What are the risk factors when using machines …

Brescia, 23 June – In the agricultural sector, one of the biggest risks of accidents for sector operators is the use of agricultural machineryso much so that – as recalled in the article “Guidelines and good practice: adapting agricultural machinery” with reference to accident databases – far more people often die on agricultural land than on the motorway.

To talk about it and give some examples of injuries and possible causes of accidents, let’s go back to talking about the olive sector, which in our country represents a very important production sector that is often correlated with the activity of micro and small enterprises.

If in a previous “Learn from mistakes” we mainly talked about the risk of falling during the olive harvest, today we focus on accidents inuse of machines and with reference to the contents of the files INFOR.MO., Tool for qualitative analysis of accident cases associated with the monitoring system for fatal and serious accidents.

These are the topics in the article:

Examples of injuries during activities in olive groves

That first case relates to an injury in a olive grove in use by a direct farmer.

A worker and a colleague are appointed by the farmer to harvest olives if there is no employment contract.

For the olive harvest a tracked tractor a compressor is connected to the power take-off, which drives an olive harvester. The two workers take care of the harvesting work, while the direct cultivator handles the maneuvering of the tractor, which is moved from plant to plant along the terraces of the olive grove.

After harvesting from one olive tree, the tracked tractor must be moved to the next; of the statements collected after the accident, ”it appeared that the owner was absent for a moment to go to his home and that the injured person boarded the tracked vehicle to move it forward near the next facility; while performing this maneuver, the vehicle suddenly moved all the way to the left in relation to the direction of travel, overturned on the ramparts and fell on the lower terrace, crushing the injured person. “

The investigations carried out “have shown that the tractor in question lacked a protective structure for the driver’s seat and restraint system. In addition, the injured party was not trained to drive agricultural tractors”.

THAT causal factors can be found on the map:

  • ‘The injured man got on the tracked vehicle to move it without being formed for driving “;
  • “The tractor was devoid of protective structure of the driver’s position and of restraint system“.

Also in according to sag the accident is related to the use of one tracked tractor.

The operator has a fixed-term employment contract for pruning olive trees and olive harvesting. On the day of the accident, he is in another place on the farm, which is not related to his employment contract, and is on board a caterpillar tractor. The tractor is owned by his son’s company, which was verbally instructed to mow the grass in that field.

The driver is found crushed by the tractor, with the roll bar down and without braces. “The tractor was equipped with seat belts that the injured party was not wearing. The field near the tractor had a height difference of 60-100 cm, and it is assumed that the injured person came too close to the edge, and this gave way and caused the tractor to overturn ”.

THAT causal factors:

  • the injured person “was not wearing seat belts of the medium “;
  • the injured person ”drives the tractor and with the roll bar lowered, yes too close to the elevation gain and the edge has collapsed “.

We end with a card third sag.

A pensioner works with a tractor on his own land, an olive grove. For unspecified reasons, perhaps a maneuvering error, the tractor overturns and crushes the body of the worker, who suffers several fractures.

The tractor “had no roller frame and seat belts”.

THAT causal factors:

  • “probably maneuver error of the tractor “;
  • “Tractor devoid of frame and belt“.

Olive groves and processing with machines

To gather some suggestions for improving prevention in the olive sector, we refer to the Inail document “Oleare la Sicurezza. Risks for workers in olive cultivation and olive production”, a document edited by Michele Del Gaudio (Inail, Campania Regional Directorate), Pino Mauriello and Aniello Troiano (IRFo.M.).

The document presents risks in relation to the various possible processes and in all cases there are also indications of the mechanical risks associated with the use of work equipment.

Having already mentioned in a previous article prevention in the harvesting activity, we now resume indications of risks in the use of the tractor and the machines with specific reference toplanting of olive groves.

It is stated that I risks with machines connected to this work phase are those generated for:

  • “The coupling to the tractor;
  • instability of the drive / operator combination (flow or semi-flow);
  • the overturning and hovering;
  • the resting instability of the operators;
  • poor maintenance;
  • the use of electrical or electronic devices;
  • hydraulic or pneumatic systems;
  • inhalation of exhaust gases produced by tractors;
  • exposure to noise and vibration;
  • exposure to dust inhalation;
  • exposure to biological agents “.

Especially in “Processing with tractor with toolsWith special attention to the work that consists of the “burglary” and which aims to prepare the soil adequately, the preventive measures for risks of overturning, mechanical, fall, physical, manual and chemical handling are reported.

These are the preventive measures indicated for risk of tipping over:

  • “Assess the nature and conditions of the earth;
  • work in situations of stability of the tractor;
  • avoid steep maneuvers and narrow turns;
  • avoid driving on a transverse slope as much as possible;
  • keep appropriate distance from edges and slopes;
  • perform periodic maintenance of the entire machinery;
  • take rest breaks;
  • specific vehicle management training “.

In conclusion, we refer to the full reading of the document, which also focuses on protective devices and safety and risks in various other work phases:

  • olive harvest;
  • planting of plants;
  • basic fertilization;
  • land management and ordinary work.

Tiziano Menduto

INFOR.MO website: in the article we have presented the number 2588, 11235 and 11889 (accident archive 2002/2018).

Download the maps from which the article was taken:

Learn from mistakes – Car accidents in olive groves – Infor.mo fact sheet. 2588, 11235 and 11889.

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