Hazardous Equipment

August 22, 2016

Tips for Talking

  • Plan ahead. Be familiar and comfortable with the topic.
  • Make it relevant. Include related tasks and work areas or events.
  • Involve your workers. Ask questions that lead to participation. See suggestions under “Discussion Drivers.”

What went wrong?

July 27, 9:20 a.m.

Preventing mildew on the grapes is vital, so spraying sulfur on the vineyards at Hammond Brothers Winery was routine for Marty. Unfortunately, sprayer clogs are also routine! In the middle of the field, Marty stopped the tractor and walked back to take a look at the clogged sprayer attachment. In an effort to clear the problem, he pushed a 12-inch wrench into an opening leading to the rotating auger which was designed to spread the sulfur within the sprayer. As the auger turned, it caught Marty’s hand and pulled him into the rotating equipment. His right index finger was immediately amputated. What went wrong?

Tractor Talks

Hazardous Equipment

Agricultural workers use a wide variety of equipment — from tractors, mowers, spreaders, and blowers to knives, hoes, and grinders. No matter how different this equipment might seem, they are all potentially dangerous when used or maintained improperly or carelessly. Before using any equipment or machinery, consider these questions:

  • Does the equipment appear to be in good condition and maintained to the manufacturer’s instructions?
  • Have you been specifically trained to use this equipment?
  • Do you know how to shut-off the equipment?
  • Are you familiar with its operation, potential dangers, and safety features?
  • Are you protected from moving parts and flying debris or sparks by guards and shields?
  • Are you familiar with when and how to lock-out equipment?
  • Do you have all the personal protection you need — safety glasses/goggles, hearing protection, gloves, proper shoes and clothing, head protection?
  • Are there no strings or loose ends on your clothing and is long hair tied back to prevent entanglement?

Guards Should Protect You From:

  • Pinch Points – where two rotating surfaces meet (feed rollers, gears, or a belt and pulley). A body part could get caught between the parts.
  • Wrap Points – rotating shafts, such as a Power Take Off (PTO) where a sleeve, pant leg, long hair, or other hanging or loose item could get caught.
  • Shear Points – where the edges of two objects come together to cut, such as a grain auger. Injury is usually amputation.
  • Cutting Points – blades on mowers and harvesters that are designed to cut.
  • Flying Debris and Sparks – grinders and saws are two examples of tools that produce flying particles or sparks that can cause injury.

Discussion Drivers

  1. How could Marty’s accident have been prevented?
  2. Before clearing a jam in any equipment, what precautions must be in place?
  3. What equipment do you use that has pinch points? Rotating parts? Is designed to cut? Other dangers?
For more Information on Hazardous Equipment and Farm Safety visit: https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/agriculturaloperations/index.html

This material was produced under grant number SH-27619-15-60-F-37 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.