Crushing hazards

Crush points exist when two objects move toward each other, or when one object moves toward a stationary object.

Types of machinery

  • Reciprocating mechanisms, eg grain cleaners, box fillers, hop presses, baler needles
  • Hydraulically raised equipment, eg trailers and rear doors, telescopic handler booms, combine headers
  • Trailed machines with drawbars, eg trailers, balers, manure spreaders
  • Linkage mounted machinery stability, eg post drivers, sprayers, fertiliser spreaders

Operator errors

  • Reaching into or entering crush areas with the machine operating
  • Incorrectly hitching tractors to implements and trailers
  • Failing to support machinery during repairs or maintenance

Design points

  • Protect crush points so that workers cannot get their arms or hands trapped. This involves allowing adequate clearance around the moving parts.
  • Prevent access to crush points using fixed guards or interlocked guards.
  • Provide check valves and mechanical supports for hydraulic equipment that are easy to use from outside the danger area
  • Ensure drawbar jacks and stands can support the machine in all conditions of use.
  • Provide stabilisers for unbalanced machines when they are de-mounted.
  • Removable devices should be stored on the machine in a safely accessible place when they are not needed.

Operator instructions and training

Instructions for using this type of machinery must include clear guidance on:

  • Controls
  • Safe maintenance
  • Relevant training, eg Lantra qualification and accreditation

Find out more

  • Standard BS EN 349 Minimum gaps to avoid crushing parts of the human body - offers guidance on the distances required around moving parts to safeguard against crushing hazards.
  • Standard BS EN ISO 4254-1 Agricultural machinery safety – General requirements

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