Colour-coded drums to help prevent injury

By Rodney Woods

Dairy technology company DeLaval has launched an innovative colour-coding system to help prevent chemical accidents on farm, after staff learned of an incident where a farm worker washed his hands in acid.

“This was a serious accident, and it happened because the acid was in the same colour drum as the alkaline detergent,” Oceania solution manager for milk quality and animal health Brendon Radford said.

Mr Radford, part of the team who decided it was time to make a change by introducing the colour-code initiative, said he was motivated to act to ensure DeLaval products were being used correctly and its customers and staff understood the risks associated with handling chemicals.

“DeLaval wanted to improve safety and reduce these risks, and decided this was the best way to go — taking real action as the company which supplies hundreds of Australian farms with common dairy-shed chemicals as part of its full-service approach to milking technology,” he said.

“DeLaval chemicals will now come in a full colour-coded range, where red indicates an acid, blue is alkali, and grey represents teat spray.”

Mr Radford said the change would be fully rolled out during the next five months.

“This work has been ongoing for 18 months now, we’ve also updated and refreshed our safety-related support material including colour-coded locking straps on manual pump drums.

“The other major initiative DeLaval is undertaking is the introduction of QR codes on the drum labels, so that our farmers, transport companies, dealers and staff can have rapid access to the safety data sheets pertaining to the individual product at the snap of a scan from a mobile device with a QR reader uploaded.

“We wanted a simple and highly visual way to keep people and animals safe and prevent the multiple unnecessary accidents on farms that do happen.

“The change to colour-coded drums and the introduction of the QR code, along with ongoing education, has been praised widely by our farmers.”