also have fallen into bad habits regarding the operation of your old equipment, so reading the manual will update you on how your new equipment should be used.

 

Vehicular safety

The vehicles used on your wine farm should only be driven by one or two people at a time. Tractors and harvesting machines can only carry one person, so do not overload these with passengers. The driver is required to wear their seatbelt at all times and is not legally allowed to overload the vehicle with passengers.

Once the driver has completed his task, he must remove the keys from the ignition, after making  sure the vehicle is completely off. He must always ensure that the brakes are engaged and that the handbrake is up. The equipment should be kept in a safe area, away from easy access of untrained people and children. Be sure to perform regular maintenance on all vehicles so they operate smoothly and do not stall on uneven ground.

 

Dress correctly

Wearing the correct clothing for wine farming, or in fact, any farming is vital to employee safety. Your employees should wear the following to be completely safe no matter what job they are performing.

 

  • Footwear: Steel capped boots or boots, in general, are ideal for any type of agricultural labour. These boots should be secured and firmly tied at all times, with laces being tied so they do not drag on the ground. Look for slip-resistant soles.

 

  • Pants: Pants should be close fitting but comfortable. Avoid designs with wide bottoms and look for hardy material, such as denim or khaki. Workers should wear a belt to ensure their pants do not fall down and are secure at all times.

 

  • Shirts: Shirts should follow the same regulations as pants. However, longer sleeves are not recommended if you will be operating machinery as this can lead to your sleeves getting caught in gears, which causes accidents. Be sure there are no loose threads on your clothing, and again, look for hardy materials.

 

  • Personal protective gear: It is required that all employees working with heavy equipment be supplied with personal protective gear including eye protection, hearing protection, hand protection and respiratory protection.

 

Dressing correctly will create a safer environment not only for workers but for those who are visiting your farm.

 

Maintenance of equipment

All farming equipment needs to be maintained regularly to ensure proper operation. Before any maintenance inspection begins, you will need to ensure that the equipment is completely switched off and/or unplugged. Vehicles or machines that are mobile should have the wheels blocked to prevent them from moving.

You should inspect the tyres of vehicles and equipment to be sure that they are not flat or need replacing. All inner mechanisms, such as springs, jacks, chairs and spokes need to be in good working order. Rather than save money by performing difficult repairs yourself, you should contact the manufacturer or technicians to do so.

 

Draw up an emergency plan

If an injury does occur on your farm, it is vital that you have a farm safety emergency plan in place. This will allow you to deal with any emergencies that may occur and can save workers from serious issues.

Your emergency plan should include a well-stocked first aid kit, emergency numbers within reach of a telephone, routes to the nearest hospitals and you should train at least one employee in first aid. You will need to discuss your emergency plan regularly with everyone on your farmland, including your family and any guests. An informed person is more likely to act calmly than one who does not know where the first aid kit or emergency phone numbers are.  

 

Conclusion

Farm safety is a serious issue, even on a wine farm. You will need to implement and continue to follow the aforementioned measures for a successful and safe farming endeavour. Keeping your employees safe means that they are more productive and can help to increase profits. Always ensure that equipment is well cared-for, as this will ensure the safety of your workers and will save you money in the long-run.

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