10 Tips For A Safer Fall Harvest

Fall can be a busy and frantic time of year. With so much going on it is extra important to think about safety and make a conscious effort to avoid mistakes and accidents. Here are 10 tips to help ensure a safe fall harvest:
 
  • Maintaining equipment: Fall can be hard on equipment so it is important that before harvest starts everything is in correct working order. It is equally as important to fix things as soon as they break. A few important aspects to look at are lights, safety guards and covers and making sure to use tractors with a rollover protective structure whenever possible.

 

  • Rest and breaks: With so much to do sometimes rest is at the bottom of the list, but it is important to take breaks and get adequate rest to avoid accidents and mistakes. It is also helpful to eat nutritious meals and snacks as well as stay hydrated so you have enough energy to complete the long list of tasks each day.

 

  • Turn off machines: Often times during harvest it is easy to get in a rush, especially when a combine gets plugged. Always remember to turn off machines before you get off of them to check or unclog anything.

 

  • Extra workers: When it is crunch time, neighbors, family and friends often offer to help. It is important to provide whoever is helping with safety training related to the task they are helping with.

 

  • Body Mechanics: While most harvesting is done with machinery there are still times heavy objects need to be moved or carried. To avoid an injury, remember to make multiple trips with lighter loads. It is also important to hold objects close to your body and lift with your knees rather then your back.

 

  • Youth Safety: If you have young helpers make sure to evaluate the jobs they are doing to ensure they have the knowledge and physical ability to do the job properly. Also make sure they are taking all of the possible safety precautions. In addition to providing safety training make sure you check up on them.

 

  • Sleep: Do not ignore your health and what your body is telling you during harvest. As hard as it may be, make sure you are getting adequate sleep to recharge your body and prepare for the next day.

 

  • Ascending and descending equipment: During some activities like chopping a person may have to get on and off of equipment repeatedly. Consider using a hitching system to reduce the number of times you get on and off of equipment if possible. Also, always remember to maintain 3 points of contact and avoid jumping off of equipment or steps to avoid injury.

 

  • Personal protective equipment: Make sure to use protective equipment such as gloves, ear plugs and safety glasses when appropriate.

 

  • Transport and traveling on roadways: Make sure all lights and slow-moving vehicle signs are working and visible, especially during early morning and evenings. Make sure arms, augers and anything that moves is tied down or locked in place before traveling.

 
From everyone at Centra Sota, we hope you have a safe and successful harvest!
 
 

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