The Illinois Corn Growers Association reminds farmers of the importance of proper safety procedures this harvest. A quick windshield survey shows that harvest is kicking up more broadly across the state, and this week’s warm temperatures, wind, and dry weather will hasten the pace of harvest.
1. Road Safety
Reduce vehicle width as much as possible and ensure adequate warning lighting.
Use “Slow Moving Vehicle” signs on all slow moving equipment.
2. Equipment Safety
Be incredibly careful when approaching harvesting equipment. Approach from the front and gain eye contact with the operator before approaching.
Ensure the harvesting equipment is fully stopped and disengaged before climbing onto a vehicle.
Do not place yourself near any unguarded or otherwise running machinery.
Avoid pinch points between equipment – such as tractors with grain wagons. Visibility can be limited and serious injury can occur.
Watch for trucks backing up or pulling away. Steer clear and maintain eye contact with the driver if you approach a truck or tractor.
3. Entanglement Hazard
Entanglement hazards can happen very quickly.
Do not ever try to unplug any equipment without disengaging power and removing energy from the equipment.
Never pull or try to remove plugged plants from an operating machine.
Always keep shields in place to avoid snags and entanglement when working around equipment.
4. Fall Hazard
Be careful climbing on and off equipment.
Be alert and extremely careful when working in wet or slippery conditions.
Keep all walkways and platforms open and free of tools, dust, debris or other obstacles. Clean all walkways and platforms before use.
Wear clothing that is well fitting and not baggy or loose. Also wear proper non-slip, closed toe shoes.
Use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery. Face machinery when dismounting and never jump from equipment.
Never dismount from a moving vehicle.
5. Fire Prevention
Carry a fire extinguisher with you in your vehicle (A-B-C, 5 or 10 pound).
Remove dust and buildup from equipment. Check bearings regularly to prevent overheating and chance of fire.
6. Grain Wagon Safety
Be careful to monitor grain wagon weight to never exceed maximum weight limits. As weight increases, grain wagons can be more difficult to control.
Load grain wagons evenly to distribute weight to prevent weaving or instability across the grain wagon.
Inspect grain wagon tires and replace any worn or cracked tires.