Think safety first when planting this spring
Although we have an early spring, farmers are tempted to work long hours to get crops planted in a timely fashion. Fatigue and stress can lead to dangerous situations. Plan now to put safety first.
This year we are getting an early start on planting. Everyone is anxious to get in the fields because there is a lot of work that needs to get done. Timely planting can result in top yields. If the weather turns against us, delayed planting will reduce yield potential and ultimately net profits. Long work hours can lead to fatigue and stress, which can reduce reaction time and hinder judgment. Agriculture is already one of the most dangerous occupations. Plan now to improve your safety this spring. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Have realistic daily goals for what you can get done.
- Communicate. Make certain your employees know that safety is a priority and that they fully understand your plans and daily strategies.
- Take breaks. Get out of the cab and walk around.
- Eat. Don’t skip meals. Drink plenty of water.
- Take additional care while moving equipment on public road ways.
- Use amber flashing lights and perhaps a trail vehicle following within 50 feet of the tractor.
- Always mount clean and highly reflective Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblems on all tractors and implements transported on public roads.
- Check to see if traffic is backing up behind you and pull over periodically when it is safe for cars to pass.
- Never travel left of the center of the road after dark, when visibility is poor or when approaching the top of a hill or a curve.
- Be certain all guards and shields are in place and safety devices are operational.
- Work at night with well-lighted equipment and use well rested operators.
- Add more help. Have two shifts if necessary. Have part time people available and trained.
- Enjoy and appreciate your employees and the opportunity to farm each day.
- Remember that neither you nor your employees are superheroes.
Plan now to have a safe planting time. Your family would rather have a healthy you around for another day than another bushel of grain.