farm safety Know the hazards

Results can be tragic if you don’t follow proper operating procedures for farmmachinery.

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 on having a knowledge of hazards and: • 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.

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.

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. 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.

British Columbia Berry Grower • Summer 2017 British Columbia Berry Grower • Summer 2017 25

• Couplers, u-joints, keys, and other fasteners on shafts increase the wrapping hazard.

• Exposed beaters and pickup reels are also a wrapping threat. 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. 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. Freewheeling 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. 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 doors.

To prevent farm equipment accidents, you first must learn to recognize the hazards that these machines present. Develop good safety habits to ensure that you have no contact with operating machinery.

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