Agriculture is a labor-intensive occupation that involves a hands-on approach to every work day. Safety precautions need to be considered when working around farm equipment or livestock. If precautions are not taken seriously, it is easy to be caught-in, caught-between, or struck by objects, leading to serious injuries. People with limited mobility, lack of range of motion, or diminished reaction time are at higher risk.
Caught-in or Between Accidents
OSHA lists "caught-in and between" accidents as one of the big four workplace hazards. The most common caught-in and between accidents are workers being caught in machinery. Others include buried in a trench and pinned between equipment and another solid object.
Caught-in or between incidents occur for some of the following reasons:
- Working on or around moving equipment.
- Working on equipment with stored energy. (example: hydraulic cylinder)
- Inadequate guarding on equipment or guards have been removed.
- Incorrect hitching practices.
- Not being visible to the equipment operator.
- Being unaware of approaching danger in the work environment.
- Uneven lighting with bright spots and shadows causing livestock to balk.
- Approaching an animal in its blind spot.
Some guidelines to prevent caught-in or caught-between incidents should include:
- Being familiar with the equipment to know where the pinch, shear, wrap, and crush points are located, as well as the pull-in areas.
- Always shutting down equipment before doing repairs or inspecting of equipment.
- Chocking the wheels on equipment that could move or roll.
- Never working under equipment supported only by a jack. Use a secondary support device.
- Using the cylinder safety locks on equipment that support hydraulic cylinders, to prevent the releasing of stored energy in the cylinder.
- Making sure all guards are in place and properly secured after servicing equipment.
- When hitching or unhitching equipment, standing to the side, and being clearly visible to the tractor driver.
- Leaving an escape route to prevent being pinned between two objects.
- Taking extra caution when working around equipment that uses belts/pullies, chains/sprockets, or PTO shafts.
- Utilizing Roll Over Protective Structures and wearing a safety belt.
"Struck-by" accidents are related to material handling and housekeeping and occur when work tools, materials, vehicle/machinery, flying debris, or any other type of object hits someone.
Potential struck-by accident hazards include:
- Tools or loose parts left on window ledges, shelves, or working platforms.
- Objects leaning against walls, racks, posts, or equipment.
- Unmarked low beams or pipes.
- Weak overhead supports or poor stacking of materials.
- Slivers from machine tools, breaking glass, or someone swinging a tool without looking.
- Agricultural processes that involve spreading materials or waste.
Guidelines for eliminating hazards:
- Do not leave tools or loose parts on window ledges, shelves, or working platforms.
- Leave guards or screens in place on equipment as it was manufactured.
- Mark low beams, pipes, and ceilings with proper Low Clearance—Caution signs.
- Stack and store objects properly.
- Use the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for the task at hand.
- Use falling object protective structures (FOPS) on equipment.
- Pay attention to your surroundings or work environment.
- Do not get distracted by conversations.
- Watch for people carrying objects that block their view of you or their destination.
- Do not daydream or lose focus of what you and the people around you are doing.
- Eliminate all horseplay around the work area.
This fact sheet was reviewed by Karen Mancl, PhD, Professor, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University; Pat Luchkowsky, Director of Public Affairs, Easter Seals of Ohio.
- Ohio AgrAbility. Injury Prevention—Caught in or Caught Between Objects. Kent McGuire.
- Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Injury Fact Sheet—Agriculture, Dairy Farm Workers—Caught in, Under or Between Injuries.
- Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Injury Fact Sheet—Agriculture, Orchard Workers— Caught in, Under or Between Injuries.
- Occupational Health and Safety. ohsonline.com. OSHA's Big Four. Mark Stromme. June 18, 2007.
- The Ohio State University Extension Agricultural Tailgate Safety Training for Landscaping and Horticultural Services Module: Struck-By Accidents for Trainers and Supervisors.
- Young Workers and Struck By Injuries. Construction Safety Magazine. Summer 2008. Peter Vi Hon. csao.org (no longer available online).
- Saftek Struck by Moving Objects Safety Talk for Discussion Leaders. http://www.saftek.com/train/struck_.html (no longer available online).
About AgrAbility Based Fact Sheets
These fact sheets were developed to promote success in agriculture for Ohio's farmers and farm families coping with a disability or long-term health condition. AgrAbility offers information and referral materials such as this fact sheet, along with on-site assessment, technical assistance, and awareness in preventing secondary injuries. Fact sheets were developed with funding from NIFA, project number OHON0006.