The 71st Annual National Farm Safety and Health Week is Sept. 20-26, 2015.
National Farm Safety and Health Week is an annual promotion of the National
Safety Council. Farm Safety Week has been proclaimed by every U.S. President
since Franklin D. Roosevelt started the emphasis in 1944.
Agriculture: It’s Serious and Dangerous Business.
Agriculture has long been considered one of the Nation’s most dangerous
industries. Big machines, used on varied terrain over long hours by tired
operators all contribute to risks. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor
discloses that in 2013 farming accounted for 500 fatalities. This is 23.2
deaths per 100,000 workers.
Tractor turnover accidents are the leading cause of death for farmers and
farm workers. Planning, thinking, and conscious awareness by the operator
are all essential. Knowing the tractor and how it works are vital to safety
for the operator and those around the power unit. A well installed and
maintained rollover protective structure (ROPS) is important for each tractor .
Fatigue is a major cause of farm accidents. Producers rush to get the crop
out and the autumn farming done before winter. This can be challenging
every year, and especially if the harvest season is late. There is no
substitute for adequate sleep and a sufficient number of breaks during
the harvest season. No time is saved by finishing one day faster, but
losing a life, or limb.
Another danger is moving equipment or grain on public roads and highways.
The sun position in the Fall can contribute to vehicular collisions in
the Spring and Fall. So, Farmers and Drivers: slow down, pay attention,
and stay off the cell phones while driving.
Here are other steps to be taken
Basic safety walkthrough & personnel instruction
- Nothing prevents harm like teaching safety! Go over safety procedures with personnel
- Check and repair slip, trip and fall hazards, like ladders, platforms,
handrails & steps
- Get rid of protruding objects
- Clean up debris, weeds or other obstructions or catch points
- Tighten and install safety covers and access panels on everything
- Install & refresh warning signs and safety locks
- Have written safety procedures for appropriate hazards
- Have first aid kits and fire extinguishers in place & refreshed
Farm vehicle safety
Harvest season means more farm vehicles on roadways.To help ensure your safety:
Display Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblems on all off-road vehicles
- Use flashers. The Am Soc of Ag Engineers (ASAE) recommends two flashing
amber lights, at least 42 inches high, in the front and rear.
- Inspect hitches to verify they are sturdy and properly mounted before towing
equipment or using wagons. Always use safety chains, if equipped.
- Keep all shields and warning decals in place and in good condition
- Check fields for areas of possible erosion or washouts. Alert operators
- Refuel only cooled equipment. Refueling accidents are a major cause of
- Maintain a suitable fire extinguisher on combines & other locations
- Grease and complete routine maintenance in the morning when fully focused
- Drive the combine only when fully alert. Schedule breaks
- Move from field to field during daylight
- Keep your distance from other vehicles and machines
- Stay away from moving parts
- Clean debris from the machine as often as possible and only when it is OFF.
- Evaluate field loss frequently. Keep corn kernel loss to 1% or less
- Drive at an efficient, reasonable speed
Facilities electrical check
- Electrical boxes & connections must be weatherproof, water-tight &properly grounded
- Repair immediately all open conduit or exposed wiring
- Make sure all panels and switches are operational
- Inspect overhead wiring & alert personnel to whereabouts
- Do not use any equipment with missing or defective shields or protective parts
- Make sure augers are in good working condition, including auger flighting
- Inspect & replace damages bucket elevator’s cups, & other
- Make sure your bucket elevator is functioning properly and that the belt
runs straight and true within the casing.
Bin unloading and bin aeration floor
STAY OUT Of Bins Containing Grain
- Remove dust and debris.
- Check your bin roof vents to determine their condition. Rusted or damaged
vents should be replaced and bird nests removed. Also check areas around
the vents for potential places where moisture could enter the bin.
- Make sure floor gates and sumps are clear of any debris, and open easily.
- Limit Noise Exposure by Noise Levels & Time of Exposure
- Both volume, and volume over time, cause injuries
- Avoid Risks When Working Around Grain Handling and Processing Equipment
- Farm safety concerns during corn, soybean harvest
Stay Safe During Harvest with These Harvest Safety Tips