Shearing hazards

Parts of machines that move past each other or stationary objects can cause a shear point resulting in a crushing or cutting action.

Types of machinery

  • Bale wrappers
  • Baler crank arms
  • Augers and conveyors
  • Powered cattle crushes
  • Feeder wagons

Operator error

  • Entering or reaching into the danger zone with the machine working
  • Failing to ensure guards or safety devices are in place
  • Not securing the machine or removing residual energy before maintenance

Design points

  • Use fixed guards to prevent access to shear points 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.
  • If it is not practicable to use interlocking guards, use fixed distance guards and barriers secured in position.
  • If guarding is not practical, fit safety devices such as trip bars that will detect the presence of a person and stop the machine
  • Provide a means of immobilising the drive mechanism such as a flywheel brake or locking system

Operator instructions and training

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

  • 'Safe Stop' procedure before attempting to clear blockages or carry out maintenance work
  • The need to keep guards and safety devices well maintained and in place
  • How to use and maintain immobilisation devices
  • Safe working method to carry out maintenance
  • Relevant training, eg Lantra qualification and accreditation

Find out more

  • Standard BS EN ISO 4254-1 Agricultural machinery safety – General requirements

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