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NIOSH update: farm safety. Danger of hair entanglement in hay baler drive shafts.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-126, 1992 Jul; :1-2
Hay balers scalped and/or caused severe facial disfigurement to five women in New York State in 1992 due to hair becoming entangled in the rotating secondary driveline that powers bale throwers. The bale throwers involved were made by New Holland with model numbers 54A, 54B, 58, and 62. These models were still in use, although no longer manufactured. The secondary drive lines were shielded, but their U/shaped design called a tunnel guard prevented complete enclosure of the secondary driveline. The victims did not shut down the machine before dismounting their tractor, although the operator's manual suggests this. The entanglements could have been prevented with a retrofit for the U/shaped guard that has been available for 16 years. The scalp injuries reported represented one type of entanglement. Other entanglements have caused amputations, severe injuries or death. From 1980 to 1988, an average 16 workers annually were killed by entanglements in power take off (PTO) or similar rotating drivelines on agricultural equipment. Operators should take precautions to protect themselves by turning off equipment to disengage the PTO, following manufacturer's safety recommendations, and keeping safety guards in place.
Women; Occupational-hazards; Agriculture; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Case-studies
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-126
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division