Fertilisers: Handling Big Bags

Product Stewardship for Fertilisers

Handling Big Bags on Farm 500kg - 600kg - 1000kg

With fertiliser now available in a variety of big bag sizes, it is increasingly important to ensure that the capacity of all vehicles, handling and spreading equipment is compatible with the weight being carried. Also, to ensure that all employed operators are fully trained and, if necessary, retrained in recommended, safe working practices:

OBSERVE any handling instructions supplied with the bag

LOOK for a registered standard of assurance that the bag material and design has been tested and is fit for purpose

BEFORE moving bags, check that the loading or unloading area is clear of potential hazards, e.g. obstructions and power lines.

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Tilt the fork lift to the rear to an angle appropriate to the weight to be carried.

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Operate lifting equipment smoothly:
A) to avoid load jerking or swinging about
B) during transportation during lifting, lowering and placement.

Continually check that no-one is in the vicinity of suspended bags.

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Check that the reach and lifting gear of equipment unloading the delivery vehicle is also adequate for larger bag sizes.

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Stack bags on dry, smooth, hard standing, capable of supporting a stable stack. Stack all layers in the interlocking pattern. Acceptable stack heights may vary according to fertiliser manufacturers recommendations.

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Check that fork lift tines are set at correct width for the weight of bags to be handled and that any sharp edges on tines, capable of cutting bag lifting loops, are suitably adapted.

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Review stacking formation on farm trailers according to bag size and stability. Big bags, 500kg and over, must not project over the vehicle side or pallet.

Never double stack on vehicles.

AIC_bigbags1.jpg (8497 bytes) Check lifting loops are in sound condition before lifting. AIC_bigbags1.jpg (8497 bytes)

Ensure operators stand well back when bag is suspended for emptying, slashed from bottom, or emptied from discharge facility. Check hoppers have capacity for bigger bag sizes.

Consider hopper extensions, if necessary.


For specific information contact your fertiliser supplier.

AIC_bigbags1.jpg (8497 bytes) General Guidance from the Agricultural Industries Confederation

AIC, Confederation House, Peterborough PE2 6XE
Tel: 01733 385230
Email: enquiries@agindustries.org.uk
Fax: 01733 385270 Web: www.agindustries.org.uk

Additional Ref:
IND(G) 230L Storing and Handling Ammonium Nitrate (free from HSE Books) Tel: 01787 81165 or www.hse.gov.uk

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