Safety Notices

Flails and Driver Authorisation

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 category 5b (ride-on mowers) as the distincton 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), and the description of this category will be reworded to clarify this.

4. Mounted on an excavator arm: I 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 are therefore adding a *NEW* category - 27: excavator mounted flails.

New Instruction Guidance Notes for Category 27 will be online shortly.

Instructors on category 20, those who want to become instructors on either category, and anyone else interested in getting more information should contact head office for more details.