Reminder for Farmers to Check Equipment

Maintain farm machinery and equipment this winter to ensure safety

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is urging farmers to consider the maintenance of their machinery and equipment.

Modern farm machinery helps farmers to work more quickly and efficiently. However it but can also present many dangers if not kept in a good condition. It is a good idea to carry out a full service or any necessary repairs in winter before work pressures change.

Farmers should also bear in mind that there are also risks involved in the maintenance of machinery and appropriate steps must be taken before carrying out any repairs.

The correct equipment must always be used for the job. This may include wheel chocks, a trolley jack and suitable props. Farmers should also consider employing a competent mechanic to carry out repairs.

Equipment maintenance checklist

The following checklist should help you and others to stay safe on the farm.


  • keep all guards in place on tractors and equipment, especially PTO guards
  • make sure that all mirrors and cameras are clean and fully functional on tractors and telescopic handlers
  • keep all windows clean and make sure you check all round before carrying out any manoeuvre
  • make sure equipment is stopped fully before clearing blockages which need to be cleared by hand
  • operate tractors with enclosed safety cabs or roll bars
  • take care when mounting or dismounting tractors or telescopic handlers
  • keep the brakes on all your machines properly maintained, especially the parking brakes
  • only start your tractor from the driver’s seat
  • make sure that your tractor’s starter system works properly
  • when pulling heavy machinery equipped with hydraulic brakes, make sure the brakes are connected to the tractor and work properly


  • attempt to repair machinery if you do not have the correct tools and equipment and are not competent to do so
  • run a tractor down a slope to start it
  • work near overhead power lines when tipping trailers or using high reach machinery
  • check hydraulic pipes for leaks by running your finger or hand along them while they are connected and under pressure

HSENI run the ‘Stop and Think SAFE’ campaign to promote farm safety.