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NIOSH Hazard ID, HID 13 - hazards associated with using farm tractors to move large bales.

Higging D; Parker DL; Wahl G
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2001-146, (HID 13), 2001 Jul; :1-3
Beginning in the mid-1970s, standard small-bale forage balers began to be replaced by large-bale balers in the agricultural industry. The chance for serious injury or death to workers grows with the size and weight of bales. Bales that weigh more than 750 pounds put workers at especially high risk. According to NIOSH analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), 74 workers were fatally injured from 1992 through 1998 while harvesting, handling, or working near bales and bale-handling equipment [BLS 2000]. Forty-two of these workers were killed while preparing bales for transport or while moving them. Farm tractors were involved in 34 of these 42 events. In a number of these deaths, rollover protective structures (ROPS) on tractors and specialized handling equipment were not used, and parked tractors were not secured to prevent them from rolling. During 1993 through 1999, the Minnesota Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program, working with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) FACE Program, studied 11 fatal incidents in which workers were killed while working with large bales. Eight of the 11 workers were moving or preparing to move large bales using farm tractors when they were struck by a bale that fell, were caught between a bale and a piece of equipment, or were crushed as a result of a tractor rollover.
Farmers; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Occupational-safety-programs; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Hazard ID
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2001-146; HID-13
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: July 16, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division