The following script can be used to deliver a 15-minute
training session to employees. You may wish to use some pieces
of farm equipment as props, so that you can point out examples
of the various hazards.
The text emphasizes important points related to preventing
contact with operating farm machinery. It is suggested that
you try to stay strictly on topic. Obviously, you will need
to be prepared to answer questions.
TO EMPHASIZE :
ALWAYS shut off the power and wait for all
parts to stop moving before servicing or unplugging
Ensure that all guards and shields are in place
and well maintained.
Read the warning decals affixed to farm equipment
of the danger
Operating farm equipment presents a serious threat to life and
limb. You need to be able to recognize machine hazards, and
take the appropriate steps to protect yourself.
When working with farm equipment, accident prevention depends
Recognize common equipment hazards
- Knowledge of hazards.
- Keeping all guards and shields in place and well maintained.
- Heeding the warnings spelled out on the various decals
affixed to equipment.
- Always disengaging the power, shutting off the
engine, pocketing the key, and waiting for all parts to
stop moving before doing any kind of work on a machine.
A multitude of different machines are used in a typical farm
operation. However, the major farm equipment hazards are common
to all makes and models.
All fann workers should learn to recognize the following hazard
points on fann equipment, and take appropriate actions to avoid
1. Pinch points
exist where two parts move together,
with at least one of them turning in a circle. Examples include
chain drives, belt drives, gear drives, and feeder rolls. Clothing
can become caught and drawn into a pinch point. Never reach
into the area near a rotating part. Fingers, hands, or other
body parts can easily be severed by a pinch point.
2. Pull-in accidents
happen when a person tries to unclog
or feed material by hand into an operating machine. Feed rolls
and other machine components are simply too fast. They will
pull you in and mangle you before you can react and let go.
3. Wrap points
exist wherever there is an exposed, rotating
shaft. Once material is caught by the shaft, there is no escape.
Important wrapping hazards include:
- shaft ends which protrude beyond bearings.
- splined, square and hex-shaped shafts are most likely
to wrap hair or clothing. However, even the smoothest rotating
shaft can grab and wrap.
- couplers, u-joints, keys, and other fasteners on shafts
increase the wrapping hazard.
- exposed beaters and pickup reels are also a wrapping
4. Shear points
exist where the edges of two components
move across each other (like scissors). A cutting point
is created when an object moves forcefully enough to cut relatively
soft material. Shearing and cutting devices are widely used
on harvesting equipment. The active parts may rotate (rotary
mower) or reciprocate (sickle bar). Cutting and shear points
also exist on several devices that are not designed to cut material.
Just think about the point where auger flighting enters the
tube, or a hinged implement frame.
5. Thrown objects
-some farm machines can propel objects
great distances with tremendous force. Rotary mowers and flail
choppers can hurl small stones and other debris. Combine straw
choppers and hammermills can fling kernels and other crop material
with considerable force.
parts on farm equipment may continue
to rotate for two minutes or more after power is disengaged.
Examples include forage harvester cutterheads, hammermills,
baler flywheels, rotary mowers, and blower fans. Injury occurs
when an impatient person reaches in to unclog or service the
equipment before the freewheeling part stops moving.
7. Crush points
are created when two objects move toward
each other, or when one object moves toward a stationary item.
A crush point exists between an implement tongue and a tractor
drawbar. Other examples of potential crush points include jacked-up
equipment, raised hydraulic components, and overhead garage
Recognition, avoidance, prevention
To prevent farm equipment accidents, you first must learn to
recognize the hazards that lliese machines present. Develop
good safety habits to ensure that you have no contact with operating
- Under no circumstances should you ever reach into any
part of an operating machine. Always disengage power, shut
off the engine, take the key, and wait for all parts to
stop moving before attempting to service or unplug equipment.
- All guards and shields must be in place and properly
maintained. Replace all shielding that was removed to make
- When hitching equipment, the helper should stand clear
until the tractor is backed into position. Always inch the
tractor forward (never backward) to make necessary positioning
- Bystanders should be kept away from areas where they
could be struck by thrown objects.
It is vital to "THINK" about actions before you take them. For
example, no one can react quickly enough to let go of a corn
stalk that is suddenly pulled in by harvester feed rolls. The
bottom line is that you must never attempt to do any kind of
work on farm equipment while the power is engaged.
Are there any questions?
Finally, let's take a moment to review some of the "Do's" and
"Don'ts" of farm equipment accident prevention.
Wait for all motion to stop before adjusting of unplugging
Replace damaged or missing shields before using equipment.
Insist that children and bystanders stay well clear of
Try to remove a twine that is partially wrapped around
Work under raised equipment unless it is securely blocked.
Kick a wad of hay into a baler pickup.
The information and recommendations contained in this publication
are believed to be reliable and representative of contemporary
expert opinion on the subject material. The farm safety Association
Inc. does not guarantee absolute accuracy or sufficiency of
subject material, nor can it accept responsibility for health
and safety recommendations that may have been omitted due to
particular and exceptional conditions and circumstances.
Copyright @ 2000
Farm Safety Association Inc.
22-340 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph, Ontario NIH 7K6 (519) 823-5600
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.