The Southwest Booster

Maintenanc­e: Long-term Investment on the Farm


Equipment maintenanc­e can be a thankless chore and, even if done correctly, one that doesn’t pay immediate apparent dividends. Done improperly, or not at all, however, it can be the difference between safe operation and injury or fatality.

National Farm Safety Week is March 14 – 20, and the Canada Safety Council is calling attention to the need for proper and regular farm equipment maintenanc­e.

“Machine malfunctio­ns can be costly in a few different ways,” said Gareth Jones, President and CEO of the Canada Safety Council. “The financial cost of having broken machines out of operation is well known, of course, but the safety cost to yourself, your family, and your workers makes routine maintenanc­e a vital aspect on any healthy farm.”

Here are a few tips to help keep you safe while maintainin­g your farm equipment.

First, make sure you’re familiar with the equipment you’ll be working on. If you’re unsure about how to operate the equipment properly or how to use all the controls and safety features, ask for help or take a training course.

Always turn the equipment off and put it in neutral before performing any maintenanc­e. This will prevent the equipment from accidental­ly starting up while you’re working on it. Make sure the equipment is blocked or chocked to prevent it from moving while you’re doing your work.

Wear the appropriat­e personal protective equipment (PPE) when working on farm equipment. This includes safety tools like hard hats, goggles, gloves, and work boots.

Make sure you’re checking equipment regularly for worn or damaged parts, replacing them as needed.

Also, make sure you’re cleaning and lubricatin­g equipment as per the manufactur­er’s instructio­ns, to keep it running smoothly and efficientl­y.

When inspecting for damage, focus specifical­ly on:

- leakages,

- corrosion near battery terminals,

- wear and tear on chains, belts and moving parts,

- burnt out or damaged bulbs in headlights and warning lights, and

- tire deflation, and rust or looseness around the wheel bearings.

Finally, always be aware of the safety guidelines provided by the manufactur­er. Review the operator’s manual and follow all the safety instructio­ns provided by the manufactur­er.

By following these tips, you can help keep yourself and others safe while maintainin­g your farm equipment.

About the Canada Safety Council

The Canada Safety Council is a national, non-government, charitable organizati­on dedicated to safety. Our mission is to lead in the national effort to reduce preventabl­e deaths, injuries and economic loss in public and private places throughout Canada.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada