Many auger injuries can be avoided
According to a report by the Farm Injury Resource Center, on a per-hour basis, augers are one of the most dangerous machines used on a farm.
That’s because grain augers have contributed to a significant number of accidents that result in these kinds of injuries:
- Loss of limbs – there’s an exposed screw at the intake end of the auger’s shaft, which can create entanglement, and it sometimes results in accidents and amputations
- Cuts and fractures – The auger has a sharp, corkscrew blade that rotates as it draws grain upwards. Anyone touching unguarded blade can suffer lacerations and broken bones.
- Electrocutions – this can happen when a raised grain auger contacts overhead electrical wires
It doesn’t have to end like this. Here are some safety tips to help prevent significant auger injuries:
- Anyone operating augers should undergo education/training about safely operating this equipment.
- Be sure to follow the manufacturer's operating instructions, including the preventive maintenance manual.
- Before an auger is started, all protective shields should be inspected for proper usage and good condition. OSHA standards require guards on certain augers.
- Entanglement sometimes can be prevented if operators avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry and having long, untied hair
- Lower grain augers to a horizontal position before moving
- Operators should try to ensure good footing when working around augers (portable ones should be placed on dry, level ground or a gravel pad and spilled grain should be removed between loads)
- Never use your hands or feet to redirect the flow of grain or other materials into the auger
- Label augers as being a hazard for entanglement and serious injury
- Helping an operator? Stay a minimum of 10 feet away from the auger.
Information from The Farm Injury Resource Center