The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has published a Safety Factsheet for Contractors and Farmers for the 2019 Silage Harvest, urging farmers and contractors to work together to keep everyone on the farm healthy and safe during the silage season.
The FCI Factsheet provides guidance to explain what both Farmers and Contractors can do to keep each other and their staff, safe during the busy silage making time. It also highlights the need for better communications as a key method approach to help to reduce accidents around the busy silage harvesting time.
FCI believe both farmers and contractors must work together to meet their overlapping duties every time a contractor comes on farm. They advise that having a face-to-face or over the phone meeting before work commences, can help farmers and contractors to reach a common understanding and establish clear roles, responsibilities and actions. It will also prevents any gaps in managing health and safety risks.
FCI advises that contractors must make sure that any risks from their work that could affect the farmer, farm workers or other contractors on the farm, are reasonably managed. If a risk can't be eliminated, then it must be minimised, they advise.
FCI have asked farmers to ensure;
1) That any risks from farm work are reasonably managed, eliminated or minimised, to protect the health and safety of contractors,
2) That risks from any previous work carried out on the farm (eg land drainage, levelling, spraying hazardous substances) are reasonably managed to protect the health and safety of contractors.
3) That farm buildings and any area where work is being carried out is safe for everyone including contractors.
4) That any risks from low overhead wires are made known to the contractor for the safety of operators.
For more, see the official FCI website at https://www.fci.farmcontractors.ie/.