For many growers, harvest is in full swing. It’s also a pressure-packed time for growers, and it’s easy to take shortcuts that can be hazardous to the grower and others in their community. As combines are rolling in the fields, it’s important to think about safety. As part of National Farm Safety and Health Week, Dipal Chaudhari, DEKALB, Asgrow and Deltapine Brand Lead for Bayer, reminds growers of a few important safety tips to keep in mind during this hectic season.
“First and foremost, we’re heading into a season where everything just gets busy, right? We’re trying to get the crop out of the field, and we have a limited amount of time and Mother Nature doesn’t always work in our favor. So, as things get busier, let’s remember to slow down. I’m not saying it’s easy to slow down, but let’s remember to take that extra caution. When we’re pulling a piece of equipment out, do a quick walk around. When we’re driving down the road and we see a large piece of equipment going down the road, don’t assume that they see you, give them enough space, slow down. That’s really the biggest premise that hence this solve a lot of the challenges that we face when we get busy is that if you can slow down and take just a little bit extra caution it will potentially save a life.”
He recommends what should be top of mind with growers during harvest.
“When you first jump into a new piece of equipment, just be aware of your surroundings by taking a quick walk around. That’s something that we’ve always recommended and tried to remind folks of. These are big pieces of machinery, and you don’t always see exactly what’s on the other side or what’s right behind you in a blind spot. So, a quick walk around goes a long way. Now, when you’re following behind a large piece of equipment, give them space. Don’t assume that they see you. Use as much caution as you can when you’re around them, and then certainly give them right away. They’ve been working long hours, many times their equipment doesn’t always move as fast as we want to go, so just give them space, and give them the right away.”
Chaudhari says grain bin safety is also extremely important this time of year.
“When it comes to grain bin safety, you know, we’re moving the crop out of the field into the grain bins, there’s a lot of moving pieces. And speaking of moving pieces, an auger is a key portion of getting that crop into the grain bin. Let’s take precaution when we’re around augers just because a little piece of trash or something’s stuck at the bottom, don’t think you can just quickly move in and remove it, take a lot of precaution out there because it takes a split second for that auger to grab a hold of your fingers, your hand and chew it up and chew it up pretty quickly. And then, when you’re up on the grain bins, let’s not take those extra leaps of faith, those extra steps where we think we can just balance it out, let’s take all the precautions we can to make sure that we’re sturdy, that we’re safe. And then, certainly, if you’re on the grain bin and you’re by yourself, make sure someone knows what you’re doing, where you’re working, so that they know to check on you and or help you if something came about.”
He adds it’s a good reminder that that folks know where you are at all times.
“Certainly, when things are busy during harvest season, how do we make sure that we’re focusing on letting folks know where we are at all times? working on a farm is like being part of a big team and you always want to know that you have a little bit of a buddy system, right? So, some farm teams are bigger, some are not so much bigger, but letting your team know, letting your buddy know on the team where you’re at, is critical, especially when it comes to for safety reasons.”