IN the aftermath of Storm Emma, the Health and Safety Authority (HAS) have advised farmers to be safety conscious – and especially so if they are undertaking any repair work to sheds.
They have asked farmers – and indeed all outdoor workers – to bear in mind that after previous extreme weather events, there were fatalities involving falls from heights.
“Any work at height, such as repair of overhead lines or the roofs of farm buildings, should be undertaken with extreme caution in mind.
“Repair of roofs should only be done after snow and ice has been cleared and a risk assessment has been carried out.
“All work at height must be properly planned and organised; the correct equipment should be used; and anyone working at height must be competent to do so,” the HSA have advised in a statement issued this week.
They also point out that most agricultural roofs are made either entirely or partly from fragile materials, making carrying out any work at height on them a significant risk.
When doing roof repairs, the HSA advise that farmers should also bear in mind the following:
■ Roof lights which may have been obscured by paint,
■ Any repairs carried out in the past probably have involved fragile materials.
■ Metal roof sheets may have deteriorated with age and become fragile.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.