Farmers given quick hitch warning
Farmers have been urged by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to avoid using semi-automatic quick hitches if they are missing a retaining pin.
There have been five deaths in the construction industry over the past five years as a result of the excavator equipment, with the absent pin the common denominator.
The HSE is concerned that this could spread to the agricultural sector and is therefore warning farmers to follow the appropriate safety guidelines for the machinery.
"Many farmers have to be 'jack of all trades', meaning they don't just carry out agricultural work, but they also have to do their own repairs and building work," said Tony Mitchell, inspector of agricultural safety at the HSE.
"HSE wants to ensure any farmer using a quick hitch on an excavator is aware of the serious risks of not following manufacturers' instructions and failing to ensure the pin is in place."
Quick hitches are dangerous because they can still operate without a retaining a pin, but at great risk of swinging open or falling off, which can cause serious or fatal injuries.
The UK construction industry experiences a disproportionately high number of workplace deaths every year, underlining the importance of using safety signs.
Posted by Nicole Stevens
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