Farm machinery is widely recognized as being highly hazardous to work with on the job.
Many of the hazards posed to result from defective designs.
For example, injuries and death among farmers often result from dangerous points on machinery that is sold without guards, shields or warnings. These can include:
- Pinch points—points at which two objects on the machine make contact, with at least one of them moving in a circle.
- Wrap points—any exposed, rotating machine component attached at one end to a piece of equipment. These can catch on clothing and limbs, pulling them into the machine.
- Crush points—These occur when two or more objects move toward each other, or when a moving object moves toward a stationary object, such as when a moving tractor is attached to a grain bin. Workers can be crushed between these objects.
- Free-wheeling points—Some farm equipment parts, such as rotary motor blades and baler flywheels, continue to rotate after being shut off.
- Spring points—Springs contain energy that, when released, can injure.
- Chains—Chains are commonly used on farms to secure and pull objects. If the links are weak or loose, they can break suddenly and hit.
- Pull-in points—Rollers and other input areas of machinery can clog if too many crops are fed into them too quickly. Workers who try to clear a jam while parts are still moving can be pulled into the machinery.
- Shear points—Workers can be cut or mutilated when the edges of two sharp objects, such as those found on harvesting machines, move quickly toward each other.
- Hydraulic lifts and hoses—Hydraulic lifts that lift and support heavy objects and assist in steering and braking equipment can fail, crushing . They can also eject high-pressure blasts of oil that can burn eyes and skin. Leaky hydraulic hoses can emit toxic fluids that can burn.
Injuries also occur when equipment design:
- Requires to operate machinery at such high speeds that they have only seconds to perform tasks.
- Requires to climb over moving parts.
- Locates equipment controls in places where they can easily be accidentally activated.
Compensation is Available
If you or a loved one has been injured in a farm accident, it may be as a result of defective farm equipment design. That means: You are not at fault, and you deserve compensation!
Manufacturers who design and distribute unsafe machinery should pay you for losses you suffer due to using their products.
For a free and totally confidential consultation, contact the Farm Injury Resource Center.