Hay! Watch Out For Harvest Hazards

  • Pollock, John G.

Hay and forage harvesting is hazardous work on New York farms. Do any of the following accidents bring to mind a near miss of your own?

  • A 37-year-old man falls under the wheels of a runaway haywagon. It is believed that the victim may have tried to stop the wagon by jumping on the tongue to get it to dig into the ground.
  • A 74-year-old farmer is killed when the arm of a hay elevator falls onto his chest.
  • A 18-year-old falls into the beaters of a self-unloading wagon. Almost two hours go by before the victim is found.
  • A 53-year-old man is killed when he gets caught in a silage blower.
  • A 61-year-old catches his sweatshirt in a hay baler and is killed.
  • A 69-year-old is crushed to death by a tractor as he is pulling a wagon-load of hay out of a barn.
  • A farmer catches his arm in the PTO of a self-unloading wagon. The amputated arm cannot be reattached because it is mangled too badly.
  • A 50-year-old is crushed to death by a load of hay that topples from a farm wagon as a flat tire is being changed.
  • A 63-year-old man is asphyxiated when he becomes entangled in a baler flywheel.
  • A 43-year-old farmer is run over by a baler.
  • A 61-year-old falls from a haymow to the floor below and dies of head injuries.
  • A 57-year-old man dies of internal injuries when caught in a hay baler.

The injuries and deaths described here occurred in New York State over the past seven years. The hazards associated with mowers, balers, forage harvesters, and wagons are well documented. The safe work practices needed to avoid these injuries are too numerous to include in this short article.

If you want to brush up on safety or inform your workers about hazards and safe work practices involved with hay and forage harvesting, send your questions to the Agricultural Safety Specialist, Department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering, 324 Riley-Robb Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Publication #: 28302103

John G. Pollock, Executive Director, NYS Rural Health and Safety Council at Cornell

Source: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Provider: Ag Information Services -- News & Publications, Penn State
November 11, 1993

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