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Flails Safety Notice

We have recently seen increasing use of flails for vegetation control on canal restoration sites. There are various widely differing types of flail in use, and we have been considering how to cover them as part of the WRG Driver Authorisation Scheme.

In basic terms we now have four types of flail on canal sites:

  1. Pedestrian Operated: Basically a walk-behind mower type of machine with a flail on the front. This does not require WRG Driver Authorisation.
  2. Mounted on a tractor for ground based use: This will be covered by categories 32 (tractors) and/or 33 (ride-on mowers) as the distinction between mower and a flail in this situation is a bit vague and the risks are similar.
  3. Mounted on a tractor on an arm for cutting hedges: (i.e. has the ability to be used vertically). This is what we meant when we put in category 20 (flails).
  4. Mounted on an excavator arm: We can see these becoming popular as they look to be very effective, however this has sufficient additional risk that it merits a new category. We have therefore added a new category – 27: excavator mounted flails.