Many people in the area are gearing up to begin harvesting or have already started harvesting, I wanted to share a few safety tips to prevent farm accidents. Safety is something that often goes overlooked during stressful times like harvest.
|Suta Farm Harvest - by Kim Woodring|
1. Always provide training to your workers. It is always good to re familiarize yourself with the machines during the new season. Lack of training is dangerous, not only for the inexperienced person, you have greater risk of injuring yourself but the people you are working with as well.
2. Get plenty of rest and take frequent breaks. Drink plenty of fluids and have healthy snacks on hand to keep your energy levels up. Accidents are more likely to happen once fatigue sets in. It is important to get a good night’s sleep before heading back to harvesting in the morning.
3. Tell family and employees where you’ll be working and when. Plan to communicate at set times of the day to ensure everyone is safe. Develop an emergency plan so everyone can be on the same page if there is an accident, they can respond right away. You might want to consider an accident emergency plan and a fire emergency plan and keep a water truck near. Cell phone service is limited in some areas in the Golden Triangle. My family uses a radio system, walkie talkies may be good option too!
4. If you have young children, know where they area at all times. Teach your children to avoid climbing on the equipment while it’s in the field. Designate a safe play area for them, making sure they are not hiding underneath the combine. Before you exit the machinery, make sure it is turned off and in park with the parking break engaged.
5. Watch out for moving parts. It may take just a second to remove some debris from an auger or the header but it could also put you at risk for losing your arm or leg! Make sure to keep your hands and feet to yourself in those situations. Avoid wearing loose clothing around these moving parts, as well
These are just a few safety tips for you to keep in mind when you are harvesting this year. One conversation about harvest safety could save your operation from a tragic accident that could be prevented. I hope you all have a smooth, accident free harvest this year!
Toole County Extension - Ag Agent