Baler Safety (Dos and Don’ts)

Balers are designed to be easy to use, cutting down on technical jargon and long manuals with diagrams for a thousand buttons. At the end of the day, if you’ve employed the use of a baler for your business the odds of taking a large amount of time to pour over lengthy instructions are slim considering this is eating into time that could be spent actually running your business which, in essence, is what a baler is ultimately for: saving time and money.

That said, there are certain safety regulations in place with balers that should be observed so as to avoid injury. A general knowledge on the operation of any given baler will eliminate a lot of risks to begin with, so ensure you and any staff are familiar with how yours works before attempting to use it.

Do:

  • Remove the key from the switch when the baler is not in use
  • Carry out a proper inspection before use to identify any potential safety issues
  • Shut the baler door and tighten the clamp before operation to avoid accidents due to slips, if you are dealing with a baler with this function (see the mini balers)
  • If required, insert baling strap correctly without twisting, ensuring it is the correct banding for the material
  • Ensure you have the correct equipment on-hand to ‘bale out’, such as a pallet or lift trolley
  • Have your baler inspected and serviced annually by a professional technician to ensure longevity

Don’t:

  • Attempt operation without full knowledge and training – a safe operating procedure (SOP) is generally available as a print on the machine itself or as an online document
  • Press the emergency lock-out switch unless necessary (familiarise yourself with where this is located if the need for use arises)
  • Attempt to fix a baler in any way if you are not professionally authorised and qualified to do so
  • Leave a baler on or operational without someone to oversee. This will prevent anyone coming upon the baler, interfering and subsequently injuring themselves
  • Unload (or, ‘bale out’) without ensuring the baler is turned off and that you have the proper unloading equipment to hand

Helpful Links

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