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Custom Sheepyards: How custom designed sheepyards improve on-farm safety

Injuries can happen in any sheep operation, whether it’s to operators, contractors or to sheep. Workplace health and safety has hit the forefront of the livestock industry in recent years, with employees and owners seeing the retention and efficiency benefits of creating a workplace with increased safety.

Poorly designed and constructed custom sheepyards and unsafe sheep handling equipment will increase the chances of injuries such as abrasions, bruising, sprains and even more serious injuries such as bone breaks, all due to poor safety.

If you’re working in older yards, explore your options; there is no better time to consider opportunities to upgrade your facilities and custom sheepyards. There is a number of State Government Initiatives for producers who upgrade their facilities to conform with Australian Safety Standards. Talk to other livestock producers and get expert advice. ProWay Livestock Equipment can provide on-site assessments to help you to cut down on risks, improve safety and improve productivity.

ProWay are leaders in custom sheepyard facilities, with over 20 years of experience they offer the latest technological advancements to save you time without cutting corners. ProWay firmly believe in designed custom sheepyards, tailored to each individual clients’ requirements to ensure safety is maximised for staff, contractors and the sheep.

For example, David Turner, of New South Wales, runs a mob of 5,000 sheep. He says of his ProWay designed and constructed sheepyards:

“At any time just by shifting a gate you can use a handler or draft… We had a lot of Weldmesh yards which were breaking legs… That’s what’s paying for the yards to go in: the efficiency gains… To stay in sheep, I think you need to keep up with the technology.”

 

How will a custom sheepyards help to improve safety?

By improving stockflow first…
You might be thinking, how do custom facilities make it safer to work? ProWay’s Principles of Design have been refined with years of experience to ensure that whilst efficiency and profitability is improved for your operation, safety is not forgotten or brushed off.

ProWay’s Designers focus on enhancing the ‘follow the leader’ instinct of sheep and understanding their flight zones. ProWay look to heavily reduce corners so that staff aren’t required to work has hard to get sheep moving where they need to be. To achieve this, ProWay’s Design Team focus on stockflow improvement, ensuring your custom sheepyards are designed for your operational requirements.

By tailoring the design to suit, custom sheepyards allow you to reduce the amount of effort required to complete husbandry tasks and draft your stock, whilst also reducing the time to complete tasks.
Optimised stockflow means your custom sheepyards won’t be as physically taxing on operators or the animal, which results in a calmer working environment too.

…with the help of the latest sheep handling technology
Custom sheepyards with a design that optimises stockflow is an excellent way to reduce effort required to draft your sheep. However, technology to assist with actually treating or working them goes a long way in improving the safety of your sheepyards. Ergonomics is clearly a huge factor that must be considered when designing custom sheepyards when looking to improve the overall safety of your facility.

Products such as the ProWay Sheep Bulk Handler have been designed to combine safety and operational efficiency.

With over 500 units sold worldwide, it’s a proven way to treat groups of sheep at once. Sheep run into a race, which has a grated floor that is lifted hydraulically by the operator, raising sheep to a safe working height, whilst immobilising them without added stress. The operator can then treat 20-30 sheep at waist height, without bending right over, getting in with the sheep or having to wrestle for control.

Other products such as the ProWay Dual Working Race, Rotary Force, Adjustable Lead Up Race, Guillotine Gates and Sheeted Loading Ramps are just some of the innovative features ProWay incorporate into custom sheepyard designs to maximise the safety and ergonomics for an operator, whilst also reducing the time it takes to complete required tasks.

With over 20 years in the industry, ProWay can help to upgrade safety across the board. 

ProWay’s Designers are livestock producers, they understand the OH+S requirements that larger operations have for their staff. They also see the growing movement of family run properties that are looking to upgrade and make their sheepyard facilities safe for years to come. Custom sheepyards are designed to suit you and your operational requirements.

ProWay’s materials are solely fabricated in Australia, with Australian steel and rigorously quality tested prior, during and post installation. This quality testing not only ensures you have a first class facility that will last for years to come, it also mitigates risks and hazards associated with day-to-day livestock handling.

Reducing time to complete tasks, effort required to draft and move sheep and by minimising time spent in the yards with sheep ensures livestock operators can work safely and smartly without added extra effort. By tailoring the design to immediately improve your productivity, they’ll also simultaneously set about increasing safety features, which is the ultimate value-add for your property.