Two men standing in field away from combine. Thinkstock Images/ThinkstockPhotos

Reminders for a safe harvest season

Take regular breaks, don't enter a grain bin alone and use flashers when traveling on roadways.

Chances are you’re either busy harvesting or waiting for the fields to dry so you can harvest. Harvest is a busy time of year on the farm and also the favorite time of year for many farmers. Here’s a list of reminders to keep you safe this harvest season.

Equipment and operator safety

  • Take regular breaks to aid in divvying up the monotony of machinery operation.
  • Turn off engines, remove keys and wait for all moving parts to stop before getting out of machinery.
  • If you are going to eat in the field, climb down from the combine and relax for a little while.
  • Dress with both comfort and safety in mind. Wear protective footwear and close-fitting clothes.
  • Proper safety gear should be worn at all times around dangerous noise, dust or hazardous materials.
  • Turn equipment off before making any repairs or adjustments.
  • Do not remove safety shields, roll bars or guards. They are there to protect you.

Grain bin safety

If you must enter a bin, it is vitally important to follow these safety precautions:

  • Shut off and lock all unloading equipment before entering a bin.
  • When possible, ladders should be installed inside grain bins as emergency exits.
  • Avoid entering the bin when possible. A long pole can be used to break up crusted grain instead of having a worker enter the bin. Grain that has crusted can cover open spaces, which likely will not support the weight of a person.
  • Wear a harness that is attached to a properly secured rope.
  • Stay near the outer wall of the bin. If the grain starts to flow, move to the bin ladder or safety rope as quickly as possible.
  • Never enter a bin alone. Have at least one person stand outside the bin, someone who can help you should you become entrapped. It is best to have two people available who are properly trained to follow all safety procedures for entering the bin.
  • Wear a dust filter or filter respirator when working in a grain bin, especially while cleaning.
  • Do not allow children to play in or around grain bins, wagons or truck beds. 

Farm equipment road safety 

When driving on roadways:

  • Increase visibility by using the equipment’s lights and flashers, especially during inclement weather or when light is low (early mornings and evenings).
  • If there is a line of cars behind you and a suitable shoulder is available, pull over and allow traffic to pass before proceeding.

Source: Alltech

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