Harvest Safety Reminders
All of us have heard the stories from neighbors, friends, and family about someone that has been involved in some type of farm accident. Whether it be grain entrapment, wild livestock, or machinery roll-overs, the inherent risks of agriculture are around us everyday. With some simple precautions and good awareness and state-of-mind, many of these accidents can be easily avoided. As harvest begins to pickup all over the country, we here at Ag Leader want to do our part to turn an often stressful season into a safe and successful one. Below are some general things to keep in mind as you’re working through this harvest season.
Flowing grain incidents account for a good portion of farm-related injuries and fatalities every year. Try to have an idea of the quality of grain contained in a bin before entering because there’s a direct correlation between poor quality and risk of grain entrapment. Wet grain can bridge, which can then collapse and trap a person in just a matter of seconds. If it is absolutely necessary to enter a confinement with flowing grain, it’s a great insurance policy to have a second person standing by to shutdown equipment or close grain gates just in case something were to happen. Good judgment can go a long way toward keeping yourself safe.
Augers, belts, and chains: Oh My!
In a perfect world, farmers would never have to remove guards or shields from machinery, but unfortunately, breakdowns happen and maintenance is required. If a shield does need to be removed, always re-install it immediately after the work has been done. Loose fitting clothes and jewelry can act as a catalyst for tragedy in scenarios where there are large moving parts present. Ask any young member of the agricultural community and I bet they can tell you about a farm safety demonstration that illustrated this. It only takes a split second, and if something does get caught in an auger, belt or chain, it’s almost impossible to come away from it unscathed.
Get plenty of sleep
It seems elementary, but being completely alert throughout the entire work day should be a priority. A major reason harvest is a peak time for farm injuries is because farmers are putting in long hours and skimping on the sleep. Trade places with the guy that’s been running the combine for the first 12 hours of the day. Switching operators can make a world of difference, but if that isn’t possible at the very least jump out of the cab and get some cool, fresh air.
Farming is one of the most health hazardous occupations in the US. A quick safety reminder for all the workers out in the fields this fall can’t hurt, and our hope is that it may actually help someone.
Below are more articles that can help you stay safe on the farm: