Stay Safe this Harvest Season
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
It’s never too early to begin planning for harvest season. Soon the busyness of fall harvest will be here and we want you to be ready. Every year many accidents occur which could be avoided by a few seconds of thought and a more careful approach to handling equipment. Taking the time to follow a few precautions can make a difference between a successful, safe harvest or one we would all like to avoid. Your best assurance against accidents is to stay organized and plan ahead.
1. Create a LIST
Shortcuts lead to accidents. The better you maintain your equipment, the less likely things are to break down during harvest.
To prevent your tractor and other important farm equipment from breaking down, make a list of what needs to be done to maintain them and check the tasks off as they are finished.
- Check safety shields and replace any that are missing or broken.
- Replace any caution, warning, danger or instruction safety decal that is not legible or missing.
- Check tire inflation.
- Clean equipment. Make sure no grease or oil is built up on any steps or platforms.
- Make sure wheel and lugs nuts are tightened to specified torque
- Give unit a visual inspection for any loose bolts, worn parts, or cracked welds and make necessary repairs
- Clean up any tools laying around
Making a checklist will assure you that nothing will be overlooked, and you’ll prevent safety and technical problems.
2. Review equipment with all users
It is a good idea to review safety instructions with all users annually.
Before harvest is a good time to refresh yourself on how to use machinery you haven’t used in a while. To be safe, have anyone who will be helping you with harvest read the manuals, especially if they haven’t used the equipment before.
3. Maintain the terrain and yard
Keep the yard clean of debris and maintain the terrain on your harvest route. Remove low hanging branches or anything that could get in the way of equipment ahead of time to save you time during harvest.
4. thoroghly Train anyone who is about to use equipment
Don’t ever let anyone on a tractor, or use any farm equipment, without training them first. Training on turns and uneven terrain is essential for keeping people safe.
A lack of training is dangerous for both the inexperienced person and everyone else working, too.
5. be sure to have a plan in case of emergencies
Developing an emergency communication plan is important. Hopefully you won’t need it – but if you do, you’ll be glad you did.
Familiarize everyone involved with your plan and make sure they know what field you will be in, what route you will take, and at what time.
These plans ensure that when there’s an emergency situation, everyone knows how to respond right away. You’ll save time, and maybe even a life.
6. make certain your equipment meets new lighting and marking requirements
It is your responsibility to know lighting and marking requirements of local highway authorities.
Lighting and marking requirements continually change, so make sure that all of your harvesting equipment meets them.
7. Beware of moving parts
Getting caught in machinery is the leading cause of injury and death on the farm. Make sure all guards and shields are in place and in good condition on all moving parts. Keep all bystanders and children away. Do not wear loose fitting clothing or clean, lubricate, or adjust your equipment while it is moving.
8. Know where any people or pets are - especially young children
Keep children off of tractors and farm equipment. Make sure they know where you will be working and where they need to stay away from.
Know where any people or pets are before taking out machinery. Designate a safe area, and make sure nothing is hiding underneath the tractor.
Make certain no one is between the tongue or hitch and towing vehicle when backing up to equipment.
9. take a break If you feel tired
It’s easy to want to keep going, but when you are tired you’re more likely to take shortcuts and risk injuring yourself or others.
Keep a healthy diet, don’t ever skip any meals, and give your body the rest it needs.
10. review grain bin safety
Make sure everyone involved in harvest is current on grain bin safety tips to prevent injuries and stay safe. Transporting of grain and grain storage can be very dangerous if not handled with caution.
You can help prevent accidents by staying organized and preparing ahead of time!
Have a happy and safe harvest in 2019!