As we head into the autumn and winter season, with its mixed bag of inclement weather and shorter hours of daylight, adequate signage on heavy farm machinery and vehicles is more important than ever to ensure the safety of your workforce and the public.
Although 2017 has seen an improvement in the numbers of farmers losing their lives as a result of machinery and transport, it continues to be the main cause of life-changing and life-ending injuries on farms. At this summer’s Farm Safety Week, Guy Smith, NFU Vice-president and chairman of the Farm Safety Partnership, reported that 40% of all farm workers who lost their lives in agriculture over the past decade were workplace machinery-transport related.
The safety of the agricultural industry continues to advance, but there will always be inherent dangers, both when operating vehicles and machinery around the farm and out in the fields, and the times when these vehicles need to be taken out on public roads. For this reason, it’s important to make sure all your equipment is fitted with appropriate health and safety signage and visibility markers.
Responsible management of health and safety risks not only protects your workers, family and the public, it also ensures you can safely carry out weather-critical operations at the right time and safeguards equipment against damage, meaning a longer life for expensive machinery and vehicles. It also reduces the risk of incurring the often major financial costs of incidents and the potential associated damage to your business’s reputation.
Consider what health and safety signage you need to place around machinery and vehicles on the farm – our range includes danger signs warning of the presence of farm machinery, markings to indicate obstacles or potential hazards and advisory signs prescribing specific behaviours such as wearing ear/eye protectors, gloves, safety helmets and footwear or dust masks whilst operating or near machinery. All signage must be adequately maintained and positioned clearly and warning signs should be easy to understand.
The legislative requirements for large vehicle signage include side, front, rear and projection markings and retroreflective markings. Reflective markings act as ‘passive’ lighting, reflecting light – without the need for a power source – back to other drivers to highlight a vehicle’s dimensions and increase its visibility, even when parked. The Highway Code also offers advice on mandatory markings such as hazard warning plates that must be fitted to tank vehicles carrying dangerous liquids, gases or substances, and projection markers required on any overhanging loads or equipment.
From reflectors and projection markers to signage for escort, long, slow or wide vehicles, and hazard signs to health and safety advisory notices – take a look at our extensive range of stock signs to ensure your farm machinery and vehicles are safely marked this winter and beyond.