Hay baler crushes and kills worker

Monday, 17 December, 2018

Hay baler crushes and kills worker

A Queensland worker has died after he was crushed by a hay baling accumulator in November 2018.

According to a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland incident alert, an accumulator is towed behind a hay baler and is used to group hay bales together for easier pick-up.

Accumulators include a large deck that is raised and lowered with a hydraulic cylinder. The incident alert said it appears that the accumulator operator was attending to maintenance issues when he was killed. He was found underneath the deck by another worker who went to check on him after contact ceased during a phone call. It is not clear at this stage what caused the incident. Investigations are continuing.

According to the incident alert, equipment that uses hydraulics to assist in its movement has the potential to cause serious injury or death. It is used in many industries for trucks and transport, construction plant and equipment, farming machinery, manufacturing equipment and amusement rides. The potential energy in hydraulic equipment can be extremely high as it is used to shift and support large loads.

The alert recommends that when operating any machinery that uses hydraulic power:

  • Always make sure that you read the instructions provided by the manufacturer and follow all safety directions.
  • Never place yourself in a position where you could be crushed in the event of hydraulics failure or inadvertent operation of the hydraulics.
  • If a back-up safety prop is provided on the plant, always use it before entering a high risk zone.
  • If a safety prop is not provided on the machine, make sure you use another prop that is load rated and has adequate strength to safely withstand any loads that could be applied to it.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/SimplyCreativePhotography

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