This year we will likely have a late, drawn-out harvest due to the late spring planting. Everyone is anxious to get in the fields because there is a lot of work that needs to get done. The corn crop will carry more moisture than last year which will slow the harvest process down. Long hours are almost unavoidable. Fatigue and stress can reduce reaction time and hinder judgment.
Agriculture is already a dangerous occupation. Plan now to improve your safety this fall. Here are a few ideas to consider.
- Have realistic, daily goals of what you can get done.
- Communicate. Make certain your employees 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 road ways. Use flashing lights and perhaps a trail vehicle.
- Be certain all shields and safety devices are operational.
- When working at night, use well-lighted equipment and 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 harvest time. Your family would rather have a healthy you around for another day than another bushel of grain.