Margie Margentino, Former Program Associate, Animal Sciences
Karyn Malinowski, Director, Equine Science Center
It is important to be safety-conscious when doing any job that requires the use of machinery. Statistics show that the majority of machinery-related accidents occur as the result of human negligence. Errors include: taking shortcuts to save time; failing to read the operator’s manual; ignoring a warning; improper or insufficient instruction; failing to follow safety rules; and improper or inadequate maintenance.
Operation of Farm Machinery
The operation of farm machinery is serious business and should be treated as such. To avoid any type of machinery-related injury, strict safety practices must be employed.
In the past 30 years, the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) has become a common piece of machinery on numerous farms. Regardless of its popularity, the ATV is one of the most dangerous and deadly pieces of equipment. Between approximately 100,000 and 150,000 emergency-room-treated ATV related injuries occur every year. Since 1982, there have been over 14,653 ATV-related deaths and over 2.8 million emergency-room-treated injuries nationwide. Many of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented if the safety rules outlined above had been observed.
Maintenance of Farm Machinery
Inspect hydraulic and air lines regularly for wear and cracks. Replace lines that show any sign of damage. Caution should be taken when working on hydraulic systems. Make sure all pressure in the system is relieved and that the fluid is cool before loosening any fittings or removing lines. Wear leather or rubber gloves.
Other Related Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet
This publication was made possible in part by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Program on Agricultural Health Promotion Systems for New Jersey.
Revised September 2019