Farmers are urged to be safe with spikes

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With winter here, NFU Scotland is reminding those feeding or bedding stock with bale spikes, pallet forks or tines to ensure that, when traveling on the roads, they do so safely.

The Union has been made aware of a number of incidents where Police Scotland has stopped farmers with their vehicles and charged them because they were regarded as operating with an unsafe attachment or ‘dangerous projection’ on their tractor or tele-handler.

For some farmers, this has resulted in a £100 fine and a three point penalty on their licence.

Health and Safety guidance says that forks or other mounted attachments should be:

- removed and carried elsewhere;

- or folded back and secured;

- or covered/ protected by an appropriate guard.

NFU Scotland’s Legal and technical policy manager Gemma Thomson said: “Winter is now well and truly here and many of our members will be moving about to feed and bed their animals using bale spikes, pallet forks or other attachments.

“While we want farmers and their staff to work safely in and around farm buildings, they also need to bear in mind the safety of others and the rules if taking their vehicles on the road.

“Some farmers have been caught out so hopefully this reminder around loader attachments is timely, may prevent accidents and injury and help farmers avoid picking up penalty points and a fine.”