Over the next 6 weeks HSE (the Health and Safety Executive), VOSA (Vehicle & Operator Services Agency) & Kent Police will be undertaking random checks of vehicles both in fields and on the roads to ensure they are in a good state of repair and safe.
The HSE has urged farmers in Kent to make sure that they are properly maintaining tractors, trailers and other mobile equipment which is being used both on and off the road during this year’s harvest.
All three bodies are promoting the use of the BAGMA (British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association) vehicle health check scheme during any spot checks undertaken as part of this campaign in Kent.
“A well maintained vehicle being driven by a competent person should be safe to use both on the farm and on the road,” says Mike Walters, Kent HSE Inspector.
“By adopting the BAGMA vehicle health check scheme, farmers will be able to ensure that their tractors and trailers are maintained in safe working order and are roadworthy.”
From random checks undertaken in Kent over the last year, over 50% of vehicles have been taken out of use until they have been made safe.
“A basic check can take no more than five minutes, with a more in-depth test lasting approximately 45 minutes by the time all parts have been checked thoroughly. This small time will contribute to the prevention of the needless deaths and suffering of those injured by agricultural vehicles every year.”
“I urge all farmers to make sure their tractors, trailers and other mobile equipment are safe to use both on the farm and on the road by using the scheme and only employing vehicles which are up to the task.”
“Spot checks undertaken by HSE, VOSA and Kent Police will concentrate on the safe use of agricultural vehicles and equipment both on and off the road. We will not hesitate to deal with vehicles that are found to be unsafe, no matter how inconvenient this may be for the farmer.”