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
• 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.