Abstract #M155

# M155
Silage safety: Preventing serious injury and fatality accidents involving machinery.
K. K. Bolsen*1, R. R. Bolsen2, 1Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 2Keith Bolsen Silage Safety Foundation, Austin, TX.

Safety is the control of recognized hazards to reach an acceptable level of risk. Farm accidents are caused by unsafe behavior or conditions due to the actions of people. A split second of inattention can cause a fatal accident and nothing will ever be the same again. Few farming operations invite as many opportunities for a serious injury or fatality a silage program. Three hazards in managing bunker silos and silage piles are truck or tractor rollover, entanglement in machinery, and run-over by machinery. Detailed case studies of the hazards and ways to avoid each one are presented. Only the case studies are discussed here. In case study 1, a 21-year-old truck driver was killed when a dump-bed rolled over in a bunker silo at a cattle feedlot in Texas. According to the county sheriff’s office, the circumstances of the accident are not uncommon, and silage trucks are known to rollover if not operated correctly. In case study 2, an 18-year-old employee on a dairy farm in New York was fatally injured when he became entangled in a silage defacer. The youth was idling the tractor to allow it to warm up on a cold morning. The defacer was attached on the front of the tractor and was 1 m above ground level. The energized defacer caught the sleeve of the victim’s coat as he walked in front of the unit. The farm owner heard an unusual sound and went to investigate. He immediately shut off the tractor’s engine and disentangled the victim from the defacer. The youth died at the scene. In case study 3, the adult son of a Nebraska silage contractor was talking with an employee who was in the cab of a large forage harvester near the edge of a field. After the conversation, the employee started the machine and drove away in the harvester. A few minutes later, another employee found the contractor’s son lying unconscious in the field, and he died 2 h later. Although details of the accident were unclear, the son was apparently run over by a rear tire of the forage harvester. Every beef and dairy cattle producer should have written safety guidelines for their silage program and schedule regular meetings with all employees to discuss safety.

Key Words: silage, accident, entanglement