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Written by
on 28 June 2012


Machinery and equipment play a huge role in many industries, including agriculture.  The health and safety laws state that all of the work equipment provided to your workforce must be safe to use so that no one is placed in unnecessary risk.  There are inspections which are required in some circumstances to make sure the safety of the machine. Installations, systems and equipment are all included in this law.

There are several issues relating to this kind of machinery and work equipment which are:

  • Safely isolating equipment
  • Clearing away blockages
  • Pressurised plant
  • The dos and don’ts of general maintenance
  • Maintenance of plant, vehicles and equipment
  • Safety in the workshop

Anyone involved in maintenance must have the right training to ensure the work is carried out safely and efficiently. The correct procedures need to be known and the hazards involved in the maintenance must be known.

The Dos and Don’ts of General Maintenance

As an operator of any kind of machinery or vehicles for work the operators need to follow a simple list of dos and don’ts:


  • Know how to stop the machine before they start it
  • Make sure to start the machine in the correct position
  • Check that all of the safety guards are in place and in good working condition
  • Clear the surrounding area from any clutter or obstructions
  • Wear the right safety equipment and clothing


  • Operate any machinery or equipment if no training has been provided on how to use it
  • Attempt to remove any blockages without stopping the machine fully
  • Wear inappropriate clothing such as loose clothes, jewellery or wear your hair      down
  • Cause a distraction for anyone operating machinery or equipment

Common Sense in the Workshop Area

Health and safety in the work area is vital.  There are many ways you can work together with your colleagues and employers to help ensure the safety of everyone.  Here are a few guidelines to remember:

  • Remove all possible tripping hazards which could include spillages, trailing      cables, or litter.
  • Charge all batteries in an area which is away from sources of ignition and in a      well vented area
  • Check all welding bottles are secured in an upright position and can be moved      easily on a safe trolley when they’re in use
  • Ensure all arc-welding is done in an area which is protected and work is carried    out away from other workers so they aren’t affected by the ultra violet light
  • Choose a less harmful degreasing product rather than trike or PERC and place the baths in an area which has good ventilation
  • Control the noise levels from compressors
  • Use the right abrasive wheel for the work you’re doing
  • Bench grinding tool rests must be positioned close to the wheel
  • Eye protection must be available for jobs such as chiselling, welding and      grinding work
  • Foot protection is needed where there are risks of objects falling onto feet
  • Respiratory protection is given for any work involving dust

To discuss machine safety laws and request one of the many health and safety services, such as a full audit call the health and safety consultants today 0800 1488 677.


About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.