Safety Above All Else

Farmer Iron

Harvest is a hot time when you're working on making that annual paycheck, don't make the cost too dear.

Published on: October 15, 2013

Hard to write about farm safety without getting preachy, but a little "be careful out there" may not be enough every year. Our editors at Farm Progress know this and post items online to keep you thinking about safety.

Over at Prairie Farmer, they posted a reminder that you shouldn't overlook grain storage safety. With wet grain coming in you often get more problems with entrapment. It's a challenge because you go into a bin to bust a crust and you end up getting pulled into the stream of grain like quicksand. The Prairie Farmer story notes there's a direct correlation between out-of-condition grain and entrapment issues. Interesting.

SIGNS HELP: Being alert during harvest really can save lives.
SIGNS HELP: Being alert during harvest really can save lives.

Over in Nebraska, experts note that grain production and handling remain one of the most dangerous aspects of crop production. With the rising investment in on-farm storage, it's a good idea to make yourself aware of the risks. From entrapment to auger injuries, getting grain from field to bin is risky business.

And things can creep up on you. There's a demo run by safety experts at the Farm Progress Show that challenges you to pull a 250-pound man out of a grain bin manually. The demo shows that it is impossible to simply lift that person out. There is a proper technique to saving someone entrapped and it takes patience and lift power. Better to avoid the problem in the first place.

Safety experts don't farm, I understand that, but they can offer insight to avoid trouble. Rest is important, fatigue creates mistakes and in your line of work mistakes can be lethal. Try to stay focused, a combine cab full of monitors is no easy place to practice your focus techniques, but it could save you.

And brief employees on safety practices.

Finally, and there's little you can do about this but have that slow-moving vehicle sign working prominently displayed for drivers that approach from the rear. They don't like getting behind you - even in small towns I hear complaints about "all that farm equipment on the road." Do what you can to make sure your equipment is well lit and you're defining the full width of the gear you're driving/pulling.

And of course be careful out there.