Farmers, stay safe this spring

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The spring planting season is typically one of the busiest times of the year for farmers, and it is one of the times when most agriculture-related accidents occur.

This is especially true this spring as cold, wet weather continually plagued area farmers struggling to get their corn and soybeans in the ground, replanting flooded acres, and scurrying to complete the bean planting in time.

We urge all area farmers and farm employees to use extreme caution in their haste to salvage their tillable acres.

*Don't overlook inspecting all equipment and facilities for hazards, and then correct them without delay.

*Keep lights and reflectors clean on all equipment. Replace burned out bulbs and lamps promptly.

*Make sure Slow Moving Vehicle emblems are clean, bright and readily visible from the rear. Replace faded emblems.

*Be sure workers and family members are trained for the jobs they do.

*Keep machinery shielded in place. Turn off the power before unclogging or attending to operating problems.

*If your tractor has a Roll-Over Protective Structure, wear your safety belt to stay protected in an overturn. If it doesn't have ROPS, ask your dealer if it can be fitted.

*When applying agricultural chemicals, heed label directions. Wear protective gear. Post signs at treated areas. Safely dispose of empty containers and leftover materials. Store chemicals in original containers in a place protected from children.

*Carry properly charged fire extinguishers on tractors and self-propelled equipment.

*Read and follow directions in operator's manuals and on product labels.

*Take work breaks to fight fatigue and extend your energy.

And please remember, your family and friends need you to stay in good health and employ proper safety measures as you go about feeding our world.