Keeping everyone safe during harvest season
It’s National Farm Safety and Health Week.
Eric Vanasdale, a Country Insurance Loss Control Supervisor says it’s important for farmers and motorists to be alert as harvest pace picks up and more farm equipment is on the road. “To the people sharing the road with farmers, make sure they slow down as soon as they see a piece of farm equipment,” he says. “Even if they get caught behind a tractor for a few miles it’s going to add thirty seconds to their trip.”
He tells Brownfield it’s also important to have a plan in place for grain bin safety. “The very first thing you should do before you even think about getting into a bin is shut everything off,” he says. “Shut all the augers off, shut anything feeding grain from above off. Lock it out, tag it out if you don’t have locks. The key is to put something on that switch or that breaker so that nobody comes in behind you and turns it on when you’re in the bin.”
Vanasdale says farms should have an emergency action plan, and all on-farm employees should be trained to follow it. “If you go to grainsafety.org you can find a lot of great information,” he says. “But one thing we helped them put together is information on a lifeline. Wear a safety harness or a lifeline before you get in a bin. That way if the grain does collapse around you, that harness and that lifeline helps hold you above the grain and keeps you from getting sucked down into it.”
Other tips for farm safety: maintain farm equipment, understand how to safely hand chemicals, communicate with your family and employees where and when you’re working, get plenty of rest, and know how your medications affect you.
He says prioritizing farm safety protects farmers, employees, and the business.
Country Insurance sells farm insurance in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, and Idaho.
AUDIO: Eric Vanasdale, Country Insurance