Harvest Safely

Harvest season is here. Farm and ranch families work hard to bring in the crop at the end of the day. There are long hours, juggling many duties at one time, crop markets, livestock markets, equipment breakdowns, weather watching, high costs, plus family activities. Farmers and ranchers are known for their work ethic and dedication.

During harvest season, many hours will be spent in combines, tractors, trucks, and other harvest equipment. Farmers are at very high risk for injuries. These injuries may happen simply by taking shortcuts to complete routine tasks, not getting enough sleep or regular breaks, or slips or falls.

Harvest season comes with many stresses. Take some time to review this safety checklist before you start this harvest season.

  1. Know your machinery and review operator guide(s).
  2. Always turn off the engine before trying to fix a machine.
  3. Always keep protective shields in place.
  4. Wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes with non-slip soles.
  5. Use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery.
  6. Know that tiredness, stress, drugs or alcohol, and age may affect your work.
  7. Clean mud, crop dust, or other debris from steps and other areas.
  8. Wear seat belts.
  9. Double check where your kids are before moving machinery – tell them not to play around the shop, field, or bin sites during harvest.
  10. Be sure that all lights work and use them when driving from field to field on rural roads.
  11. Take your time, shortcuts may lead to accidents.

Four Corners Health Department celebrates our area farmers and ranchers. We wish all farmers a safe harvest season. Please be careful when driving on rural roads. Be patient when following large machinery. Remember that farm machinery travels slower than your vehicle. Take your time and provide room for the farmer on the roadway. For more information, contact Four Corners Health Department at www.fourcorners.ne.gov, 402-362-2621, or toll-free at 877-337-3573.