Top Ten Farm Safety Tips
April 02, 2021
While working with farm equipment, it can be easy to get caught up in the job at hand. However, ensuring safety for you and others is another critical component for reducing risk on the farm. Utilize the following safety tips in your operation to protect everyone's well-being and to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
1. Revisit Machinery Manuals
Before you head out to the field with your tractors, combines, grain hauling equipment, etc., take some time to re-familiarize yourself with your machinery by opening up the owner's manual. Look over the safety features and suggested procedures to become better prepared to handle issues that may pop up while you're planting or harvesting.
2. Check Equipment and Lighting
Do an overall equipment inspection to make sure all major parts are functioning. Test out your lighting systems, so you know that they are in good working order. Read up on your state's or local government's ag transportation laws so that compliance is up to date.
3. Form An Emergency Plan
Put together an emergency plan and communicate that plan with co-workers, family, friends, or neighbors. That way, everyone who may be concerned for your safety knows what to do if an emergency were to occur. Let others know about what roads you will be traveling on and estimated times of departure and arrivalâ€“to and from the field.
4. Train Equipment Users
If you are working with others in the field, ensure that they know how to operate the equipment. Having everyone on the same page about the dangers of the equipment they're using will help prevent costly miss-steps and injuries.
5. Use Personal Protective Equipment
Have personal protective equipment available while out on the field, such as earplugs, gloves, and protective glasses with you, so those options are available to you when necessary
6. Turn Off Machinery
Some situations require getting into the machinery to fix the problems from minor equipment failures to planters and harvesters getting clogged with debris. Be sure to turn off any machinery before working on it.
7. Be Conscious of Machinery Entanglement
Some machinery also poses the threat of entanglement, one of the leading causes of injury and death on the farm. Be as alert as possible when around moving machinery such as PTOs. Reduce the risk of entanglement by installing guards or shields on all moving parts, and keep bystanders and children back at a distance.
8. Take A Break If Fatigued
The need to get jobs completed on the farm can lead to long days and nights, but be aware of how much rest and nutrition you are getting. Being fatigued due to lack of sleep, food, or water can create unsafe situations in the field and on the road for you, your co-workers, and others. Take short breaks when time allows. Get out of the tractor and stretch. Pack food and water to keep your energy up and stay alert, or coordinate with someone to drop off food for you.
9. Practice Roadway Safety
Before transporting machinery, check to see that the lighting (turn signals, hazard signals, etc.) on your equipment and implements are functioning correctly. Know your routes and make attempts to avoid traveling during times when traffic is heavier (generally morning and evening commute). When needed, have an escort vehicle follow for an added cautionary buffer for traffic.
10. Practice Grain Bin Safety
When working around grain bins, having the right safeguards and precautions can mean the difference between life and death. While entering a bin, lockout the control circuit, use a rope and safety harness, and have a group of people on-site monitoring you to help if a situation occurs. Be at the ready to call 911 if a trapping occurs-emergency teams are trained and equipped to attempt rescues safely.
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