We get it. You've got a huge amount of work to do within a very short window of time. You must get the harvest in - it's your and your family's livelihood. That urgency is likely what causes more accidents and damage during harvest than at any other time during the year. Some of these are devastating and life changing.
We want you to accomplish it all on time, but we want you to do it safely. Take a deep breath and 10 minutes to read this. It's that important.
Step 1: Save time by getting organized
1. The loss of use of harvesting, grain handling or grain drying equipment will cause lengthy delays if they occur at the wrong time. So, before harvest begins:
Collect owners and operators manuals for all your harvesting equipment.
Review the operational information and maintenance schedules to determine if specific calibrations, service or preventative maintenance needs to be completed before harvest begins.
Make sure regularly scheduled equipment maintenance is being completed throughout the harvest season by creating a written maintenance/servicing checklist.
Perform operational checks on fans, augers, conveyors and other mechanical equipment before harvest begins.
Find and organize parts, tools and equipment needed to facilitate immediate servicing, maintenance or repairs to all harvesting or grain handling equipment.
Consider the purchase of spare parts or additional maintenance/servicing tools for critical pieces of equipment.
2. Complete a basic safety walk around of your grain facilities.
Look for slip, trip and fall hazards -- like loose ladders, platforms, handrails and steps. These should be checked and repaired.
Get rid of protruding objects that could cause injury from a trip or fall.
Clean up debris, weeds or other obstructions that can cause potential injury or impede your ability to work without hindrance.
Check for loose or missing safety covers and access panels on your equipment and structures.
Inspect and test LP or natural gas lines, connections or fittings.
•nstall warning signs, safety locks and have a first aid kit at each of your grain sites.
3. Complete a facilities electrical check.
Electrical boxes and connections should be weather and water tight and properly grounded.
Make sure there is no open conduit or exposed wiring.
Panels and switches should be operationally checked and if something is not working perfectly it should be repaired or replaced now rather than during harvest.
What about overhead wiring? Make sure it is addressed as part of any pre harvest electrical inspection and safety program.
4. Take time to educate or train your employees, family members or workers on the safe operation of your harvest vehicles and equipment.
Consider if it may be necessary to train them when to stop doing something and get help to prevent bodily injury or damage to equipment.
If new or substitute equipment has been installed, the best time to refresh everyone's training and understanding is before an incident happens.
We also suggest special attention be given to restricting access to your grain handling and storage location. These structures and the equipment associated with them are a visual attraction, especially to young children.
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