22 February 2000
Bale deaths prompt safety warning

By FWi staff

AFTER two deaths in Wales within one week, farmers have been urged to take extra care when handling big bales.

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman has urged the whole farming community heeded the lessons from the tragic accidents.

In the first Carmarthenshire farmer Meriel Lewis was killed when a square bale that fell from a trailer crushed her.

Three days later six rectangular bales fell on John Jones of Newtown in Powys when he released the straps on a trailer-load of bales.

Both Welsh farming unions plan to use their membership magazines to remind farmers about the risks associated with big bales, which weigh up to 0.5t each.

Farmers are being encouraged to follow advice in the HSEs leaflet Handling and Stacking Bales in Agriculture.

The booklet warns about the danger of people or bales falling from stacks and trailers and the importance of moving bales correctly to maintain stability.