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Staying Safe and Legal This Harvest

Staying Safe and Legal This Harvest

23 July 2014

UK - The oilseed and winter barley harvest has come early to many areas - and the NFU is reminding members about the importance of safety and staying legal on the roads.


Remember to ensure that your tractors and trailers are road worthy. The NFU Farm Vehicle Health Check provides a checklist that can help you ensure that your vehicles are in sound condition. In particular, make sure the brakes on your trailer are adjusted are working correctly and efficiently.

Make sure that you use competent drivers who are the correct age. It is against the law for children under 13 to use or ride on any kind of farm equipment. There are tight restrictions on machinery that children under 16 can operate.

On the road, there are restrictions related to the age of the driver.

When on the road- many accidents happen when tractor and trailers turn right. Make sure indicators on the tractor (and on the trailer or implement when required) are in good working order and can clearly be seen. NFU is working hard to try to get weight and speed limits increased but, in the meantime, if a large queue forms behind the tractor, pull over whenever it is reasonable and safe to do so.

General safety

Accidents can happen at any time, whether you are under stress to get the job done or undertaking a routine task.

What is important is to take a moment to think about what could go wrong. Nobody ever thinks it will happen to them. If you have employees, make sure they are all aware of how to use equipment and undertake tasks safely.

They should know what to do in the case of occurrences such as breakdowns and blockages; it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of harvest, so make sure that they know to put their safety and that of their colleagues first.

Taking a short cut to try to clear a blockage, or vehicles coming into contact with overhead power lines can lead to fatal or life-changing accidents.

Remember to always follow the Safe Stop procedure when getting out of the cab of your vehicle:

  • Engage the handbrake
  • Put the controls in neutral
  • Switch off your engine
  • Remove your key from the vehicle

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TheCropSite News Desk

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