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It’s that time of year again. Golden bales of different shapes and sizes made very pleasant scenery on my journey to work this morning, but they have also become the unlikely causers of many farm injuries and fatalities. To anyone outside of the industry, ‘death by hay bale’ may sound somewhat ridiculous – but on some farms, it has become a grim reality.

As of September 2014, HSE reports indicated that since 2000, there has been 27 deaths relating to hay bales and bale handling, 18 of which were caused by falling bales, such as when bales are being transported. Unfortunately, like so many everyday farming activities, a normal procedure can easily become a tragedy, if proper precautions are not taken (see my blog article on farm safety). General guidance for transporting bales using trailers/trucks include the trailer not being overloaded, no overhanging bales over the edge of the vehicle, a load secured with suitable straps (with double straps at the rear of the load), and the avoidance of excessive speeds.

This would be an apt time to introduce you to one of our best hay and straw products. All hail the hay bale ‘Ergo Ratchet’. This ratchet strap is designed specifically with hay and straw transportation in mind. It boasts an extra-long 325 mm handle for enhanced tightening and a reverse ratchet mechanism for pull as opposed to push for easier tightening. It can also claim to have a double ratchet cog each side to enhance strength and reduce the chances of the strap slipping. Besides the Ergo Ratchet, Agri-Linc hold stocks of load-binding and lifting equipment, ratchet straps, chain load-binders and lifting slings in chain and webbing.

In order to stay safe this summer, proper equipment must be used, and proper precautions taken. If not, someone’s injury (or worse) is only one bale away.

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