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ANSI Z245.5-2013 – Baling Equipment – Safety Requirements for Installation, Maintenance and Operation

“American Baler is dedicated to meeting or exceeding safety demands, including the ANSI standard for balers. Our Head of Engineering sits on the ANSI committee. Our balers were the first to achieve Category 3 safety standards on all models. Our customers demand the safest balers, and we lead the way!” American Baler, 800-843-7512,

ANSI Z245.5-2013 revises safety requirements with respect to the installation, operation, maintenance, service, repair, modification and reconstruction (where applicable) of baling equipment covered by ANSI Z245.5-2008, Baling Equipment – Safety Requirements.

The requirements of this standard apply to balers rated at 600 volts or less, for outdoor or indoor use, and are employed in accordance with the manufacturer’s written installation, operation, and maintenance instructions and procedures.

A companion standard, ANSI Z245.51–2013 establishes safety requirements for the design and construction of commercial baling equipment commonly used in recycling, solid waste disposal and raw materials handling. Both of these standards taken together revise and replace ANSI Z245.5 –2008.

About the Standard

© Birgit Reitz-Hofmann –

ANSI Z245.5-2013 addresses installation requirements, safeguards and features, reconstruction and modification, operational requirements and safety and training programs.

The installation requirements cover general, power disconnect and emergency controls.

Safeguards and features include access covers; service openings; controls and operating switches and sensors; security switches; emergency controls; interlocks; guarding; container/cart lifting systems; additional safety features for continuously operating and unattended balers with automatic start-up –vertical downstroke balers, vertical upstroke balers and horizontal balers; and safety signs: caution; warning and danger markings.

Operational requirements specify owner/employer responsibilities, operator/employee/user responsibilities, and procedures for the control of hazardous energy sources (lockout/tagout), for work in confined spaces, and for electrical arc flash and shock safety.

The safety and training program has general and training requirements.

What Is and Isn’t Covered

The requirements contained in this standard pertain to new balers as produced by the manufacturer. New requirements and revisions are not intended to be retroactive for balers manufactured to comply with earlier revisions of this standard. Refer to the approved edition of ANSI Z245.5 in effect at the time of manufacture for those requirements.

The requirements contained in this standard are not intended to apply to other components of end-use applications where a baler is part of a designed system.

Baler Safety Recommendations

Most baler-related fatalities occur when workers are caught in or crushed by the powerful compacting rams in baling or compacting machines, according to data analyzed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). These incidents generally involve situations in which employees entered a compactor to clear a material jam, fell into the path of the ram, or reached into the machine while it was operating. Material jams are common, and cause the compacting ram to stop moving. Employees may not understand that these machines are still turned on, and can resume operating suddenly.

Preventing Safety Incidents

Investigations conducted through the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program also found baler-related incidents that occurred when:

  • The machine cycled automatically when the victim entered the compacting chamber
  • Coworkers activated the machine without knowing that a worker was inside the compacting chamber
  • The fatally injured worker was attempting to retrieve material from the machine

The NIOSH[1] alert, Preventing Deaths and Injuries While Compacting or Baling Refuse Material, recommends that workers should take the following steps to protect themselves from injury when operating or working near compacting and baling equipment:

  • Never bypass or disable interlocks or control switches
  • Keep all equipment guards in place during operation
  • Before attempting to clear jammed material from a compactor or baler, follow OSHA[2] standards on lockout/tagout procedures [29 CFR 1910.147]:
  • Disconnect the power from the machine
  • Isolate the power by locking the disconnect
  • Tag the disconnect to notify others that the power must remain off
  • Mechanically block any ram that has the potential to move before accessing the compacting chamber
  • Test equipment to ensure power has been de-energized before beginning work
  • Locate all coworkers before activating power to the compactor or baler

Employers should take the following steps to reduce the risk of worker injuries and deaths:

  • Establish procedures for periodic inspection and maintenance of the equipment:
  • Maintain equipment guards according to the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Check for proper operation of all interlocks and emergency stop devices
  • Train workers to recognize compactor and baler hazards
  • Implement standard procedures for dealing safely with material jams
  • Provide safe access to feed chutes for clearing material jams
  • Comply with child labor laws that prohibit hazardous work by workers under age 18

The standard may be purchased at: WMHS



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