New Canadian safety standard developed for agricultural augers

Winnipeg, January 9, 2012: There’s a new Canadian safety standard for portable augers used on farms.  It could take a couple of years before producers see the results on the market but auger manufacturers are getting set now to work the new standard into their equipment designs. 

The new CSA standard for portable agricultural augers was developed over several years by the Agricultural Machinery Technical Committee of the Canadian Standards Association. The committee includes farmers, manufacturers, regulators and researchers from Canada and the U.S..  The group considered research results, member experience and similar standards in the U.S. and Australia.

Jim Wassermann, an engineer with the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute in Saskatchewan, is a member of the team that came up with the new CSA standard. He says most of the upgrades in the auger standards relate to the design of the intake guard and the auger driveline.

“Those are the areas where most injuries take place,” he says. “The standards team has now come up with practical options to prevent a hand or foot from contacting the rotating flighting without restricting product flow.”

“For example,” Wassermann adds, “a retractable intake guard is now an option in the new standard. It can stay in-place for most operations but in unique situations, it can be retracted and alternative safety precautions put in place.” The new standard also references all recent standards that relate to guarding auger drivelines and PTO’s.

The new CSA standard for portable agricultural augers is available for purchase in English and French from the CSA on-line store at www.shop.csa.ca as CAN/CSA-M688-10 - Portable agricultural auger conveying equipment - General safety.

Statistics from Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting show that augers are second only to tractors in their involvement in machinery-related injuries on the farm.  Wassermann says “that alarming statistic triggered the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association to support the development of a new CSA safety standard for portable agricultural augers”.

The CSA standard was produced with financial support from the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through Growing Forward, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative.

Media contacts:

Dave Shanahan  416-747-2586  dave.shanahan@csa.ca
Jim Wassermann 306-682-5033 ext 223 jwassermann@pami.ca 
Diane Wreford  204-275-8874 dwreford@casa-acsa.ca