might not be able to begin harvesting grain, but you can prepare
yourself and others for safety during the busy harvest season.
to the Iowa Department of Public Health, about half of the
500 reported injuries from farm machinery and equipment occur
each year during the months of August, September, October,
and November. Many of the serious injuries occur when farm
workers take shortcuts in performing routine tasks, or stress
and fatigue take their toll.
are ways you can minimize your risks during harvest:
equipment manuals. You may be less familiar with seasonal
equipment used only a few days each year than with equipment
you use daily. The manuals contain important operating instructions
and information about situations that pose possible dangers
fields for weed problems. Late season weeds often lead to
plugging in harvest machines. To avoid delays, or the temptation
to unplug machines while the engine is running, strive for
good control of late season weeds. If that's not possible,
make a mental note of problem areas so that you can plan
crop conditions. Adjust machine settings to current or expected
crop conditions. For example, if ears of corn are small,
stripper bars should be set closer together on the cornhead.
routine maintenance. Check the gathering unit area on combines,
corn pickers, or forage harvesters. Replace loose or worn
belts. Check hydraulic lines and connections, and replace
worn components. Make sure all shields and guards are secure,
as well as grab bars on platforms.
fields for other problems. Mark stumps, large stones, or
other obstacles that might not be visible in the field at
harvest. Shallow ditches or drop-offs that may have been
safe for a tractor or planter may not be safe for a combine.
a professional attitude toward safety. Like work in other
industries, safety adds to the bottom line. Do what you
can to be safe during harvest this year; don't rely on good
news release was distributed by Iowa State University Extension
as part of the Safe Farm program. Safe Farm promotes health
and safety in agriculture. It is funded by the National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health, Iowa State University,
and a network of groups that serve Iowa farm workers and their
families. Distribution date: August 1992.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in
NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in
NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder.