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Prioritizing Safety During Nebraska's Harvest Season
Nebraska Ag Connection - 09/14/2023

As harvest time accelerates, Nebraska's prime agricultural groups, the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA), emphasize road safety for everyone. Their message is clear: "No one can replace you."

National Farm and Safety Week from Sept. 17-23 highlights the unpredictable nature and risks in agriculture. The CDC's 2021 data shows transportation-related accidents, including tractor turnovers and road mishaps, are the primary cause of fatalities among farmers and farm workers. Over 11,880 non-fatal agricultural injuries are recorded annually, with many unreported incidents.

John Krohn, representing the Nebraska Corn Board, emphasizes the importance of caution during the harvest season, highlighting the challenges it presents, including unpredictable weather patterns and tight schedules, necessitating both mental and physical Vigilance.

But the emphasis isn't solely on farmers. Travelers in rural areas should be cautious due to farm traffic and heavy equipment presence. Parents should set clear guidelines for children to keep a safe distance from such equipment year-round.

For everyone's safety, here are some compiled safety measures:

Equipment Safety:

• Approach from the front and ensure the operator sees you.

• Ensure machinery is stationary before getting close.

• Stay clear of running or unguarded machinery.

• Watch out for equipment blind spots, especially between tractors and grain wagons.

Entanglement Hazard:

• Before adjusting any equipment, ensure its powered off.

• Avoid trying to clear obstructions from operating machines.

• Always retain machine shields to prevent accidental entanglements.

Fall Hazard:

• Exercise caution when climbing machinery.

• Work cautiously in slippery conditions.

• Maintain clean, obstacle-free walkways.

• Opt for snug-fit clothing and appropriate footwear.

• Use grab bars when moving on/off machinery. Avoid jumping or moving off running equipment.

Fire Prevention:

• Have a fire extinguisher (A-B-C, 5 or 10 pounds) handy in your vehicle.

• Monitor bearings for overheating risks and keep equipment clean.

Grain Cart Safety:

• Don’t surpass grain cart weight limits.

• Ensure even weight distribution in grain bins.

• Regularly inspect grain bin tires.

Grain Bin Safety:

• Always check air quality in enclosed spaces.

• Utilize a harness if going inside a bin.

• Never work solo and restrict children’s proximity to bins.

• Wear necessary protective gear, like dust filters or respirators.

• Avoid bins when machinery operates inside.

By adhering to these safety measures, one can ensure a safer harvest season.

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