Entanglement hazards

Every year people are killed or severely injured by becoming entangled in power machinery.

Types and parts of machinery

  • Power take-off drive shafts and tractor power take-off (PTO)
  • Gears and sprockets, eg feed mixers
  • Belts and pulleys, eg roller mills, pasture toppers
  • Rotating machine parts, eg power harrows, tedders

Operator errors

  • Failing to disconnect power before clearing blockages
  • Carrying out maintenance with machine running
  • Failing to replace guards after removal
  • Wearing loose clothing or trailing drawstrings, eg on anorak hoods
  • Trailing hair

Design points

  • Provide automatic or external lubrication points.
  • Ensure machine setting and adjustment can be carried out from a safe position.
  • Guard PTO drive shafts by enclosing them along their full length from the tractor to the first bearing on the machine.
  • Use fixed guards to prevent access to moving parts that are not 'safe by position'. Fixed guards must require the use of a tool to open or remove and their fixings should generally remain attached to either the guard or machine when removed.
  • If access is needed that precludes the use of fixed guards, use interlocking guards.
  • Provide fixed stand-off guards or barriers around processing parts that cannot be fully guarded

Operator instructions and training

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

  • Stopping machinery before clearing blockages or maintaining
  • Safe working methods for setting and adjustment
  • Keeping guards in position
  • Wearing appropriate clothing with no trailing cords
  • Relevant training, eg Lantra qualification and accreditation

Find out more

  • Standard BS EN 12965:2003 Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry. Power take-off (PTO) drive shafts and their guards.
  • Standard BS EN ISO 4254-1 Agricultural machinery safety – General requirements

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