Nestled in the hills on the edge of the Canterbury Plains is a small and surprisingly high tech buffalo farm.
This is in response to its staff learning of several incidents that included a farm worker washing his hands in acid.
“This was a serious accident, and it happened because the acid was in the same colour drum as the detergent,” says DeLaval solution manager for milk quality and animal health in Oceania, Brendon Radford.
Radford and colleagues decided a change was needed, hence their colour-code initiative to ensure DeLaval products would be used correctly and that customers and staff understand the risks in handling chemicals.
DeLaval chemicals will now come in a full colour-coded range: red indicates an acid, blue is alkali and grey represents teat spray.
Kim Sowry, marketing director for DeLaval Oceania, says the new coloured drums went on sale in November.
“This work has been ongoing for eight months; we’ve also updated and refreshed our safety related support material including colour-coded locking straps on manual pump drums, and have colour-matched chemical jugs, automated doser units and wall charts.”
DeLaval is also introducing QR codes on the drum labels, so that farmers, transport companies, dealers and staff can have rapid access to the safety data sheets pertaining to the individual product by scanning via 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 unnecessary accidents that happen on farms,” Sowry says.
“The change to colour-coded drums and the introduction of the QR code, and ongoing education, has been praised widely by farmers.”
DeLaval recently did more training to educate its sales people and dealers on chemical handling and responses.