Don't Overlook Falls on Combines (News Release)

Injuries caused by entanglements in the intake area of a combine are well publicized. However, reports kept by the Iowa Department of Public Health indicate that operators are more likely to be hurt by falling off the combine.

Normal maintenance and operation requires mounting and dismounting the combine sometimes dozens of times a day. Tops of combines are 12 to 14 feet off the ground. Operator's platforms are usually 6 to 8 feet above the ground.

Ladders and platforms near the operator's station and engine can cause problems. These areas often are painted metal, which can be slippery under normal conditions. They become even more treacherous in the presence of secondary hazards, such as mud, rain, crop residue, snow, or ice.

Operators can reduce their risk of falls by following these practices:

  • Always keep platforms free of tools or other objects.
  • Frequently clean steps and other areas where workers stand to service, mount and dismount, or operate the machine.
  • Wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes with non-slip soles.
  • Use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery.
  • Be sure position is stable before performing maintenance.
  • Recognize that fatigue, stress, drugs or alcohol, and age may affect stability.

For more information, contact the County Extension office for a free copy of the new SAFE FARM publication, Harvest Safety Yields Big Dividends, Pm-1265h.

This news release was distributed by Iowa State University Extension as part of the Safe Farm program. Safe Farm promotes health and safety in agriculture. It is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Iowa State University, and a network of groups that serve Iowa farm workers and their families. Distribution date: August 1992.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More