Harvest season safety tips to stay safe

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 12:19 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - As harvest season gets underway here in Nebraska, the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association has released tips for farmers and drivers to stay safe on the roads.

For farmers, there’s several tips on how to be safe when dealing with their farming equipment.

Equipment Safety:

· Be careful when approaching harvest equipment. Approach from the front and gain eye contact with the operator before approaching.

· Ensure the harvesting equipment is fully stopped and disengaged before climbing onto a vehicle.

· Do not place yourself near any unguarded or otherwise running machinery.

· Avoid pinch points between equipment - such as tractors with grain wagons. Visibility can be limited and serious injury can occur.

Entanglement Hazard:

· Entanglement hazards can happen very quickly.

· Do not ever try to unplug any equipment without disengaging power and removing energy from the equipment.

· Never pull or try to remove plugged plants from an operating machine.

· Always keep shields in place to avoid snags and entanglement when working around equipment.

Fall Hazard:

· Be careful climbing on and off equipment.

· Be alert and extremely careful when working in wet or slippery conditions.

· Keep all walkways and platforms open and free of tools, dust, debris or other obstacles. Clean all walkways and platforms before use.

· Wear clothing that is well fitting and not baggy or loose. Also wear proper non-slip, closed toe shoes.

· Use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery. Face machinery when dismounting and never jump from equipment.

· Never dismount from a moving vehicle.

Fire Prevention:

· Carry a fire extinguisher with you in your vehicle (A-B-C, 5 or 10 pound).

· Remove dust and buildup from equipment. Check bearings regularly to prevent overheating and chance of fire.

Grain Wagon Safety:

· Be careful to monitor grain wagon weight to never exceed maximum weight limits. As weight increases, grain wagons can be more difficult to control.

· Load grain wagons evenly to distribute weight to prevent weaving or instability across the grain wagon.

· Inspect grain wagon tires and replace any worn or cracked tires.

Grain Bin Safety:

· If entering a bin, wear a harness attached to a secure rope.

· Never work alone.

· Never allow children to get too close or inside the bin.

· Wear a dust filter or respirator when working in bins.

· Stay out of bins when equipment is running.

“The fruit of all the labor that has gone in through the whole season,” explained Ron Seymour, who works with the UNL-Adams County extension office. “We started planting in April and here the crop is out there drying down, but we need to get it in the bins so it’s safe or off to the elevator. That’s the paycheck. That’s where farmers get the reward of all the work that they’ve been doing all year.”

Seymour also warned drivers to be careful on the roads when driving around these large farming vehicles.