July 2018 - Velcourt

Company








Incident:

The self-propelled Bateman RB26 sprayer was moving between fields when the boom started to unfold on the road and came into contact with a lamp post. The middle section of the triple fold 36meter boom had not been latched in properly due to a fault on the rubber boom stop. After further investigation the broken boom stop allowed the boom to not be latched in correctly when the boom is lowered onto its rests for transporting. Minor damage occurred to the sprayer and local authorities were contacted immediately regarding the lamp post.

Follow up:

Operators are reminded to check the boom stops during daily start-up checks and both sides have been replaced with new parts to prevent happening again.


Incident:

One farm has had two nears misses in the last two days with their Puma 220 CVX catching fire. They had been in the process of cutting grass and gateways with a front mounted mover, when on two separate occasions the operator smelt smouldering smoke in the cab. On inspection of the machine the operator noticed smoke rising from the exhaust area at the bottom of the cab.

The issue seems to be that the exhaust and diesel particulate filter is surrounded with a black plastic guard, somehow the tractor seems to be sucking grass into this area, it is then resting on a bit of a ‘U’ bend where the exhaust enters the particulate filter, where it gets hot and starts to ignite. The guarding surrounding the exhaust is not easy to remove and wouldn’t normally be performed as a daily check. The first time this occurred was the end of last week where they called the fire brigade, on this occasion it also burnt through a sensor wire. After thoroughly cleaning this area out with the pressure washer the operator barely did a day’s work before the same situation occurred again. This time fortunately the operator spotted the situation quickly; they were close to a hose pipe and well-practiced with removing the guards and were able to deal with the incident by themselves.

The situation may have been encouraged by the hot dry weather but there might be other occasions at other times of the year where this may be a risk.

This incident occurred on a year old Puma 220 CVX but it is a similar guarding on the farms two year old Puma 150 CVX.

Follow up:

The farm manager has spoken to Andy Parsons and brought this to his attention who is now going to escalate it further within case. Page 2 of 5 23 April 2018


Incident:

Whilst fertiliser spreading a circlip on the adjuster arms on the rear three point linkage of the Rowtrac came off causing the pin to more forward, allowing the cast linkage at the top of the drop arm to twist and snap, this caused fertiliser to hit the road.

Follow up:

Components of the rear linkage are checked as part of the daily checklist, but operators are now encouraged to pay attention to certain areas.


Incident:

Whilst combining winter barley in a Claas Lexion the operator smelt a slight burning smell. On inspection a small fire had started in the gap beneath the engine. This was immediately put out using extinguishers and a water bowser was used to stop the fire spreading. This part of the combine is now being checked and blown out regularly. Had the farm not had an additional water bowser on hand it might have been a lot worse.

Follow up:

Operators of all combines should check beneath the engine bay and blow the areas regularly. Additional water should be on hand in a bowser or a tanker.


Incident:

Last week one of our farms lent a flat-bed trailer to a local contractor to use for straw hauling. During the time the contractor was using that trailer a light-fitting came off it and fell onto the road this was struck by a motorcyclist and caused an RTA which tragically ended in a fatality. The trailer has been impounded and the service records for that trailer requested by the police. The trailer had been regularly serviced and the records were up to date, we do not yet know whether any further action will be taken. This serves as a stark reminder to ensure that All equipment and trailers must be inspected regularly and those inspections documented and recorded as you can never pre-empt circumstance and we have a duty of care to all road users to ensure if we are taking something on the road it is safe. I would reiterate that in the above case the trailer had been inspected and those records were complete.


Incident:

A farm manager has reported two fires over the weekend. He was cutting winter barley and swathing the straw with a New Holland combine. In both cases the fire was in the swath; the combine did not catch on fire. The fires may have been caused by the header skids sparking on a stone. No serious damage was caused with fire extinguishing precautions in place.


Internal Note:

Where you are making hay or baling straw for storage on-farm please ensure that stacks are inspected daily for any signs of heating or increase in moisture. We have had two examples given to us over the weekend of hay barns self-combusting in this heat. This is a symptom of hay and straw that is not quite fit being baled in hot conditions. When they are stacked in the Page 3 of 5 23 April 2018

shed they can sweat and with no airflow can heat up continually until they get to combustion point. If you are making hay or having it made check the heaps and barns regularly and if necessary stack in such a way that there is good airflow through the bales.


Incident:

Whilst Hauling manure the rear right wheel came off an Optum 270. The incident happened at low speed and the wheel caught on the mudguard causing extensive damage to the mudguard. No one was hurt. The tractor has 180hrs on the clock so new but not brand new.

There has been some speculation from the fitter regarding the new axle on Optum.

The Wheel nuts had not been checked that morning or at all since the tractor arrived on farm. (13 hours done on farm over 2 days’ work)

Follow Up:

It has been reinforced to the team that it is everyone’s responsibility to check the wheels of their vehicle and implement as part of the daily checks. All wheels have been checked since and tick marks have been put on all studs and wheel nuts for quick visual check.


Incident:

Whilst Combining Oil Seed Rape, the side knife of the header became jammed. The operator switched everything off and was investigating why it would not re-start. Wearing gloves he rubbed his finger on the underside of the vertical knife section, the blade cut through his glove into the end of his finger. The wound was cleaned and bandaged. Later he went to the accident and emergency unit, they cleaned and put a dressing on the wound, no further action was taken.

Follow Up:

All staff are issued with gloves, they were reminded of the importance of wearing the correct P.P.E. and instructed to take care when dealing with sharp objects.


Incident:

While cultivating using a sumo trio followed by a cultipress train, one of the proactive tines broke off the cultipress firing straight into the back window of the Quadrac missing the operators head by only inches. The cultipress was being set up at the time and hit a large lump of clay soil causing the S shaped spring tine to break back under extreme tension propelling itself 15m forwards into the cab. The operator was shaken up but un injured and the window is to be replaced. The dry conditions on heavy land is causing the machinery to work under excessive force for which the proactive tines are not suited too.

Follow Up:

Extra care will now be taken in these dry conditions while setting up the machinery and different cultivation approach will be taken until it rains!


Incident:

Another similar incident with the exhaust of a PUMA CVX 175 creating a little bit of smoke whilst using a front flail topper. No damage caused and very difficult to find any real build-up of material. It was actually raining at the time so the material wasn’t particularly dry. The Page 4 of 5 23 April 2018

reporting system works, the casual member of staff recognised the problem from reading this report straight away

Follow Up:

A fire extinguisher and an airline will be carried in the tractors to plug into the tractors air brakes. However as previously reported, it is very difficult to get in or see in that area of the tractor.


Incident:

One last load of OSR was hauled in to fill the shed and 2 casuals (although they had been told to use a bunker area to tip in and then bucket the last bit into the shed with the loader) had decided against this and opted to empty the last bit into the loader bucket directly from the trailer!

This is when the incident occurred as one closed the tailgate on the trailer the other had his thumb in the way – he will be needing to have his thumb operated on as its fractured in 4 places and has an open wound so may need a pin or plate.

Follow Up:

In the induction the farm manager pointed out the dangers of trailers. Page 2 of 2 24 July 2018

He also conducts a harvest briefing with all the harvest team and it clearly stated in that for no one to be near an open back door and he spoke about this as well saying to them do not go near a trailer tailgate at all as he knows of incidents of people losing limbs. Also during a day of training he stated to all that no one is to approach an open tailgate ever. Including if the trailer needs sweeping don’t think of jumping in the back through the tailgate always enter using the steps at the front.


Incident:

One of the contractors leading straw off the fields to store had a head on collision with a vehicle travelling on the wrong side of the road. The contractor was shaken but ok and was extremely professional in helping with the passengers of the car whilst waiting for the ambulance.

Follow up:

All staff given a full debrief of the incident and further reminded that tractors, especially ones with large trailers can be imposing and daunting propositions to members of the public which can cause people to brake without warning and that extra vigilance is required to anticipate erratic drivers in a hurry on busy roads.


Incident:

A fire started in a rye field; it is believed to have started from a spark from the combine header resulting in an inferno which developed in 5 minutes.

Follow up:

Now cutting with longer stubble to try and prevent any reoccurrence.


Incident:

A harvest causal was changing the side knife on one of the combines whilst stationery and caught his left knee on the knife causing a one inch cut. Page 5 of 5 23 April 2018


Incident:

A farm worker was tightening a chopper blade and his hand slipped causing a small but deep cut to the ring finger.

Follow up:

Correct PPE should be worn at all times


For information:

We have been informed that some plastic fuel tanks are splitting due to the heat and uv radiation especially if used as a bowser situation. Please take extra care and inspect your fuel tanks regularly.