Now Would Be a Great Time to Get Serious About Safety

Prairie Gleanings

Some people don't get close calls to change their thinking about farm safety.

Published on: September 20, 2010
Today marks the beginning of Farm Safety Week. Folks love to recite statistics when it comes to safety.

Seems to me there’s only one real statistic you need to worry about. Will you get a close call to wake you up, or will it be too late?

My dad’s has always been a safe person in his work. Still, I remember an incident that ratcheted up his safety thinking. Up till then, he'd taken a "common sense" approach to safety.
 
One weekend about ten years ago, he was cutting back tree branches that were getting too close to the house. One branch fell just right and knocked the ladder out from under him (apparently this is fairly common). He hit the ground hard and had to crawl to the front door to call for help.

After several weeks of recovery, I had to help him fix forklifts for a bit while he got back on his feet. Like you, he couldn’t just call it in. He had customers to keep. Since the accident, he learned the proper way to cut tree limbs is to actually climb the tree with a harness.

Though he still has back pain from time to time, he’s fully recovered from the accident. From that day forward, he’s been a lot more safety conscious. In helping him with projects, I’ve seen him stop and consider safety implications several times. Dust masks and eye protection are must-haves in the toolbox.

The fall was a precarious time, but the recovery and change in attitude did something very important. It got the next generation (me) to get serious about safety before I had my own close call.

My point is, get serious now. Don’t wait until you get older. Be sure to take time for teaching moments during harvest. We’ve got to be sure the younger generation gets the point.

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