While agriculture rotavator manufacturers and other agricultural equipment manufacturers have made work easier on the farm with modern machinery, the machinery poses new dangers to the users. The equipment are usually very powerful and when mishandled, can lead to severe injuries and even fatalities. Here are tips on how to safely operate farm equipment;
- Always wear protective clothing
It is always important to wear protective clothing when handling farm equipment. They could go a long way in saving you from an accident. Never leave behind the goggles, guards and safety gloves when heading out to the farm. These are often ignored yet they go a long way in preventing minor accidents while on the farm. It is recommended for anyone on the farm to put on reflective clothing so that they can be easily seen even from a distance. Protective helmets should also be worn by everyone.
- Ensure all the safety measures are in place before you start operating the equipment
Before you start any job at the farm, make sure that all the safety measures are in place first. Every mini rotavator manufacturer recommends checking that the brakes are in perfect condition before getting to work. Observe the following Safe Stop procedure before starting the machinery’
- Apply the hand brakes.
- Ensure that the gear is in neutral.
- Switch off the engine.
- Take out the key from the ignition.
- Ensure you have all-round visibility- where you can be seen and you can see others in your way.
Children shouldn’t be allowed into farms where heavy machinery are being operated.
- Safe control of vehicles
Only trained and experienced drivers should handle farm vehicles and machinery. They should always ensure that the brakes are interlocked and in good working conditions. If the vehicle has a trailer attached to it, then the hydraulic brakes should be connected and working too. Always ensure that the vehicle is in perfect condition before driving. All the vehicles should have a roll-over protective system installed so that the impact is minimum in the event of an accident. They should also be fitted with seatbelts.
- Correctly guard the power-take-off shafts
Most farm machinery that is attached to a tractor is powered by power-take-off (PTO) shafts. Since the shafts can have speeds of up to 1000 revolutions per minute, they should be correctly guarded to prevent accidents. Loose clothing should never be worn when operating PTO-powered machinery. The shafts should be of quality standards too. Always make your purchases from the best rotary tiller manufacturer and supplier in your locality.
- Maintain the hydraulics
Most of the other farm machinery are usually powered by hydraulics. The tractor from which the machinery is attached pumps the oil to it at high pressure through pipes. Leaking pipes could be risky and should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. The oil can also cause skin irritation and should not be let on to the skin.
- Take care of other danger blindspots
There are a lot of other dangers one can get exposed to when operating farm machinery. More often than not, we ignore them or completely get blindsided by them. You should train yourself not to overlook these potential hazards so that they don’t get you unawares. For example, ensure that both the tractor and the machines attached to them are powered off before clearing any blockages. You should also ensure that the power supply to the machine has been turned off. Always have the right equipment and take safety precautions before starting any repairs on the farm equipment. Better still, leave the repairs to a professional.
Other safety hazards you should watch out for are;
- Tipping trailers near overhead power lines.
- Blurred mirrors and safety cameras.
- Pushing a tractor downhill to jumpstart it.
- Working underneath inadequately propped machinery.
- Using your fingers to check for leaking pipes on the machinery.
- Poorly maintained parking brakes.
- Starting farm vehicles before putting on the seatbelts.