Tip •  2023-10-12

Four harvest safety tips to follow this fall

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Fall harvest means there’s a lot to be done on the farm in a short amount of time. From increased tractor and equipment traveling roadways to shorter days and longer hours, harvest can be a particularly dangerous time. Keep these harvest safety tips in mind to help farm employees, family and yourself safe during the busy fall season.

1. Practice bin safety

Grain bins can pose a number of safety risks, especially during fall harvest.

  • Don't enter a grain bin unless you have a plan. Make sure children know the grain bin is off limits.
  • Use fall protection when climbing grain bin ladders
  • Be mindful around augers when loading bins
  • Have a plan and use caution any time you enter a grain bin (even when it is empty)
  • Use extreme caution if entering a bin with wet, mouldy or spoiled grain in it. Air hazards may include toxic gases, dusts and reduced oxygen content. Turn on the blower and use respiratory protective equipment in such situations.
  • If grain is spoiled or mouldy, wear appropriate respiratory equipment

For more grain bin safety tips, visit the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.

2. Travel roadways with caution

Make roadway travel as safe as possible moving from field to field. Be sure to inspect machinery before hitting the road and ensure that every light is working so that the machinery is visible to other drivers. Check provincial regulations to make sure you’re driving at the appropriate time of day and have the correct signage and lighting to notify other road users of your presence.

3. Prevent entanglements

Additional equipment during harvest can come with extra risks that can increase the chances of entanglement – reduce your risk of entanglement with these reminders.

  • Slow down and be mindful around operating machinery
  • Turn off and allow machinery to completely stop before attending
  • Avoid loose fitting clothing and footwear
  • Tie back long hair
  • Replace damaged or missing Power Take-Off (PTO) shields
  • Never remove or alter safety equipment on machinery

4. Take care of yourself

Long hours combined with the added stress of weather challenges can add up. It’s easy to want to push on, even when you’re tired. But, if you’re fatigued, you’re more likely to take shortcuts and risk an accident or injury.

Phone a friend or neighbour if you need to talk through a problem or to share a frustration. Above all, take care of yourself and make the time to rest when your body needs it. Mental health shouldn’t take a back seat to fall harvest either, here’s a short article with tips for taking care of your mental health on the farm.

Here’s to a safe and success fall harvest!