A dairy farm worker in Ohio was tragically killed in accident over the weekend. The worker was apparently pushing hay into a mixer when he fell in.
TMR mixers and tub grinders can be especially dangerous since they have powerful mixing screws often edged with sharp knives used to reduce particle size of long-stemmed forages. Because these screws often don’t rotate at exceptionally high speed, they can look deceptively benign. But once caught in their grasp, it’s virtually impossible to extract one self, say safety experts.
“It seems individuals that have fallen in have tried to reach for something or force feed down,” says Cheryl Skjolass, interim director for the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Ag Safety and Health. “In one case, the individual stepped over the rail and in another case the thought is the individual reached too far with a fork. I know a few farms which have taken ladders off.”
The [safety] recommendations go back to the standard machinery recommendations,” she says. “Power off, lock out machine before repair or unplugging.”