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Let's Be Safe During Harvest

September 21, 2018
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

It's a simple fact that when it comes to fall harvest, there's a lot to do in a short amount of time. As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, one can feel a sense of urgency from farmers to get their crops out of the fields. With this sense of urgency comes longer work days and sleep deprivation among farmers, which unfortunately can lead to injury or death.

For farmers, it's important to begin pre-planning for the harvest season now to avoid accidents when the busy days of harvesting is in full swing

The following are pre-harvest some safety tips from Rural Mutual Insurance Company:

1. Make a checklist The better your equipment is maintained and serviced the less likely things will breakdown. If there are maintenance problems with equipment, making a checklist will make sure that nothing is overlooked before the harvest season.

2. Refresh yourself and workers on manuals Knowing how machinery works, especially if it is new machinery, is important to preventing injury. Training anyone who will be working with machinery is crucial.

3. Knowing where your children are Keep children off tractors and farm equipment. Enforce the rule that children do not run recklessly into the work areas.

These are very basic pre-harvest safety tips that may seem obvious to some, but are extremely important for the safety of family and workers.

The following is a list of common sense safety tips when working during the harvest season:

1. Turn off equipment before making repairs or adjustments. Do not reach into equipment while parts are moving.

2. Do not remove safety shields, roll bars or guards.

3.Avoid wearing baggy clothing, loose jewelry or long hair near moving equipment.

4. Use safety glasses, noise protection and other precautions, including masks when working at bins sites.

5. Never leave running equipment unattended.

6. Pay attention to all safety information. Read the operator's manual and warning decals.

7. Inspect the equipment and correct any hazards before operating.

8. Identify hazardous areas on equipment and make sure you stay away from moving parts. Beware of pinch points, shear

points, wrap points, pull-in areas, thrown objects, crush points, stored energy hazards and freewheeling parts.

9. Shut down equipment, turn off the engine, remove the key and wait for moving parts to stop before dismounting


10. Keep bystanders and others away from equipment operation areas.

11. Work only during the daylight hours.

12. Stay rested and take breaks.

13. Stay hydrated and don't skip meals.

14. Always carry a first aid kit with a tourniquet.

Harvest season is time honored traditions. Filled with hard work leaving lasting memories for years to come. However; it can be a dangerous time without the proper precautions. Keeping the above listed safety tips in mind will leave you safe, healthy and happy during the long hours ahead.

Without our farming community's hard work and dedication, life as we know it today wouldn't exist. So I would like to say, "Thank you to all the farmers and workers that make life easier for many of us and have a safety harvest season.



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