Much of the machinery used in agriculture is potentially dangerous, especially when in the wrong hands or if there has been a lack of training on how to use it. Many accidents are caused through exposed pieces of the machinery such as blades or transmission belts or a person getting a limb caught in a dangerous machine.
The majority of accidents on farms involve machinery, possibly because it is being used for a purpose for which it is unsuitable, or because guards have not been provided or also in situations where staff have not been adequately trained for the task of working on that type of machinery.
If you have been injured whilst working on a farm we would like to assist you with our specialist claims service. Our No win No fee farming accident solicitors are experienced in dealing with the serious injuries that can result from agricultural accidents.
So, those in charge of investing in new machinery should bear certain points in mind. They should check, first of all, that it is “CE” marked and that it is supplied with a certificate of conformity and also that it is suitable for the use it is intended to be used for. It should also be checked how easy or not it is to maintain, that full instructions are provided and whether or not operators using it need to have training in order to use it safely. For tractors and other farm vehicles the purchaser should also check whether it is fitted with suitable roll-over protection. The annual agricultural accident statistics reveal that there are more fatal accidents in agriculture than any other industry in the UK
For second hand machinery in particular the buyer should check that tractors and machines comply with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and that if they don’t then they are brought up to the required standard. They should check again that a manual or instructions are provided and that, if there are any defective parts or parts missing, that they are replaced or repaired before the machine is used.
For those in charge of the machinery and those actually using it, there are several things to remember, some of which may be common sense, though they should always be considered before using potentially dangerous pieces of machinery. The machine should, firstly be suitable for the job. This may seem obvious but the practice of men being lifted up in a metal container balanced on the forks of a forklift truck has been highlighted by several fatalities over the years, and proves that in some cases, the dangerousness of the machinery, or the way in which it is used is not considered in the way it should be.
Also, those responsible should be able to recognise dangerous parts and be able to think about how to prevent injury. The safeguards put in place should not be too onerous and difficult to sustain. If they are too inconvenient to use or can be too easily removed the boss may have inadvertently encouraged the workers to break the law, risking injury in the process. There should be a system in place to check whether machinery is safe to use, it should be checked regularly for deterioration and obviously those responsible should check before machinery has been used, that it has been installed correctly.
If you are a foreign farm worker we can assist you in making a claim and also offer translation services making the compensation process as simple as possible.