asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is considering measures, including legislation, to ensure that farmer employers keep the protective guards on their power machinery in a safe, undamaged state, in view of the recent report by the Health and Safety agricultural section that nearly 50 per cent. of such protective guards were unsafe and deficient.
No. No further measures are considered necessary to ensure that farmer employers keep protective guards on their power machinery in a safe undamaged state.In the case of power take off (pto) shaft guards, the subject of the report to which the hon. Member refers, adequate provisions concerning their safe use and maintenance are provided in the Agriculture (Power Take Off) Regulations 1957. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 also provides for enforcement action including improvement and prohibition notices to be issued by the Health and Safety Executive's agricultural inspectorate when these requirements are not complied with.The report sets out the results of a survey on the causes of shaft guard damage and its sample includes operational guards as well as obsolescent and damaged ones; some guards classified as damaged were not necessarily unsafe or deficient. The report is now being considered by the inspectorate to determine what changes can be made to improve guard durability.