Work safely during busy season
While it costs money to sit idle on the farm, lose precious daylight waiting for assistance or take a break from the tractor cab, there is nothing more costly than a life lost to a mistake regarding farm safety.
Most farmers know the rules of turning off engines while checking machine parts or being sure to use a seat belt and keep kids out of grain cart piles. Basic safety rings in every farmer’s head while driving the field rows, but it’s easy to ignore rules and take a shortcut in an attempt to complete a task quickly.
The Kansas Corn Commission applauds the diligent work of farmers and also offers these tips to keep farmers and their family’s safe during the busiest and most stressful season of the year.
With school out for the summer and kids at home, it’s a good idea to give them a refresher course. Don’t let them play on or around grain. Always have a helper nearby when entering grain bins, breeding pens or other high-risk areas.
Practice grain bin safety. The Kansas Corn Commission offers a grain bin safety video free to upon request. Due to an increase in U.S. fatalities and injuries associated with entry into grain bins, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Grain and Feed Foundation also produced a video promoting awareness about grain bin safety on the farm. The video, shot on location in several states, provides a wide range of information from prevention tips and background data on grain bin accidents.
The project also includes interviews with professionals in the fields of grain bin safety research and rescue to provide as much information to viewers as possible. It can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=EaZlS-GZoIA&feature=youtu.be
Other safety tips
No seat, no rider. Don’t ask to ride and don’t encourage others to ride in a cab without the proper seat and a seat belt. Prohibit riders on tractor fenders, hitches, attachments or implements.
Be sure to wear sunscreen and hats. Skin cancer lurks for most farmers who work in direct sun. Wear dust masks when around dust. Don’t wear loose clothing around equipment or work areas.
Walk around moving machine parts and do not remove shields. Wear protective equipment when on recreational vehicles and most importantly, drive them sensibly. Shield all power takeoff equipment drive shafts and keep youth at a distance from them.
Never exit a tractor or truck without placing it in park or engaging the emergency brakes and don’t leave running power equipment unattended. A good rainy day or morning activity is to check and maintain equipment, especially hydraulic hoses and electrical cables showing cracks or other signs of wear.
Outfit tractors and farm trucks with fire extinguishers and first aid kits.
For more information, go to Farm Safety 4 Just Kids at farmsafetyforjustkids.org, a non-profit organization that offers new materials to help parents drive safety messages home to their children. Also check out the National Education Center for Ag Safety, necasag.org, and click on the “safety brochures” tab.