According to Worksafe, on an average year, six to seven farmers are killed every year in New Zealand when using farm tractors and with many more being seriously injured. The cost to the injured person, their families and their businesses is too high, we must take every effort to improve tractor driving practices says New Zealand’s leading farm consultants, AgSafe NZ.
Tractor rollovers can seriously injure drivers by being pinned or trapped underneath the tractor and can even result in the death of the driver. Many people believe that tractors only turn over in steep or hilly areas, while that is a high-risk situation, research indicates that about half of tractor rollovers happen on flat or somewhat sloping ground.
“Farm tractors normally have a high centre of gravity. However with increased loads, raised implements or driving across slopes change the centre of gravity of the tractor which in turn heightens the risk of rollover,” says Jim Findlay, Rural Consultant for AgSafe New Zealand Ltd.
“We see that the majority of injuries involving farm tractors are generally triggered by tractors rolling over or people being tangled in implements and machinery,” says. Other risks include tractor fires, working under raised loads, touching overhead power lines, noise-induced hearing loss slips, trips and falls while getting on and off the tractor.
AgSafe NZ works with AgDrive who provide quality tractor driver training courses. Contact AgDrive 0508-2437483. They are based between Hamilton and Cambridge.
Passengers riding on tractors, are at a high risk of injury due to travel over uneven ground which can cause passengers to be jolted, lose their grip and fall. “You should not carry passengers on tractors without safety belts instructor seats or roll-over protective structures,” advises Jim. Be aware that a lot of older tractors are not designed to carry passengers.
One of the most common tractor injuries happen when people get off the tractor. People slip and fall to the ground or jump down and land heavily on uneven ground or their pant cuffs or boot loops can get caught. Get off facing towards the tractor and always keep three points of contact with the tractor or ground. Never jump on or off a moving tractor.
If the tractor does not have a sound-proof cab, always wear hearing protection. “Tractor engines create lots of noise and if people drive tractors for a long time, they can suffer from noise-induced hearing loss,” says Jim.
AgSafe NZ is proudly Waikato based and understands the local farming environment. Jim Findlay has been a rural consultant involved in farm safety and systems for 35 years.
Contact AgSafe NZ Ltd:
Phone: 0274 587 724