Farm Online

Aussie air filter specialists urge vigilance to protect farmer health

Locally-owned and operated Ultrasafe has been protecting the health of Australian farmers with its high quality air filters for tractor cabins for more than 30 years. Picture: Shutterstock

This is branded content for Ultrasafe.

With all of the details that need to be ticked off when you're preparing to hop in the tractor to begin spraying it's easy to overlook some of the most crucial to farmer safety.

One of the most important but easily missed is the simple but effective cabin air filter that protects the operator from the chemical being applied to a crop.

But recent research from leading Australian air filter specialist Ultrasafe shows that many farmers aren't ensuring their filters are up to date and in working order.

In a six-month study of the age of all of its activated carbon filters that were returned for recharging, Ultrasafe found the filters had been used for an average of 2.4 years, more than double the recommended time span for safe use.

Ultrasafe's Aaron Eckermann said its recommendation, which is in line with the US standard ASABE S613-3, is that an activated carbon air filter should be replaced every season.

"If farmers aren't doing that then they could be risking their own health and the health of others who might be using the vehicle to spray chemicals," he said.

"It's something that can easily be overlooked when the farmer is getting ready for their spraying season because the filter is out of sight."

Protecting farmers

With more than 30 years experience in designing and manufacturing tractor cabin and external filter options, Adelaide-based Ultrasafe has been owned and operated by farmers who had seen first hand the effects that unsafe practices around chemical use could have on farmers.

Its high-quality activated carbon filters are designed to effectively adsorb toxic matter from air that passes through the air-conditioning systems of tractor cabins and other vehicles working in these hazardous environments.

Mr Eckermann said the unpredictability of operating a farm can contribute to farmers sometimes finding themselves working with an out-of-date filter.

"The last thing anyone wants is to get sick but a lot of farmers can just get caught up with other things," he said. "We know how it can happen - it could be they have a downpour of rain and realise they need to spray in two days time."

Simplifying the process

Making it easier and more economical for farmers to ensure they are properly prepared is a key focus for Ultrasafe.

Ultrasafe filters feature a visual indicator - a cell of beads which change colour as the filter ages, going from purple when it's new, through to brown and then black when it needs to be replaced.

"The visual element means farmers can check their filter very easily and see how much time they've got left," said Mr Eckermann.

"It's something that gives farmers peace of mind - they don't have to wait until they start smelling chemical fumes in the cab."

Ultrasafe's visual indicator makes it easy for farmers to see when a filter needs to be replaced. Picture: Supplied

Ultrasafe also encourages farmers to make use of window stickers it supplies that can be placed inside the cab displaying information about when the filter should be replaced or recharged.

Another safety recommendation is to keep a spare cabin filter on hand ready for immediate use when required.

The ability to recharge Ultrasafe's carbon filters, rather than having to fully replace them, also delivers both financial and environmental benefits.

Ultrasafe's Express Recharge service saves money and the environment. Picture: Supplied

Unique to Ultrasafe is its Express Recharge service that means used filters are totally reconditioned in under 24 hours.

By recharging instead of replacing, customers can save over 50 per cent on the cost of a new filter.

"We essentially empty the activated carbon and recondition the whole filter so it's basically new, and this process can be repeated on the same filter over many years," said Mr Eckermann. "Our customers find it saves them money and is environmentally sustainable."

To find out more about Ultrasafe's services and get up to date with the latest chemical safety information head to www.ultrasafe.com.au

This is branded content for Ultrasafe.