This fact sheet provided by the Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) gives advice and examples of how farmers and contractors can work together during the COVID-19 restriction in order to keep everyone on the farm healthy and safe, during the silage season
WHAT CAN CONTRACTORS DO TO KEEP FARMERS HEALTHY AND SAFE?
Contractors must make sure:
- that any additional COVID-19 risks from their work that could affect the farmer, farm workers or other contractors on the farm are reasonably managed. If a risk can’t be eliminated then it must be minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
WHAT CAN FARMERS DO TO KEEP CONTRACTORS HEALTHY AND SAFE?
Farmers must make sure:
- that any risks from farm work are reasonably managed (eliminated or minimised) to protect the health and safety of contractors
- that risks from any previous work carried out on the farm (eg land drainage, levelling, spraying hazardous substances) are reasonably managed to protect the health and safety of contractors
- that farm buildings and any area where work is being carried out is safe for everyone including contractors
- that any risks from low overhead wires are made known to the contractor for the safety of operators
HOW CAN FARMERS AND CONTRACTORS CO-ORDINATE ACTIVITIES?
- Farmers and contractors must work together to meet their overlapping duties every time a contractor comes on farm
- Because of CODID-19, having an over the phone meeting before work starts can help farmers and contractors to reach a common understanding and establish clear roles, responsibilities and actions. It will also prevent any gaps in managing health and safety risks
|POSSIBLE QUESTIONS YOU COULD ASK|
|Communicated with the farmer about where I or my team will be going/working?|
|Given the farmer the mobile phone number of the lead operator/contractor? Made a back-up plan with the farmer if there’s no phone coverage?|
|Agreed with the farmer that there can be strictly no passengers or children in machine cabs?|
|Checked with the farmer if there are children on the farm and how are they to be cared? Children under 7 are not legally allowed to be carried on a tractor or self-propelled vehicle|
|Discussed the following with the farmer: |
What am I going to be doing?
What risks it poses to others? (including the farmer)
How I am going to manage and communicate those risks?
All gates to silage fields left open?
Traffic management plan in the yard agreed?
|Been made aware of any relevant emergency procedures?|
|Agreed with the farmer on appropriate time in/time out reporting?|
|Agreed with the farmer on the issues of social distancing, machine hygiene & sharing?|
|Agreed with the farmer on silage pit covering responsibility and procedure?|
|Agreed a food management strategy for the harvesting team while on the farm?|
|letting the farmer know about any changes in the work practice that may create additional risks to other persons (including the farmer) on farm, for example, covering the Silage Pit|