How Safe Is Agricultural Equipment?

The arena of machine guarding is a big place for business but many people are injured and killed every year from inadequately guarded machines. Agricultural equipment poses many of the same hazards as factory machines that could cause a serious injury if not fully and properly guarded. An investigation is taking place that looks into a case involving improper guarding of a hay baler that resulted in a serious hand injury. The baler was purchased brand new and was discovered to have problems with the equipment functioning properly even after consulting with the dealer and manufacturer and the directions provided were followed correctly. While following a process of cleaning the belts on the baler, the man’s hand was caught in a nip point leading to a serious injury. The guard for the area that injured the man was not interlocked. This means that the hazard still has the capability of operating and causing serious injury if the guard was open due to maintenance purposes. To install interlock technology is easy, inexpensive, and has been a standard safety device used on many machines for several years. If interlock technology had been installed on the hay baler, the man could have been protected against the injury posed on his hand. In addition to the pain, suffering, inconvenience, and medical bills associated with his injury”, the man also lost the ability to earn income as a farmer and he lost business income because the baler never functioned as promised by the dealer and manufacturer.


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