Flaman Rentals Blog

Tips and Resources for a Safe Harvest

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Aug 17, 2020

As harvest begins to start in many parts of Western Canada, Flaman is here to provide the tools and equipment you need to get your crop off quickly and safely. Along with our wide variety of Harvest Helpers to aid you in your work, we’ve collected some important and useful safety tips for harvest time. We want to make sure all our customers return safely from the field and have the resources to support their employees and family members on the farm.
 
This post will look at 4 main types of safety:

  1. Grain bin entrapment
  2. Fire safety and prevention
  3. Machinery and power lines
  4. COVID-19 safety

 Flat bottom bins

Grain Bin Entrapment
Tough grain is one of the leading causes for producers to enter a bin. Many studies have shown that entering a bin to break up spoiled grain while operating unloading equipment is the leading cause of grain entrapment. A person could become completely covered within 20 seconds. Across Canada, there’s an average of six fatalities every year from grain entrapment or engulfment.
 
If you need to enter a bin to asses grain, there is a Grain Bin Assessment chart from the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association you can use to assess if it’s safe to enter the bin.
 
This fact sheet from the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture also has some helpful information about how grain entrapment occurs, as well as preventative and safety measures.
 
And finally, if you wish to create a Confined Space Management Program for your farm, this quick start guide from Ag Safe Alberta is a useful tool. Along with grain bins, confined spaces also include sumps, wells, feed bins, attics and even some equipment.
 
confined spaces infographic
 
Fire Safety and Prevention
Fires in the field can happen all too suddenly when working with dry, flammable material and hot mufflers and electrical wiring. There are some simple pre-cautionary measures you can take to help avoid the risk of injury or loss of equipment due to fire.

  1. Have working fire extinguishers mounted on equipment, ideally one in the cab and one accessible from the ground. Alberta Agriculture recommends a 10 pound dry chemical, multi-purpose ABC extinguisher and a 2.5 gallon pressurized water extinguisher on combines.
     
  2. Remove crop residue, dust, debris, dirt and excess lubricant around all heat sources regularly. Check for a buildup of combustible crop residue around engines and exhaust systems, concealed drive belts and pulleys that can overheat due to friction.
     
  3. Be careful when using low clearance vehicles in fields, as exhaust pipes and catalytic converters can ignite dry grass or stubble.
     
  4. Check exposed wiring and fuel/hydraulic lines for damage, wear and deterioration.
     
  5. Allow engines to cool before refueling.

And for added safety, Flaman carries a variety of firefighting pump and tank units, such as the Enduraplas Fire Ranger or the BE Fire Cart, to allow you to quickly put out any fires in the field while harvesting.
 

 
Machinery and Power Lines
Electrical safety is another important area to be aware of when working with large machinery on a farm. More than 40% of agricultural workers in Canada have reported direct hits or near misses with power lines. In 2019, there were 326 farm safety incidents reported to Sask Power. The most common causes of electrocutions on the farm are portable grain augers, large combines, high clearance sprayers and other tall equipment that can come into contact with overhead power lines.
 
There are two types of electrical injury that can occur:

  1. Electric shock, when electric current passes through the body causing injury or death.
     
  2. Arc flashes: a blast of energy caused by an electric arc, which can produce sounds waves, extreme heat, shrapnel and more, This can lead to lung injuries, ruptured ear drums, burns, blindness or death.

This guide “Electrical Safety on Saskatchewan Farms" from Sask Power talks about potential risks and hazards and offers safety tips, guides and checklists to make sure you and your workers come home safe. Or you can print out this Farm Safety Checklist to make sure everyone knows how to avoid overhead lines and what to do if an accident occurs.
 
Electrical safety infographic
 
COVID-19 Safety
This year, farming operations will have the added tasks of protecting workers and their family from COVID-19. As an essential service, we recognize that farmers must continue to work to grow our food and feed our country.
 
Along with the general pre-cautions such as hand washing, physical distancing, cleaning of work attire and wearing gloves, this fact sheet from the Canadian Centre for Occupation Health and Safety offers many safety tips specifically for the agricultural industry in areas such as:

  • Transportation
  • Sanitation
  • Group Living and Residence Recommendations
  • Team and Site Management
  • And much more.

 hand washing
 
For those interested in creating an overall safety plan for their operation, this workbook from Ag Safe Alberta lays out the steps to create your own Farm Safe Plan.
 


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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with harvest safety farming grain bins electrical safety | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Move your auger or conveyor safely with the Lift-EZ Hydraulic Jack

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Jun 30, 2020


If you’ve ever moved grain with a conveyor or auger, you know that standard screw jacks can be inconvenient and a hassle to hook up and connect with your tractor. And if you’ve ever said to yourself “there has to be a better way,” then you’re not alone. The Lift-EZ Hydraulic Jack is a safe and convenient way to connect your auger or conveyor to your tractor
 
We spoke with the product’s inventor, Bret Watson, the operations manager at Flaman’s Swift Current location, about where the idea for this product came from, and why every farmer could use one.



Tell me where the idea for this hydraulic jack came from?
Bret: I invented it two years ago with Bob Schafer. Bob has a service company that deals with farmers, and his customers were having trouble with their jacks getting damaged. They needed another option.
Bob and I were having coffee one day and we said to ourselves, “this is something we could do.” Bob is a mechanic by trade, and I have an engineering degree and manufacturing background. Hydraulics are readily available on back of a tractor so that’s why we chose that route.

 
What was the creation process like?
Bret: We started with some drawings on a piece of paper, then I used CAD to develop it and make a prototype. Then we fine-tuned it to make sure it was user-friendly. From concept to completion it took about 3-4 months.
 
Tell me about the jack and what makes it different.
Bret: With this jack, the farmer can back up to auger/conveyor, connect the jack hoses and then safely lower/raise the unit from the cab of his/her tractor. They can easily get everything aligned, then slide in the implement pin, raise the Lift-EZ jack and then they’re good to go. It uses the hydraulics that tractors already have, so it’s easy to add on. I haven’t seen anything like this for farm use before.
 

Tell me about the added safety features of this hydraulic jack.
Bret: The jack comes with a hydraulic safety valve, so if there is any damage to any hydraulic hose the jack won’t come down. You can adjust the jack from your seat safely. When you get out of the tractor, you don’t have to worry about the jack creeping down, the valve locks it and won’t allow it to come down unexpectedly, which of course could be very dangerous.
 
Can this jack go on any auger or conveyor?
Bret: Yes, it can be retrofitted to any auger or conveyor. The jack stub can be mounted at any height in order to replace any standard screw jack. It’s very user-friendly.
 
What inspires you to invent products like this?
Bret: I’m driven by solving problems and safety. This product came right from a farmer’s need. It’s a safer product and something that will help them.


The Lift-EZ Hydraulic Jack will be available at most Flaman locations in Saskatchewan. Please call your local Saskatchewan store to ask about availability or to speak to a product specialist. 

Hydraulic jack

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Posted in Product Information | Tagged with jack hydraulic jack auger conveyor safety | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Alberta Farm Safety Rule Changes Proposed

Posted by Flaman Agriculture Nov 18, 2015

18 Nov 2015
Calgary Herald
JODIE SINNEMA

Farm safety breakthrough

Proposed rules to ensure safe workplaces, protect workers

New sweeping farm safety legislation proposed by Alberta’s NDP government will give farm and ranch workers the same rights and safety protection offered to all other workers in the province.
The Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, tabled in the legislature Tuesday, will require all farms and ranches to follow basic occupational health and safety regulations starting Jan. 1, with specific details to be hammered out at five public town halls across the province in November and December.
Until now, Alberta has been the only province that doesn’t apply such workplace legislation to farms and ranches, leaving provincial investigators unable to enter farm property to investigate serious injuries, deaths or even complaints of unsafe work practices.
The new legislation will mean farmers and ranchers must provide safe work conditions and training to everyone doing any commercial work — not regular farm chores — on their property, including children, unpaid workers, friends and family.
“We want to ensure these devastating incidents do not go uninvestigated so we may better understand and help producers and the industry manage the risks related to farming operations,” said Labour Minister Lori Sigurdson, while visiting a large grain farm near Gibbons. “The people in this industry deserve our utmost gratitude and respect. They also deserve the same basic workplace protections enjoyed by workers in all industries.”
In 2014, 25 people died in farmrelated incidents, up from 16 in 2013 and 10 in 2012. Of the 25 fatalities, 12 were over the age of 65 and two were under 18 years old. For every fatality, there were 25 hospital admissions. Sixty per cent of the fatalities involved machinery.
The proposed bill will require Alberta’s 43,000 farms and ranches to purchase insurance coverage to protect workers if they’re injured on the job, and protect the operation if the farmer is sued. Until now, farmers could opt out, leaving about 60,000 workers without pay or access to health or physiotherapy benefits to get them back on the job.
“The important changes we’re proposing would give farm and ranch workers the duty to see what went wrong and prevent future incidents,” Sigurdson said. “We are proposing these changes because every worker in Alberta has a right to a safe, healthy and fair workplace.”
Under the proposed changes to various bodies of legislation, workers will have the right to refuse unsafe work without fear of being fired. Provincial investigators will be able to enter a farm site to do safety inspections and impose penalties. Workers will be able to join unions and bargain for wages, and they will be paid minimum wage, overtime and vacation pay. Such labour rights and employment standards will be hashed out for spring 2016 with room for some finagling.
“We know that harvest, for instance, does not fit neatly into an eight- hour day. And the calving season does not conform to a statutory holiday,” Sigurdson said. “We also know the farm and ranch industry is not the same as the oil and gas industry or any other industry for that matter. One size does not fit all.”

She said while farmers and ranchers need to follow occupational health and safety regulations starting Jan. 1, they will be given time to learn the rules, train their employees and come up to speed. No additional government money will be made available beyond the current budget.
Mike Kalisvaart, who has a 12,000- acre grain farm near Gibbons and purchases employment insurance for his eight workers, said the new legislation was long overdue. He suspects many farmers are scared of being overregulated and having inspectors on their properties.
“I think there are some compromises we’re going to have to make and accept some uncomfortable new rules, but the end result is that I think workers will have more protection and a safer work environment,” Kalisvaart said.
He said accidents will still happen. Children drown in swimming pools, despite lifeguards on duty, for instance. Legislation also wouldn’t have prevented the three Potts sisters from suffocating in a truckload of grain in central Alberta in early October, although inspectors would be allowed to investigate if Bill 6 is passed.
“It’s not going to prevent all injuries, but it’s going to make safety part of conversations in every farm in Alberta and that can only improve the situation,” Kalisvaart said.
John Bocock, an 81- year- old dairy farmer north of St. Albert, agreed.
“When people’s health is a concern, maybe it should be tough and ( you) put up with the intrusion into your privacy,” said Bocock, whose employee was covered by insurance about 10 years ago when a tractor rode over him. “I guess if the truth hurts, maybe it ought to.”
Grant Hunter, Wildrose’s jobs critic, said the legislation is being rammed in too quickly, without proper consultation. He said differentiated rules need to be made for small family farms versus large commercial operations.
Liberal Leader David Swann backed the legislation without hesitation.
“This is good for rural Alberta,” Swann said. “This is bringing Alberta into the 21st century.”
 
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Posted in Farm related news | Tagged with Alberta farm safety policy | More articles by Flaman Agriculture


Flaman Yard Safety

Posted by Flaman May 27, 2015

Summertime is fast approaching and the Flaman stores across the prairies are getting busy. Busy stores means a lot of product moving in and out of the Flaman yards. Safety is often a concept that moves to the back of our minds when we have stuff that we need to get done. That being said, it should always be top of our minds to prevent accidents and injuries in the work place.
 
- Safety in the Flaman yard is both the staff and the customer’s responsibility. Everyone wants to be safe.

- Yard staff driving around the yard and moving equipment and trailers need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Make sure to look behind you when you’re backing up and always have a spotter walk with you if you can’t see all corners of the trailer.

- Sales staff need to be aware of moving vehicles in the yard when they are showing their customer products or walking from building to building. Look in both directions for moving vehicles and make sure to make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front.

- Shop staff need to make sure to communicate with other people in the shop to avoid surprises. Wear proper safety equipment including safety glasses and steel-toed shoes. Clean up spills and messes to avoid tripping or slipping. Use the proper tools to complete the job and take your time when using the tool too. Saving some time isn’t worth hurting yourself.

- Customers play a role as well. Although as a customer you usually are only in the Flaman yard for a short period of time, acting in a safe manner is important. Keep your head up when walking or driving in the yard. Drive at the posted speed limits and watch from staff members moving equipment. Do not drive in between trucks being unloaded and the machine that is unloading them. Drive safely around so that we can avoid any accidents.


Safety is everyone’s responsibility!


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Posted in Local News | Tagged with yard safety Flaman | More articles by Flaman


What is the NATM?

Posted by Flaman Feb 23, 2015

Before I started working at Flaman, I had never given much thought to trailer safety. I certainly had never heard of the NATM or what they did. I assumed that all trailers were built properly and that manufacturers legally had to follow a list of safety guidelines for each trailer they manufacture. Now that I have done a bit of research, I have learnt that this wasn’t always the case and that only recently NATM has implemented these guidelines. Before 1987, consumers had no way of ensuring that their trailer was safe enough to travel on the roads. Can you imagine if other industries didn’t have safety guidelines? What if car manufacturers weren’t regularly screened for safety? Trailers need to be built properly to ensure no one on the road or the loads that they carry get injured or damaged.
 
Trailers and safety are two words that should go hand in hand. The National Association of Trailer Manufacturing (NATM) is an organization that takes trailer safety to a new level. “NATM seeks to promote awareness of safety and best industry practices and provide a voice for trailer manufacturers and their suppliers when issues of trailer safety and regulation are considered by relevant government agencies.” As stated on their website. This has to have everyone shopping in the trailer market breathing a sigh of relief.
 
As a manufacturer, being a member of the NATM and producing NATM approved trailers will benefit you because it helps you maintain a degree of control over your production process. By following the guidelines that are compiled from FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) and industry best practices, you know you are making safe trailers. The inspection process involves an 80-point checklist that is filled out by NATM consultants during their initial visit. After the manufacturer is deemed successful applicants to the NATM program, they are granted a 2-year membership.
 
As a consumer, buying a trailer from a manufacturer who is an NATM member ensures that the trailer you are purchasing adheres to a strict set of safety guidelines. This gives you peace of mind in knowing that you are buying something that has gone through multiple safety inspections.
 

So if you’re looking for a new or used trailer, keep this in mind. Look for NATM dealer associate marked trailers and do your research. It’s worth it. 


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Posted in Trailer Tips | Tagged with NATM trailers safety Flaman | More articles by Flaman