Here are ten things to consider when planning your new shearing shed.
1. Allow a comfortable temperature to be maintained in your shearing shed.
Both extreme heat and cold will impact on your workers ability to conduct their work safely.
To combat heat there are a number of options including wall or ridge vents to increase ventilation and air movement. Windows near working areas that can be opened and closed can also assist. Make provision for portable fans or air conditioners to be installed including power points and safe placement of cords so that they are not tripping hazards.
When it comes to the cold it is a good idea to plan the direction of the chutes so that they do not cop the prevailing cold winds. If cold winds do come up the chutes it can be minimised by swing doors or cloth.
2. Make sure roads to the woolshed are safe for vehicles to use.
3. Have a clear, safe area available for car parks.
A gravel area is ideal during the winter months.
4. Make sure steps and landings are safe.
If your shed is elevated or includes a raised board, special attention should be given to steps and landings with non-slip surfaces. Lighting and hand rails may also be necessary depending on the shed.
5. Adequate floor space.
Make sure the floor space allows workers to complete their job safely and properly particularly on the board.
6. Clear and easy exits.
There should be a clear exit for the sheep from the shearing board and chutes and doorways need to be big enough to allow large sheep to exit easily with little or no effort required from the shearers.
7. Wool room space.
It is also important to have adequate space in the wool room so that there can be several metres between the wool table and any machines.
All working areas should be well lit with sufficient and even lighting.
9. Emergency plan and information.
In the design stage of your shed keep in mind the need for an emergency plan and determine if that will help shape the design at all.
Display emergency information including contact numbers and GPS location as well as emergency exit signage.
10. Minimising the grating in your shearing shed can help reduce costs.
Putting a roof over your external yards with an Action yard cover generally works out to be a much more cost-effective option and also means shearing is not held up by inclement weather.
For more ideas and inspiration for your shearing shed project, download our latest shearing shed guide.