In addition to mobile plant such as tractors and quad bikes, fixed plant on dairy farms includes the rotary or herringbone dairy, milk vats, vacuum and milk pumps, feed augers, and pumps for effluent, water and irrigation.
There are many hazards associated with this plant including moving parts, electrical hazards, chemical exposure, hot or high pressure fluids, working at heights, confined spaces, animal movement, manual handling, dust and noise.
Exposure to these hazards has resulted in fatalities and serious, long-term injury.
Poor design, inadequate installation and insufficient maintenance can accentuate these hazards and introduce new ones such as collapse, fire and explosion.
If safe design is included at the planning stage, costly retrofitting of safety features can be avoided.
Fixed plant is used every day on the farm and it is essential to establish safe work and operating procedures and procedures for reporting faulty equipment.
Regular inspection of equipment and installations for damage is also important.
As an employer or person conducting a business on the farm, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that everyone who uses or is exposed to fixed plant does so without risk to their safety and health.
A good place to start is Step by step – Setting up for safety around the dairy & other fixed plant on your farm
Relevant training, instruction, information and supervision ensures that workers are able to undertake tasks safely and without risk to health. Use the resources below to ensure that you comply with this requirement.
The Farm Safety Manual aims to make it straightforward for dairy farmers to build and improve a comprehensive farm safety system.