A few simple precautions and a little bit of common sense can go a long way toward helping prevent farm-related accidents and injuries, especially at harvest time, two Purdue University agricultural educators say.
The biggest lesson to keep in mind is “take your time,” said Bill Field, Purdue Extension safety specialist and professor in the university’s Agriculture Safety and Health program. Field, along with crop storage expert Klein Ileleji, has been monitoring this year’s harvest.
Both analysts say a wet crop and cool weather could lead some farm workers into taking unnecessary risks this year.
“At this time of season, everybody wants to get the crops in before it rains or gets cold,” Field said. “Before you even get started on a job, make sure you have enough time to do it thoroughly and safely, and don’t rush yourself.”
Field said that although the number of overall farm-related fatalities has declined in recent years, the number of entrapments, in which a farm worker falls or climbs into a grain bin or silo and cannot get out, has actually gone up.