HSA Safety Alert 2020 - Construction Work on Farms and Use of Concrete Slats

HSA Safety Alert 2020 - Construction Work on Farms and Use of Concrete Slats

The HSA issued the following Safety Alert in 2020, following a fatal accident involving construction work on a farm

Existing Agricultural Slats

The following must be carefully considered in relation to concrete slats for use in agricultural sheds;

  • Cattle slats should not be subject to vehicular traffic under any circumstances.
  • Tractor slats are designed for a maximum axle load of 7.8 tonnes, this loading should not be exceeded.
  • Slats should not be subjected to excessive point loading.
  • All slats should be subject to regular integrity monitoring after 10 -15 years.
  • Farmers must not enter tanks even when empty & must follow guidance on slat inspection.

Guidance on the design load capability of slats can be obtained from your slat supplier or a competent structural engineer.

Construction Work on Farms

Where construction work is being considered on a farm, the farmer must ensure that the work is designed to be suitable for the intended purpose, is built in a safe manner & can be used & maintained in a safe manner after being built.

For projects that are scheduled to last more than 30 days, involve more than one contractor or involve a particular risk, it is a legal duty of the farmer (The Client - the person for whom the project is being carried out) under health & safety legislation to appoint, in writing, before design work commences, a competent Project Supervisor for the Design Process (PSDP) & before any construction work begins, a competent Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage (PSCS).

During the Design Stage - The farmer/client in conjunction with the designer & slat supplier should consider the need for vehicular traffic to traverse slats & avoid, if possible.

During the Construction Stage - The PSCS/Contractor must ensure that existing agricultural slats are not exposed to excessive loads & when installing new slats that they are manufactured in accordance with IS EN 12737 & produced in an approved certified plant.