Farm machinery is inherently dangerous for operators and bystanders alike. So injuries of all kinds can occur when workers are not paying close attention and taking the proper precautions.
There are many different types of farm machinery, but they all have similar characteristics and hazards. Not all these hazards can be completely shielded, so farmers must use caution when operating around a couple things to look out for.
Shear points exist when the edges of two objects move toward or next to each other for cutting. Cutting points are where a single object moves forcefully or rapidly enough to cut. Both points are hazards because of their cutting force and often move rapidly as to not be visible.
Pinch points exist when two objects move together, with at least one of them moving in a circle. They are common in power transmission devices, such as belt and chain drives, feed rolls and gear drives. Fingers, hands and feet can be caught directly in pinch points or they may be drawn into the pinch points by loose clothing that becomes entangled. Meanwhile, wrap points are present wherever any exposed, rotating machine component or protruding shaft ends can be found.
Crush points exist when two objects move toward each other, or when one object moves toward a stationary object. Hitching tractors to implements may create a potential crush point. Failure to block up equipment safely can result in a fatal crushing injury. Workers need to be careful so they do not get caught in crush point areas. Meanwhile, pull-in points usually occur when someone tries to remove plant material or other obstacles that have become stuck in feed rolls or other machinery parts. Always shut off the power before attempting to clear plugged equipment.
Being mindful of all these locations on the machinery you are operating will prevent injury. And preventing injury is crucial, especially when you are out in the field. Once you are a mile or so from any road, emergency vehicles could have a very difficult time getting to you. This is also a great reason to never harvest or prep by yourself.