Farm Bureau Safety Program - Harvest Safety

  • Wynn, Lauren

The harvest season is a busy time of year for farmers and with a tight deadline, it can be tempting to bypass some basic safety procedures. However, taking that extra step can be a real lifesaver. Due to the stress and fatigue involved with harvesting crops, the season is a peak time for agricultural-related injuries and death.

In order to help prevent this type of tragedy, safety should be a top priority for everyone on the farm. One of the first and most important steps is preparation. You should make sure that your machinery is in good working condition, which includes checking the lights, tires, brakes, etc. You should also be in good physical condition, which includes getting enough sleep and taking breaks during the day.

To help prevent injuries, keep these recommended safe work practices in mind as you head out to the field:

  • Tractors are equipped with a rollover protective structure (ROPS) and a seat belt. Always wear the seat belt with a ROPS.
  • The "No seat, no rider" rule is always in effect.
  • A clean and reflective slow moving vehicle (SMV) sign is located on the rear of any tractor and piece of towed equipment that is used for roadway travel.
  • An ABC fire extinguisher (minimum 5 pounds) is on the tractor.
  • A fully stocked first aid kit is accessible.
  • Everyone who operates the equipment has received training.
  • Never bypass start a tractor. Always follow the correct starting procedure.
  • All protective guards and shields are in place.
  • Check for clearance from overhead power lines when moving tall equipment.
  • Lock brake pedals together before traveling on the road.
  • Never lean or step over a power takeoff (PTO) while it is operating.

Practicing safety can produce a healthy harvest throughout the year.

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. More