Are you doing everything you can to prevent machinery accidents on your farm?

31 March 2023

Thorough Examinations are key to ensure safe equipment.

Machinery accidents have long been the leading cause of death and serious injury within the agriculture sector, with the HSE’s most recent report painting yet another dire picture.

In 2021/2022 agriculture had the worst rate of worker fatal injury with the annual average rate over the last five years around 21 times as high as the all-industry rate. Transport caused most deaths, e.g., overturning vehicles or being struck by moving vehicles.

Owners can minimise the risk of mechanical failure by ensuring that equipment is in good working order and consistently maintained.

Keep up with inspection schedules

Equipment used for lifting operations, such as tractors, telehandlers and forklifts legally require regular Thorough Examinations (LOLER).

Thorough Examinations must not be confused with preventive maintenance or scheduled services. A CFTS-accredited Thorough Examination meets the legal requirements under LOLER and PUWER regulations, and will guarantee that every aspect of the truck has been checked, from the lifting equipment to the brakes and tyres.

“Equipment owners working within the agriculture industry might maintain their trucks in-house, but Thorough Examinations can only be conducted by a trained engineer that has been deemed a Competent Person,” says Geoff Martin, Chairman of CFTS, the industry’s accrediting body for Thorough Examinations.

“CFTS-accredited engineers provide in-depth Thorough Examinations using specialised documentation that details specific criteria. This will ensure that the machine is in good general condition and that all components are working correctly.”

Get your truck attachments checked

Any lifting equipment that is used as a removable attachment on a vehicle, such as a platform, safety cage or bale grab, is required to have its own Thorough Examination.

“It is even more important to ensure you arrange regular Thorough Examinations if you change the attachments on your truck,” adds Geoff Martin. “For example, a Thorough Examination of an attachment will assess the security of mounts, test winch and chain brakes, check chain and sling wear, inspect damage, and check wear on plates and warning signs.

“For a forklift or telehandler to remain legally compliant and safe to use, permanently mounted attachments must be included in the Thorough Examination and checked every 12 months, but for removable attachments, the law demands they must be checked at least twice a year.

“Thorough Examinations will give you peace of mind that your truck is compliant with the law, but importantly, that it is safe to use.”

CFTS has a wide-reaching network of accredited Thorough Examination providers, with over 750 depots around the UK.