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Harvest Safety Reminders


Harvest Safety Reminders
Harvest is well underway and we are into one of the busiest times of the year for farmers. Long hours and dangerous working conditions are accepted as a normal part of the life of a farmer, but no one should become a statistic for the sake of getting done a day or two earlier.
Some Safety Tips for Farmers
• Stay alert. Take breaks – get out of the cab and walk around every few hours.
• Shut down before working on a machine. If the combine becomes clogged, shut off the motor, not just the header, before attempting to unplug it by hand.
• Know where your co-workers are. Visibility is poor around large machinery. Many deaths are the result of bystanders being run over or crushed between machines.
• Never trust hydraulic systems when working under a machine. Always use a safety prop if you must work under a header or other heavy machinery.
• Never step over a rotating PTO. A few extra steps to walk around the tractor isn’t worth losing your life over.
• Never stand on grain that is being moved. Every year people “drown” in grain carts and grain bins that are being emptied.
• Keep grain auger grates and shields in place. I needn’t tell about the damage an auger can do to hands and feet.
• If you must move machinery on a roadway after dark, have working headlights and flashing front and rear warning lights.
• Always display the reflective triangular slow-moving-vehicle emblem on all tractors, combines, grain carts, and other farm machinery when driven or pulled on public roadways.
Safety Tips For
Rural Residents
• Remember to be watchful on county roads during harvest. A car going 50 mph coming up behind a farm implement moving at 15 mph closes at a rate of over 50 feet per second.
• Don’t pull out in front of farm vehicles. Heavily loaded trucks and grain trailers can’t stop as quickly as a passenger car.
• Watch out! Trucks and farm equipment may be entering the roadway from field lanes in places where you wouldn’t normally expect them.
• Give ’em room. Eight row headers are nearly 25 feet wide and 12 row headers are nearly 35 feet wide. These take up nearly all of a roadway. When overtaking a combine, give the farmer time to see you and to find a safe place where he/she can pull over and make room for you to pass. Never attempt to pass a wide farm machine until the driver is aware of your presence.
• Never try to pass a combine or other implement on the shoulder of the road, if you hit a washout or a hidden culvert, you could roll the vehicle.
• Harvest activity can disturb deer, causing them to be on the move during times of the day they are usually lying down. Be especially alert for deer during harvest.
Source: Tom Dorn, University of Nebraska Extension Educator in Lancaster County.
For further information on these or other topics contact Darci McGee, UNL Extension Educator for Nuckolls/Thayer counties in Nelson, (402) 225-2381; Hebron, (402) 768-7212 or email to: dmcgee5@unl.edu.

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