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Baling Accidents can be Prevented

Between 1992 and 2000, 34 workers died when crushed by the compacting ram in baling or compacting machines, NIOSH recently reported.

Such machines are widely used in manufacturing and retail trade businesses to compress cardboard, scrap metal, and other waste material for handling and transport. To avoid becoming a statistic, NIOSH recommends:

  • De-energizing balers and compactors when they are being unjammed, maintained or repaired.
  • Equipping balers and compactors with machine guards and safety interlocks that will stop a machine if a worker attempts to gain access to the ram area.
  • Requiring machine operators to account for the presence of coworkers before activating equipment.
  • Using platforms with stairs and railings near the opening of feed chutes. This will provide safe access for clearing jams.
  • Training employees to recognize the hazards of working with balers and compactors.
  • Banning employees under age 18 from servicing, loading, operating or helping to operate balers and compactors, according to federal labor laws.