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  • Rikki Lambert

Farmers urged to be safe as machinery gets bogged

Bogged tractor - Flickr user Devra

A peak farming body has urged its members to beware the dangers of bogged machinery after three fatalities so far this year.

The NSW Farmers' Association's Grains Committee chair Justin Everitt said the fatalities had arisen during the recovery of bogged vehicles or machinery, but the number of injuries and near misses were unknown as they were often not reported.

“We know people will feel under the pump to try and recoup some of the costs of sowing this crop, and that can lead to working in conditions where you’re likely to get stuck.
“This just adds to the pressure, and I know from experience it can be frustrating, but it’s really very important to be extra careful, because we’ve seen the disastrous consequences that can result from recovery gone wrong.
“Farms are an essential workplace but also a potentially dangerous one, so we all need to take care and work safely, because nothing can replace a life.”

According to SafeWork NSW, a 33-year-old farmer sustained fatal head injuries during the extraction of a bogged bulldozer at his neighbour’s farm in June. The man had been assisting his neighbour with the extraction when one of the two D-shackles connecting the recovery strap failed and was propelled through the glass door of the bulldozer.

Charles Laverty from the NSW Farmers Farm Safety Advisory Program said it was important to always to fully assess a bogged situation, even in familiar circumstances:

“Check the condition of the recovery equipment each and every time you use it – metal fatigue may affect anchor points, chains stretch, and cables and straps can fray.
“Always keep bystanders at least two-and-a-half times the length of the recovery straps, cables, or chains away from – and to the side – of the recovery. Never stand next to it.
“When using cables, consider the use of pulleys for mechanical advantage, and when joining straps, avoid the use of steel shackles – they become projectiles if something breaks.”


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