As the ginning season in West Texas progresses, we have seen an uptick in accidents, resulting in lost-time injuries.  OSHA has responded to several of these accidents.   The Trust has issued two safety bulletins, which we thought should be shared with all TCGA members.  Please take a minute to review the publications below, and be sure to reinforce these issues with all of your workers during your next safety meeting at the gin.



Wednesday an employee at a Trust member gin had his arm caught in the feed rollers of a lint cleaner.

Like so many times in the past the accident resulted from careless disregard for safe operating procedues by an experienced employee.

The gin was having problems with the lint cleaner feeding cotton that afternoon, likely due to ginning low-mic cotton. The ginner told the ginners’ helper to spray primer on the rollers to help the cotton feed. The helper went to the cleaner, opened the feed works and started painting the rollers WITHOUT SHUTTING DOWN and LOCKING OUT the machine.

His left arm was caught in the feed rollers which continued to turn until the ginner heard the call for help and was able to cut the power. The arm was DE-GLOVED FROM THE SHOULDER TO THE ELBOW.

Fortunately, the crew remembered to take the cleaner apart to get him out.

Backing the arm out likely would have led to greater injury. HE REMAINED CAUGHT IN THE MACHINE WHILE THEY DISASSEMBLED THE FEED WORKS.

Take a moment to re-enforce everyones safety consciousness:

Perform a thorough safety self inspection; review the results with supervisors and ginners!!

Continue your safety meetings, and discuss these accidents!

Remind all hands to shut down, LOCK-OUT, AND WAIT FOR MACHINERY TO STOP before beginning work in or on it!

Constantly monitor hazardous areas in and around the gin!


Tarp Roller Caught-In Accidents

Member gins in West Texas already had a couple of accidents where an employee’s arm was caught in a tarp roller. The employee involved in each accident suffered multiple fractures of their arm.

Unpowered, hand-cranked rollers are safer than powered rollers; use them where possible.

We provided these recommendations for use of powered rollers:

Install a spring loaded switch that requires continuous pressure for the roller to operate. Knee-activated switches are the best option we’ve seen.

Tarp rolling is a 2 man jobassign 2 workers. Tarps are heavy, bulky, and when cold may be more difficult to start on the machine. Accident investigations indicate that an individual is not able to free himself or cut power to the machine when he is caught. A second worker present may be able to prevent severe injury.

Train employees in roller operation.

Remind employees not to defeat the safety devices. We have found spring-loaded switches tied closed, wedged to keep the contacts closed, or wired-around.

Gloves have no place around the tarp roller! If gloves must be worn the fingers of the glove should be cut off so that the tips will not be caught in the roll.

No loose clothing should be worn around powered tarp rollers. Sleeves should be buttoned, shirts or jackets buttoned or zipped and tails tucked in.

Monitor activity at the tarp rollers including operation and the condition of the switches. We recommend that supervisory employees from the manager on down make a point of checking the rollers at least once each shift.