Agricultural Engineering Expert Witnesses & Equipment Injuries – Part 4

In Agricultural and Grounds Maintenance Equipment, agricultural engineering expert witness Richard L. Parish, PhD, PE, writes on standards:

For grounds maintenance equipment, the ANSI B71 series is of primary interest. The most important standards in this series are ANSI B71.1, dealing with consumer turf care equipment, and ANSI B71.4, dealing with commercial turf care equipment. These are very comprehensive standards covering blade guarding, thrown objects, rollover/stability, burn hazards, etc. ANSI B71.1 incorporates the CPSC lawnmower standard. Other standards in the ANSI B71 series cover rotary tillers, snow throwers, log splitters, and shredder/grinders. Other ANSI standards cover equipment such as chainsaws.

At times it will be necessary to refer to standards from other organizations such as The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Also, some industry groups provide safety training information and use recommendations (not standards) that can be useful in cases involving agricultural and grounds maintenance equipment. These organizations include The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA), and The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). Other organizations that provide safety information on agricultural and grounds maintenance equipment are The National Safety Council (NSC), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the National Institute for Farm Safety (NIFS).

In some cases, there is not a standard specific to a particular machine. In this situation, it is often appropriate to refer to a standard for a similar machine and use the safety requirements of that standard to establish the state of the art for similar machines. For instance, requirements on Operator Presence Control (OPC) for walk-behind rotary tillers found in ANSI B71.8 can be applied to walk-behind stump grinders, for which there is no specific standard.