Farmers, have a safe harvest season

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good weather and daylight hours always seem to be at a premium when Iowa farmers are trying to harvest a crop in top condition. Planned maintenance and skilled equipment operation can curb downtime and reduce the potential for accidents during harvest.

Preventing accidents is the key to a safe harvest:

*Make sure all guards and shields are in place.

*Instruct all workers in proper technique and safety procedures.

*Stop all moving parts before servicing the machine.

*Keep alert--work safe and smart.

Safe completion of any task depends on knowledge, alertness and hazard awareness. Fatigue, drowsiness and illness can lead to mishap in the field. Recognize when you have had enough, and turn the operation over to someone else.

Adverse weather adds to harvesting pressure. Do not rely on stimulants to keep you going or depressants to calm your nerves. Keen awareness is important to safety; drugs and alcohol work against safety.

Periodic breaks relieve the monotony of machinery operation. If you are going to eat in the field, at least climb down from the machine and relax for 15 to 20 minutes.

Equipment operators should be dressed for comfort and safety. Protective footwear and close-fitting clothes are essential when working in and around machinery. Wear appropriate safety gear if noise, dust or toxic materials pose hazards.

Teach workers proper techniques and safety precautions. Enforce safety rules. Allow only age-appropriate work. Follow the no seat, no rider rule. Do not allow people to board or disembark any moving piece of machinery.

Farmers, please follow these safety tips so you and yours can enjoy the fruits of your harvest to the fullest.