Fatality prompts bale wrapper safety warning

Farmers are being warned about a possible safety problem with bale-wrapping machines following the death of a farm worker.

The Health and Safety Executive has issued a safety alert about a potential problem with the pressure-sensitive trip device on the rotating arm.

HSE is currently investigating an incident where a worker was fatally injured when he was struck by the rotating arm of the bale wrapper.

It is believed the operator was attempting to adjust or clear something on the machine with the power connected and the wrapping arm rotating.

A safety trip-bar was fitted to the machine but this did not prevent the wrapping arm striking the operator and crushing him against part of the frame.

The safety alert relates to both stand-alone machines and integrated baler/wrappers.

Users are being reminded they should ensure that power is disconnected and movement has stopped before approaching the machine to carry out any maintenance operation.

The safety trip system should also be checked to ensure it brings the rotating arm to a standstill as quickly as possible to prevent injury.