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View from the Cab: Practicing safety

(CIFN file photo)

Harvest is off to a slower start than usual, but we should always think safety first on the farm.

This is National Farm Safety and Health Week with the theme of “Putting Farm Safety Into Practice.” It is the perfect time to remind farmers of the dangers associated with the industry and ways to prevent accidents as we gear up for the busy harvest season which will start any day now.

The folks at Country Financial issued a press release last week stating that flowing grain moves like quicksand and is extremely dangerous. Country has partnered with the Grain Handling Safety Coalition to raise awareness of the safety risks America’s ag workers face every day. Farm workers of all levels keep underestimating the deadly risks associated with the speed and force of flowing or shifting grain.

“Anyone who enters a storage structure containing grain or who climbs onto an outdoor grain storage pile is at risk of being entrapped or engulfed,” states Eric Vanasdale, senior loss control representative for Country.

Here are some facts worth considering this week:

-It only takes four seconds for an adult to sink knee deep in flowing grain.

-An adult can be completely buried in less than 20 seconds.

-Most engulfed victims do not survive.

Also during the upcoming harvest, motorists should share the road safely with farm equipment by reducing speed and slowing down when the Slow Moving Vehicle emblem is visible. Only pass large equipment if you know conditions are safe to do so and remember it is illegal to pass in a no passing lane or within 100 feet of an intersection, railroad crossing or bridge.

Farmers should plan travel to avoid rush hours and bad weather and be obvious to motorists by using the proper reflective emblems. Turn signals should always be used to indicate plans to turn into fields or driveways and be aware of traffic in all directions.

If we all follow these steps, we should have a safe and successful 2017 harvest season.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered each week by Petersen Chevy-Buick in Fairbury)

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