The Health and Safety Executive and NFU have issued advice reminding farmers not to use telehandlers to drive in fence posts.

In recent years there have been a number of fatalities caused by the bucket of a telehandler becoming detached from the arm and falling on to workers when used while fencing.

The HSE is advising farmers should only operate the machinery within the confines of manufacturer instructions and purpose-designed post driving equipment should be used where mechanical assistance is required.

The NFU said most incidents occurred when someone had been holding the fence post in close proximity to the machine while the bucket was lowered on to the post by the telehandler.

“This could result in the person being struck or run over by the telehandler, or struck by the bucket if there is unexpected movement.

“Controls for locking pins can also be inadvertently operated in the cab resulting in the bucket becoming detached, as the action will tend to lift the bucket out of the attachment mechanism.”

The union added it was essential that buckets and other attachments were securely held on the machine, irrespective of the work being undertaken.

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