(Photo Source: Virginia Cooperative Extension)
A crush-point hazard exists when two objects move toward each other or when a moving object approaches a stationary object. The most common crush point agricultural producers encounter is the attachment of an implement to a tractor’s drawbar (shown above). The space between the tractor's drawbar and the implement's hitch decreases as the tractor moves toward the implement.
Additional crush-point hazards exist when equipment is raised or lowered with a three-point hitch and when components are moved by hydraulic cylinders. The area between a tractor loader bucket and a concrete wall is also a potential crush point. A crush-point incident can occur when a piece of equipment is not properly secured with blocks, allowing the equipment to roll.
Examples of nonfatal injuries associated with crush-point incidents include crushed tissue, cuts, and broken bones, typically in the extremities. Depending on the part of the body that is crushed, fatalities can also result from crush-point incidents.
The list below outlines ways of reducing the risk of a crush-point incident.
Click here to view a video about crush-point hazards from Pennsylvania State University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program. (Note: When a piece of equipment comes into contact with a person or body part, that is also considered a crush point).
Click here to order a copy of the booklet Safe Implement Hitching: A Guide for Safe Connection of Agricultural Tractors to Implements from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
Mechanical hazards: Crush points. (2013). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/66323/mechanical-hazards:-crush-points.
Bean, T. (2008) Preventing farm machine hazards. The Ohio State University Extension. Retrieved from http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/pdf/AEX_593_08.pdf.
Harshman, W., Yoder, A., Hilton, J., & Murphy, D. (2011) Mechanical hazards. HOSTA Task Sheet 3.1. Pennsylvania State University Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. Retrieved from http://www.nstmop.psu.edu/.