Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island


Farming feeds Islanders and the world through exports. It is a traditional and vibrant industry in PEI, contributing half a billion dollars to the provincial economy. It is important for the WCB to make sure farmers are safe at work.

Farmers face many hazards in their workplace ranging from poor equipment and machine management to working under extreme heat. Other than these hazards, farmers can face more common ones such as slips, trips and falls, noise, working around electric lines and more.

Machine and Tool Safety

Machine and tool use greatly helps farmers save time and get the most work done, however, there are several hazards with the use of agricultural machinery. This is the leading cause of injury and death on farms.

Here are some common hazards associated with using machinery:
  • Pinch points – areas where two or more parts move together with at least one part moving in a circle. The areas where drive belts contact pulleys or sprockets mesh with chains are prime examples of pinch points.
  • Crush points – where two components are moving toward each other. Examples are the raising and lowering equipment with a three-point hitch, components that are moved by hydraulic cylinders and the areas between the tractor and machinery when hitching or turning.
  • Wrap or entanglement point – related to any exposed rotating component. Wrap-point hazards include any type of rotating shaft or driveline. Power Take-Off (PTO) drivelines are prime examples of wrapping or entanglement hazards.
  • Pull-in point – mechanisms designed to take in crops or other materials for processing. They include combine headers, windrow pickups, forage chopper headers and grinders.
  • Shear and cutting point – where two parts move across one another, or one moves across a stationary object. Windrower cutter bars and grain augers are examples of shear and cutting points.
  • Thrown objects – such as metal, glass, wire, sticks, or other materials that are picked up by a machine and propelled with extreme force. Rotary mowers are good examples of machines capable of throwing objects.
  • Burn point – this hazard is associated with tractors and self-propelled and pull-type machinery. Hot mufflers, engine blocks, pipes, and hot fluids are examples of burn points.
  • Stored energy hazards – present in pressurized systems such as hydraulics, compressed air and springs. The sudden or unsuspected pressurization or depressurization of these systems can result in crushing and other types of accidents, depending on the use of the system. High-pressure leaks are also forms of stored energy hazards.
Proper machinery and tool maintenance is necessary to prevent harm from any of these hazards. Numerous accidents occur because operators attempt to make repairs or adjustments while a machine is running. Some have been injured or killed by being crushed when equipment fell while they were working underneath it.

Below are resources to assist workers and employers in the farming industry:

Legislation: Guides: Hazards: Printable Posters: