Hay Stack Safety

Control Dusts from Bedding Choppers

The dust from hay or straw contains bacteria or fungi, which gets released into the air during the chopping process and can create health problems. To protect your lungs, especially if you are utilizing a bedding chopper powered by gasoline, take the following precautions:

  • Add small quantities of water to bales of hay or straw before chopping. This can reduce your exposure to organic dusts by 80 percent.
  • Do not use bales of hay with visible mold. If this is all that is available, wear a respirator to protect your lungs.
  • If possible, use an electrically-powered chopper instead. Use gasoline-powered bedding choppers only in well-ventilated barns to avoid CO poisoning.



Big Bale Handling

Did you know that a big round bale of hay weighs between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds? Since they are so heavy, agricultural workers must make safety awareness a number-one concern to avoid injuries.

Pre-Harvest Precautions

  • Inspect the tractor-baler combination and make sure that all the shields are in place. This is especially important for power take-off shield (PTO).
  • Check for loose or missing bolts, screws, nuts, guards or bent teeth periodically.
  • Ensure that hydraulic hoses are clean and in good condition before the season.

Crop Preparation and Baling

  • When working on rough terrain or hillsides, avoid holes and other obstacles that could tip a windrower or throw you off the machine.
  • Never unplug the baler before you disengage the PTO and shutoff the engine.
  • Do not feed material into the baler with your hands or feet; your limb(s) could get pulled into the machine.

Making Hay

  • Before transporting hay to the field, check to make sure the brake pedals are joined together.
  • Do not leave the tractor seat when the engine is running.

These are only a few of the safety tips GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. provides. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 to find out more ways to avoid a hay stack mishap on your farm.