Impact hazards

Machines can have fast moving parts that can strike a person, or eject machine parts and material with considerable force

Types of machinery

  • Post drivers, bale wrappers – hit by fast moving part of machine
  • Hedge cutters, mowers, tree harvesters – ejected machine parts such as flails, blades and chain-shot
  • Manure spreaders, mowers – ejected material such as stones

Operator error

  • Entering or placing body parts in the danger zone
  • Failing to fit or maintain blades and flails properly
  • Failing to fit or maintain protection against ejected material

Design points

  • Use fixed guards to prevent access to moving machine parts where possible.
  • If guarding is not practical, fit safety devices such as trip bars that will detect the presence of a person and stop the machine.
  • Fit deflectors or skirts of suitable material and strength to prevent ejection of stones, wire or other objects towards the operator and to protect possible bystanders.
  • If it is not possible to guard the machine, specify what additional operator protection is required.  This might include the fitting of mesh guards or impact resistant glazing to cabs and specifying safe working zones.

Operator instructions and training

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

  • Settings and maintenance required to reduce ejected material
  • Specifying safe working zones
  • Quality specification and instructions for fitting replacement parts
  • Tests, performance and adjustment necessary to keep safety devices operating effectively
  • Additional operator protection that is necessary.

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