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Health and Safety News

Waikato Consultant Fran blogs about safety while shearing

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

For the Drystock farmers shearing is well underway but thought it prudent to just have a quick recap on what the farmer needs to consider around his Health and Safety responsibilities at shearing time.

If going “Open - Shed” then the farmer as PCBU has the responsibility for all the workers ie: providing information, training, supervision as required.The use of the electric wool press comes to mind here as they can vary from shed to shed so make sure your presser knows how to operate your press safely.

Have safe entries and exits to shed - clear and well -marked, safe steps and landing, outside lighting.

Have procedures in place to deal with any emergencies- especially in remote locations where communication can be difficult. Document these and have available at the shed. Have a well- stocked first aid kit on site.

Make sure the woolshed is in good working order, so this includes shearing plant, grinder, wool table, wool bins, lighting, no broken grating/floorboards, sheep pens, gates, latches,clean shearing board providing a non-slip surface , general amenities . Ensure the electrical parts of the wool press have been checked and certified by a qualified person and have properly secured leads and cables clear of moving parts, emergency stop working. Any sprockets and chains on electric presses must be fully guarded.

Practice good hygiene as workers can catch zoonotic diseases from animals so have soap and towels at wash up area.

Chemicals are in secure storage.

Provide adequate nutritional food and plenty of clean drinking water as shearing and shed work is very physically demanding.

If you have a “Contract Shed” then the farmer and contractor have overlapping health & safety duties and need to consult, co-operate, co-ordinate with each other over control of any hazards. The farmer should be ensuring the Contractor has sound health and safety processes in place and the Contractor needs to ensure the woolshed is a safe working environment and has procedures for safe travel to and from work.

If the farmer is supplying accommodation then this must be in a satisfactory state with working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher on site along with an emergency response plan and evacuation procedures clearly available to follow. We suggest that the emergency procedures be laminated and put on wall.

Prepare your sheep for shearing by emptying out well