Machinery and equipment hazards and safety tips
October 03, 2023
Farm equipment accidents can be serious. Skid steers, tractors, feed mixers, and manure spreaders can all be dangerous if not used correctly and safely. Outlined below are common hazards and safety solutions to help improve safety on the farm.
Key hazards
  • Exposed moving mechanical parts like rotating shafts, belts and pulleys, flywheels and gears, chains and sprockets, blades and shear points can catch workers’ hands, feet, hair or clothing and cause life threatening injuries
  • Dangerous movement of machinery due to unexpected start up or release of stored hydraulic, electrical, pressure and other types of energy can hurt workers during inspections, maintenance, cleaning, and repairs
  • Rollovers when driving a skid steer or tractor
  • Drivers can fall when getting in and out of a skid steer or tractor
  • Entering spaces in large machinery may expose workers to confined space dangers like engulfment, amputation, electrocution, suffocation
Safety tips
  • When you buy machines, look for well-designed safety features like covers or guards for dangerous moving parts
  • Keep machine safeguards in place and maintained
  • Safely install covers and other safeguards according to the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Develop and follow lockout/tagout procedures and provide lockout devices to prevent unexpected start-up of equipment
  • Train workers on mechanical hazards and safety procedures for operating machinery, removing jams, cleaning, and other tasks
  • Keep clothing and hair secured so it can’t get entangled
  • To reduce the risk for skid steer and tractor rollovers, do not overload the bucket and keep it low - seat belts and rollover protection systems (ROPS) save lives during rollovers
  • Don’t jump and follow the “3-point contact” rule when getting into a skid steer or tractor