Accidents caused by bale-handling equipments like bale spike has significantly increased over the recent years, some of which are very fatal. The most common of these accidents are due to being impaled, while in the process of handling bale. But how can we avoid these?
For added safety when handling bales, particularly large round bales, it is important to have an operator who clearly understands all the hazards involved during this process, as well as following safety procedures when it comes to handling bales.
Also, the operators must be keenly aware of situations that are most likely to cause accidents with themselves and those around them as these can be quite costly. Not only could they be fatal, but could also result in significant downtimes and productivity drop. Nevertheless, the key ingredients for bale-handling safety are alertness and consciousness on safety requirements.
How to Develop Safety Awareness
This is a process that begins with an operator manual, which comes in the handling equipment. Every operator must take their time to read through the manual and understand its requirements. Every operator who uses the machine must also be acquainted with relevant farm safety procedures.
Whether you are running a small family farm or a large commercial enterprise, it is important to inculcate these safety procedures and make them a part of the company or the farm culture.
Bale-handling equipments such as the silage clamp or the hay bale grab must only be operated by those who have been trained for this job. It is important that machine operators are familiar with maintenance procedures for the machine as well.
Preparation of the Machines before Baling
What are some of the pre-baling precautions and preparations that machine operators should take?
Adequate preparations are very important before engaging in baling. It does not only reduce your downtimes, but also helps prevent farm accidents. The best time to carry out maintenance is during the pre-season. This allows you to procure parts, carrying out maintenance without grappling with downtimes.
Some activities that you can undertake before doing the service include pre-operational checks, unplugging of the machine, and other adjustments to ensure the mechanical integrity of balers. Accumulated trash in the machine should be removed. The moving parts should be lubricated. The missing parts, screws, and nuts should also be removed. The chains and belts should be inspected for any signs of breakage as well. Moreover, the hydraulic hoses should be cleaned and inspected to ensure that they are in the best condition.
Ensure that everyone is at a safe distance away from the machine before ejecting the bale. These have massive mass, sometimes weighing up to 3000 pounds and can cause severe injuries or deaths to those nearby. It is always advisable to discharge the bale on ground-level as this hinders it from rolling out of control.
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