Farm Machinery Maintenance

Whether your employees are tilling soil, treating fields, or lifting bales of hay, the equipment they use helps keep your farm operation productive. Follow these guidelines for proper machinery use and maintenance:

  • Instruct employees to operate and maintain machinery according to instruction manual recommendations.
  • Require the use of shields and guards during machine operation.
  • Repair or replace defective or worn parts promptly.
  • Follow “lockout” procedures to cut power and block moving parts before repairing, adjusting, unclogging, or servicing machinery.
  • Turn off the power before adjusting, unclogging, or servicing a power-driven machine.
  • Keep children and nonworkers away from machinery and wagons.
  • Outfit tractors with rollover protection such as protective cabs or frames, and require the use of seat belts during operation.
  • Equip tractors and self-propelled machines with fire extinguishers and first-aid kits.
  • Affix “Slow Moving Vehicle” emblems to all farm equipment that travels public roads.
  • Make sure equipment lighting is adequate and conforms to state law.
  • Require sprayer operators and loaders to wear protective clothing appropriate for the chemical being used. Operators should change clothes and wash before eating or smoking.
  • Require workers transferring or hauling anhydrous ammonia to wear appropriate personal protection equipment.
  • Equip tractors, nurse tanks, and ammonia applicators with 5 gallons or more of clean “first aid” water that is easy to reach and dispense to those who face exposures while in the field.
  • Train workers to immediately, without hesitation, flush eyes and affected skin areas with water in the case of a chemical mishap.
  • Properly repair hoses and couplings so hydraulic systems can handle maximum loads.

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The illustrations, instructions, and principles in this material are general in scope and, to the best of our knowledge, current at the time of publication. No attempt has been made to interpret any referenced codes, standards, or regulations nor to identify all potential risks or requirements.