As the pace of harvest season starts to pick up, farmers may start to get in a rush. Whether it is because of rain, limited amount of combines or too many fields ready all at once, harvest is fast pace and long hours. However, rushing through harvest can be dangerous. There are multiple types of hazards that could cause injury including:
- Being entangled in with the leveling or discharge augers.
- Falling from the combine
- Hitting low powerlines, bridges, and other hazards
- Being run over
- Coming into contact with the knife, reel or stripper rotor
- Coming into contact with the straw chopper or spreader
- Being trapped under the header/injured by the header falling from its transport trailer
- Being injured by driving mechanisms
The list goes on and on. With the number of hazards for potential injuries, you still have to get those crops harvested. So here are some of our tips to keep you safe during harvest.
- Set aside time to properly prepare the combine for harvest. – Checking your combine before harvest can save you time and money. Check and repair anything that could be a hazard to you and others, including loose latter platforms, handrails, steps, missing safety covers and access panels. Don’t have time or the proper equipment to check your combine? Have Shoppa’s service do it for you!
- Always clean and do a safety check of the combine before using. – Check and see if tires need air, handrails and steps are secured properly and that safety covers are on.
- Use hand signals when communicating to the driver of the combine. – Using hand signals can let the driver of the combine know what is happening on the ground. If you are on the ground, keep your distance from combine when moving because the driver may not see you.
- Wear clothes that fits snugly – Wearing fitted clothing can reduce the risk of your clothes catching in moving parts.
- Try not to move your combines at night from field to field. – Though there may be less traffic, it may cause potential hazards. If you have to move your combine at night, make sure that all your lights, flashers, and rotary beacon is on and working properly. That way other vehicle can see you and drive carefully near you.
- Be careful when applying brakes – A combine may tip forward due to the header’s weight if the brakes are applied to quickly.
- Watch for low objects – low power lines, bridges, buildings and any other obstacles can run the risk of the combine hitting them. Also, examine the field for hazards such as washouts and other potential surprises.
Though accidents happen, we want to make sure that you, your family and your employees are safety this harvest season. That is why we highly suggest proper instruction on safety for individuals who will be around during harvest. Not only having your employees, but your family being safe during harvest could prevent future injuries. Though these are just a few tips, we highly suggest checking out these resources for more safety tips.
- National Ag Safety Database
- Agronomic Spotlight
- Corn and Soybean Digest This is an older article, however still has a lot of good information.
Have a happy and safe harvest season!