Harvest Safety

Make sure you, your family and employees don't become another farm safety statistic. Follow these safety tips.

  1. Maintain your equipment. Most farm accidents and deaths involve outdated machinery that lack safety features. Make sure your equipment is maintained according to the manufacturers' recommendations to minimize accidents. Consider retrofitting older equipment to reduce rollover injuries and fatalities.
  2. Be alert on the road. Most accidents happen at dawn or dusk, which are peak commuting times for drivers. They occur most often when a driver attempts to pass a slow-moving vehicle, or does not realize a farmer is turning or stopping. Watch out for other vehicles on the road and use flashing lights in addition to the SMV to draw attention to the tractor's slow speed.
  3. Have a plan for grain bin safety. When entry is absolutely necessary, train workers on grain storage hazards and risks involved. Follow such safe bin entry practices as Lock-Out/Tag-Out and utilizing a lifeline system. Have an emergency action plan in case an accident occurs and make sure everyone on your farm is trained to follow it. There should always be a person outside the bin during any entry.
  4. Tell family and helping hands where you will be working and when. Keep the lines of communication open. Also, always have a cell phone or walkie-talkie on you in case of emergencies or accidents. Know where you are at!
  5. Get plenty of rest and take frequent breaks. Drink plenty of fluids and have healthy snacks on hand to keep your energy levels up. Do not push yourself past healthy limits. Accidents are more likely to happen once fatigue, dehydration or heat/cold stress sets in.
  6. Familiarize yourself with how your prescriptions and over the counter medications affect you. Some medications and machinery do not mix. Consult your doctor if your medications impair your ability to safely operate your equipment.
  7. Make sure you understand how to safely handle the chemicals you use. Keep chemicals in their original, marked containers. Make sure everyone working on your farm is trained in safely handling them and understands emergency procedures.

Good luck. Please have a safe harvest!

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Posted 9:00 AM

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