29 May 1998
Bales — second-biggest danger after tractors

BALE-RELATED accidents are the second most common in agriculture after those involving tractors, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

Its updated leaflet Handling & Stacking Bales in Agriculture, produced after consultation with farmers, contractors, colleges and the machinery trade, gives clear advice on potential bale-related hazards and how to avoid them, says the HSE.

In particular the leaflet, launched at the Bath and West Show, says the very common practice of stacking big round bales of hay and straw on end is dangerous and should not be continued.

The pyramid stack, preferably with the bottom layer chocked, is the recommended method for all big round bales, not just silage. Employers and employees responsibilities are also detailed.

  • For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 29 May-4 June, 1998

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