Safety warning to Mid Ulster farmers as silage season starts

Safety warning as silage season
Safety warning as silage season

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging farmers and their families to take extra care during this year’s silage season.

A potentially dangerous time with high-powered machinery being operated at speed during long working hours, the HSE has issued a reminder that children under 13 should not be carried in the cab of any machine involved in silaging.

“There are other factors which also increase the chance of an accident occurring,” a spokesperson said.

“These include, fatigue due to long working hours, poor weather and difficult ground conditions. However, experience has shown there are a number of safety measures around key areas that will help make silage time safer.

“No child under the age of 13 should ever be carried in the cab of any machine involved in making silage. Contractors must not allow children to ride in tractor cabs.

“Children should not be allowed to play around the farmyard or fields when silage is being made,” they added.

They also advise up-to-date maintenance of machinery and advise extra care around overhead electric wires and open silos.

On open silos, with earth embankments, the sides and ends of the silage should be sloped off at a safe angle (less than 45 degrees). On other silos where machines and their drivers can drop 600mm (2 feet) or more, strong front end barriers and guide rails are required. Visit www.hseni.gov.uk/farm-safety or call 0800 0320 121.