Farm safety is a priority
October 27, 2022
“Farming in this community might seem like second nature to most,” said Angela Sucha, PA-C of Antelope Memorial Hospital. “Being a farm-raised individual myself, it can be easy to forget how dangerous farming really is. Harvest time is upon us and thus time to review some farm safety tips. Each year there are multiple clinic and emergency-room visits at Antelope Memorial Hospital from farm-related injuries.”
First, we can look at getting the equipment to the field, added Sucha.
Ag equipment traveling on the roads should have proper “Slow Moving Vehicle” signs and working hazard-warning lights.
Avoid driving at dusk or in the dark. To those operating the equipment, use caution with overhead powerlines, especially when moving equipment, like portable grain augers, to avoid electrocution. It’s recommended to retrain seasonal employees and to take the time to stop and really look at your surroundings.
As drivers, we need to slow down and keep our eyes on the road. Allow plenty of space between your vehicle and the equipment, and pass with caution.
Once the equipment makes it to the field, it, unfortunately, is not always smooth sailing.
Having a plan for equipment breakdown can also ensure safety. If working alone, be sure someone knows where you are working during the day and have access to call for help if injured. Never overlook safety labels, which may have some dust covering them at this point in the season.
Understanding the equipment that one is working with is also key. For example, it’s important to know possible pinch points and areas with moving parts.
Wearing personal protective equipment, such as NIOSH N95 respirators, helps prevent inhalation of grain dust and complications of chronic lung disease in the future.
“Lastly, the grain usually needs to be stored,” said Sucha.
Grain bin tasks can quickly place individuals in life-threatening situations such as suffocation, falls or explosions. Don’t work alone if you must enter one.
Also, power takeoff injuries are very common farm injuries that are usually due to improper shield placement. Farmers are also encouraged to wear well-fitting clothing to avoid entanglement.
“We live in a great farming community,” added Sucha. “Let’s help keep our neighbors and ourselves safe by acknowledging these farm safety tips. Thank you to our farmers for their dedication to provide our needed essentials and wishing everyone a happy and safe harvest season.”