Updated September 3, 2020 . AmFam Team
For many, the farm is a way of life, handed down through generations. Part of having a successful farm is putting safety at the top of the priority list, and harvesting is no time to let your guard down. Because it’s such a busy time on the farm — with extra staff on hand and rarely-used equipment in use — exercising a little extra caution can go a long way to preventing accidents.
Your farm means the world to you, and while bottom line is important, it’s about more than that. Managing your risks and reducing losses can have a positive impact on everything you do. So, this year, before harvesting, be sure to review your farm safety protocols to make sure you’re doing what you can to keep yourself and your workers safe. Our farm harvesting safety tips below give you a great starting point for bringing in your crops by minimizing injuries. Working smarter, not harder, is the real way to reap lasting rewards!
Few places on today’s modern farm are more dangerous than grain storage systems. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) grain handling safety website (Opens in a new tab) is a great place to familiarize yourself with the latest grain handling safety protocols before the harvest begins. The following tips can help you work more safely in silos and grain elevators.
At a minimum, before entering a grain bin, have workers follow a mandatory checklist like the one below:
Attending to the safety of children on the farm should be a top priority. Whether they’re workers or visitors, youngsters should always be supervised. Part of the fun for visiting children is helping with chores and interacting with animals in the fall. Cultivatesafety.org has put together a dynamic safety checklist (Opens in a new tab)you can use to craft a safety plan, training ideas and activities for kids of any age.
Look at these important farm child safety tips:
No matter what you and your crew are doing, make sure all are wearing the appropriate safety gear. OSHA states that many farm and ranch injuries can be prevented or lessened if the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is used.
While having the right safety equipment on hand is the first step, using it properly is the key during harvest time. Identify hazards on your farm or ranch and then determine if you need PPEs from the following categories. Here’s a quick list of some PPE workers will likely need on the farm:
Whether they’re harvest volunteers or full-time employees, all drivers should be familiar with the equipment they’re operating. A tractor safety refresher may be necessary, especially if there’s new equipment on the farm. Here are some basic tractor and implement safety tips for everyone on the farm:
If tractors and other equipment will be on roadways, then adhering to these farm equipment road safety tips is best protocol for everyone involved. This harvest, keep these operator safety tips in mind:
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be very useful on farms and ranches when it’s time to bring in the crops — but they also pose some serious safety risks. Check out the OSHA ATV safety publication (Opens in a new tab) if you’d like training on how to safely use ATVs. The following tips provide a great starting place for practicing ATV safety:
As the crops come in, there are a lot of moving parts in use and loose clothing can easily get snagged and caught. Don’t forget to consider the task at hand - since you may need additional PPE to be most productive and safe. Consider these tips when dressing for work on the farm:
Safety matters to you and everyone who plays a role in the success of your farm or ranch. By taking all the steps you can to help to ensure you have a safer farming environment, you’re doing what you can to blanket your operation in protection.
Want to be even more proactive? Connect with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to learn more about farm and ranch insurance and get a custom-crafted policy that protects everything you’ve worked so hard for.