Agriculture Playing it Safe: Avoid Amputation Hazards

By | January 20, 2014

Agriculture Safety Matters

Agriculture has one of the highest injury rates of any industry, and government statistics show that farming accidents are twice as likely to end in amputation as injuries in any other industry. You are surrounded by amputation hazards in your day-to-day work, so it is important to be aware of the risks and take proper safety precautions.

Dangerous Machinery

Your work with heavy machinery and equipment is your main amputation risk. Here are some examples of equipment that poses amputation hazards:

  • Tractors and trucks
  • Mowers
  • Augers
  • Post-hole diggers
  • Shredders
  • Balers
  • Combines
  • Power tools


Types of Hazards

There are several ways that these machines and equipment can cause an amputation injury, including:

  • Pinch points—getting clothing or extremities caught between two moving parts or between moving equipment and a fixed point
  • Shear points—getting limbs stuck on shears or a grain auger or a cutting point like a mower or harvester
  • Being run over or pinned by any moving machine or equipment
  • Equipment falling or rolling over on top of one of your limbs
  • Getting tangled in a wrap point, which can pull you into the machine and cause an amputation or death


Accident Prevention

Most on-the-job accidents can be prevented. Studies show that human negligence causes the majority of workplace accidents, including taking shortcuts to save time, failure to read the operator’s manual, improper training for a task or failing to follow safety precautions. Always observe the following to avoid amputation injuries:

  • Watch out for co-workers when using equipment.
  • Follow all safety precautions for a given task.
  • Never remove machine guards or other safety devices.
  • Ensure PTO shields are in place for vehicles equipped with them.
  • Make sure equipment is in good working order before using, and only use for the intended purpose.
  • Do not wear loose clothing, and tie back long hair.
  • Always stop the engine, remove the key and wait for moving parts to stop before dismounting equipment.
  • Do not use equipment you are not trained to use.


Agriculture Playing it Safe Avoid Amputation Hazards

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