Harvest Season Safety Awareness

Farm Safety Involves Everyone

When it's harvest time, the pressure is on! Good weather and daylight hours always seem to be at a premium when trying to harvest a great crop in top condition. Planned maintenance and skilled equipment operation can minimize downtime and reduce potential for mishaps during harvest.

The most severe farm accidents often involve machinery. Missing guards and shields, failure to recognize hazards, and careless operation are common factors in a majority of farm equipment related injuries.

Manufacturers build more safety features into equipment today than ever before. Some potential hazards can't be completely eliminated without interfering with machine function. For example, if the blades on a rotary mower were completely shielded, they would not cut material.

Safe completion of any task depends on knowledge, alertness, and hazard awareness. It's natural for us to take pride in our ability to work long hours in pursuit of a goal. Nowhere is this more evident than when harvesting a crop. However, fatigue, drowsiness, and illness frequently contribute to mishaps in the field.

Here are a few things that will help make your harvest season a safe one for the entire family:

  • Carry out preseason maintenance and repair several weeks before.
  • Clear plugged equipment only after the power is turned off.
  • All guards and shields should be secured before equipment is started.
  • Wear comfortable close-fitting clothing, including sturdy, protective shoes.
  • Kids are a "no-no" around machinery. Far too many tragedies occur when kids end up in the path of equipment from which the operator's view is restricted.
  • Always let someone else know where you are. Check in regularly.
  • Keep children off grain transportation equipment.
  • Avoid sleep deprivation and extreme physical exhaustion.
  • Drugs or alcohol hinder safety.

Harvest can be a great and productive time, make it a safe one.

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