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Vineyard Worker Fatality Highlights Importance of Machinery Safety Training

Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Service

Nov. 1, 2018

Recent news reports indicate a vineyard worker in the Napa area was pulled into a harvesting machine and subsequently died of his injuries.  Reports indicated he may have been pulled into the machine when an item of loose clothing became entangled.

News reports like this should reinforce the need for safety training for workers operating machinery and those working in proximity to machinery.  Workers should be reminded to work carefully around machinery and to avoid wearing loose clothing, jewelry, hair or anything else that can be caught in rotating, reciprocating or other moving machine parts.  Machinery operators should be trained to watch for workers nearby on the ground.  Workers on the ground should be periodically be warned that machinery noise may make it difficult for the operator to hear them and the bulk of the machine may make it difficult for the operator to see them.   

FELS offers various training aids to help train workers on machinery safety, including training videos and other training aids, and FELS Newsletter subscribers have access to a number of Safety Sheets on machinery safety to aid in training workers.  FELS Labor Management Consultants can also train your employees to work safely around machinery.