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View from the Cab: Safety is key

(CIFN file photo)

With National Farm Safety and Health Week right around the corner and harvest starting throughout the area, this is the perfect time to remind you about farm safety.

The week runs Sept. 16-22 but we need to think safety first on the farm all year round. COUNTRY Financial has released several tips for farmers to remember this fall. First of all, maintain equipment. Most farm accidents and deaths involve older machinery which lack safety features. Also, be alert out on the road. Most accidents occur at dawn or dusk and often occur when a driver attempts to pass a slow-moving vehicle. Drivers may not even realize a farmer is turning into a field or stopping.

Everyone should have a plan for grain bin safety when entry is necessary. Workers should be trained on grain storage hazards and risks. Telling family members and helpers where you will be working and when should be a no-brainer but is something we all forget to do. Always have a cell phone or portable radio on you in case of an emergency. A key safety tip includes getting plenty of rest and taking frequent breaks. Healthy snacks can help with energy levels. Never push yourself past healthy limits.

COUNTRY Financial also suggests familiarizing yourself with how prescriptions and over-the-counter medications impact you. Officials caution that some medications and machinery do not mix. A doctor should be consulted if medications impair a person’s ability to safety operate farm equipment.

The Grain Handling Safety Coalition has developed a list of grain hazards and prevention strategies. The coalition believes identifying and fixing hazards right away is the first step to ensure a safe environment. GHSC urges everyone to follow proper bin entry procedures and to never work on equipment with a live power source. Ladders should be in good shape and good housekeeping procedures must be followed to prevent the accumulation of combustible dust.

GHSC is made up of agencies, individuals and associations with an interest in safe and healthy work environments in grain handling operations. Participants are all volunteers and represent farm groups, state departments, OSHA, rural health care, the commercial grain industry, USDA and others.

Let’s all stay safe out there this fall and happy harvesting!

(The View from the Cab is powered each week by Petersen Motors in Fairbury)

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