Staying Safe During Harvest Season
Harvest season is well underway, with many farmers working from sunup to sundown harvesting their crops. The pressure to complete a large amount of work in a short amount of time can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Keep these safety tips in mind during harvest season, and always remember to work safely!
It might seem tempting to delay minor repairs until the off-season, but those small issues can quickly turn into big problems—and help is far away when you’re out in the field. Keep your equipment properly maintained to prevent costly and potentially dangerous breakdowns, and inspect your equipment before heading out to work. These inspections should include checking that all guards and shields are properly installed.
Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the agricultural community is the willingness to pitch in and get the work done. However, it’s important to make sure that anyone using heavy machinery—including trucks, tractors, combines, etc.—is fully trained and familiar with the proper safety precautions. Remember to wear properly-fitting, high-visibility clothing, and never walk over power take-offs (PTOs).
Hopefully, you won’t need it, but if you do—you’ll be glad you have it! Establish an emergency plan, and make sure everyone is aware of the procedures. Always let people know where you’ll be working, so they can find you if they need to. Ensure your first aid kits and fire extinguishers are in working order and are easily accessible. Run through safety drills with your workers so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
We don’t always make the best decisions when we’re exhausted. Take breaks as needed, and don’t be tempted by shortcuts that could increase the risk of injury. Stop working when you feel fatigued—you can go back out in the morning after a full night’s sleep.
This has been a tough year for farmers, and history shows that mental health concerns significantly increase in rural communities during times of hardship. Take steps to manage stress, and encourage your family, friends, and employees to do the same.
At Northeast Nebraska Insurance, we’re here to help support farmers and their families! From hobby farms to commercial agriculture businesses, we provide farm and crop insurance to help protect your livelihood and your peace of mind. Visit our website or call (402) 375-2696 for a complimentary quote today, and stay safe out there.