Iowa State Professor Offers Farm Safety Tips for Harvest Season

Posted on September 17, 2012

Harvest season has arrived for many farmers across the country, and the dawn of that season can bring a variety of dangers that must be addressed.  In the process of gathering their crop, farmers must also be careful to not put themselves in harm’s way, otherwise they might end up reaping more than they’ve sown.  To combat the risk, an agricultural professor from Iowa State offers a variety of safety tips.

One of the simplest tips, yet perhaps also one of the most difficult to follow, is to remain stress-free throughout the course of the harvest.  Persons in the middle of a harvest are typically going to be pushing themselves to work longer hours so that they can complete the job and ensure they’re going to earn the greatest economic benefit for their work, but this drive could also lead to danger if farmers aren’t careful.  To better ensure that mistakes aren’t going to compromise safety, farmers are advised to create a checklist and never to skip vital safety procedures in order to save time.  Famers should also take a break so that they can stay hydrated and won’t be at risk of pushing themselves too far.

Many farmers opt to do most of the work by themselves, so if an incident occurs, it might be some time before the injury can be reported.  To protect yourself from this danger, always let someone know when you expect to be back.  If you fail to turn up during that time, make sure this person knows how to contact both you and the authorities.

Oftentimes, children will be enlisted to aid in the harvest, but a farmer should understand what each child is capable of.  Furthermore, one should never take a one-size-fits-all approach to chores.  Children of a similar age might not have the same abilities as each other, and a farmer needs to take different skill sets into consideration.  Plus, very young children should not submit to harvest work, and even older children should be supervised at all times.

One danger that many farmers might not think about is the threat posed by taking heavy machinery out onto the road.  Farmers can eliminate part of the danger by obeying the rules of the road, but it’s really up to other drivers not to create unnecessary hazards.  Other drivers should provide heavy machinery ample space, and if a driver does need to pass, he or she should only do so when it’s safe and when the farmer isn’t attempting to turn left.

For more tips, including how to ensure safety during grain loading, click the link above.

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