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Safety tie down on pickup truck

Safe loading of pickup trucks

Make sure you have the right equipment

Most pickup trucks will have tie down points already installed. For more added security, it is often a good idea to purchase some additional equipment. For loose items, you may want to add a toolbox or Tonneau cover

You will also want to make sure that you have some good quality ratchet straps, bungee cords or tarps depending on what you are carrying.

Know how much load your truck can carry

Especially if you are transporting heavy items, you need to know your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating as well as your load capacity. You should be able to find this information on a label inside your driver’s door or in your owner’s manual. Under no circumstances should you exceed this limit because doing so could damage your vehicle.

Put heavier items toward the front

When loading your pickup truck, always try to put heavier items toward the cab to prevent your vehicle from becoming back-weighted and affecting your power steering. You should also try to distribute the weight fairly evenly from side to side.

Secure items on at least two sides

Once you’ve following all of the tips listed above, it is important that your items are tied down on at least two sides. This will help keep items from moving around and potentially coming loose. Items that bounce around inside your truck can cause damage or become damaged themselves, and if they end up falling out of your truck, they may cause a serious accident.

Flag long loads

If you are transporting longer items that extend beyond the length of your truck bed, you are required by law to attach a red flag or cloth to the end of the load. If you do not have something at home that you can attach to the load, you may purchase a tailgate flag at your local home improvement centre.

When loading loose items such as firewood, scrap metal or any other item into the back of a pickup truck, use caution. Throwing items with great force can cause ricochet (bounce back) that could injury you or damage the vehicle. A Thompson employee suffered a facial laceration from steel that bounced back.

Thanksgiving background photo

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Many people travel by car for Thanksgiving.

Keep in mind the following safety tips over the holiday:

  • Check your emergency kit: Contents should include: battery powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit and flares.
  • Be aware of changes in weather. Remember weather can change dramatically from when you start your trip to when you end.
  • Long weekends have 18 per cent more deadly accidents than non-holiday weekends.
  • Extra police force will be on the roadways this weekend to monitor aggressive, speeding, distracted and impaired drivers.
  • Failing to use your seatbelt may be a bigger cause of fatal accidents during long weekends than either driver intoxication or speeding
  • Children under 12 should always ride in the back seat.

 In addition to road safety, please consider the following:

  • Cooking mishaps account for 30 per cent of residential fires in Canada, according to data from the National Fire Information Database.
  • Don’t leave your stove or oven unattended and make sure you have working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher.
  • If you have a grease fire in one of your pots, turn off the source of the heat and focus on cutting the oxygen supply. You can do so by covering up your pot with a tight-fitting lid, if you have one, or another pot.
  • NEVER use water to try to put it out a grease fire! This can cause the grease to sputter and for the fire to spread. 

Keep safe everyone, and enjoy this celebratory time of year.

If you ate today, thank a farmer.

Oxy-Acetalyne Tanks

Safety: Compressed Gas Cylinder Storage

Compressed gas cylinders pose significant hazards.

 Consider the following safe practices:

  • Store cylinders in a clearly identified, dry, well-ventilated storage area that is not exposed to heat and away from doorways, aisles, stairs, etc.
  • Post “No-Smoking” signs in the storage area
  • Store cylinders, both empty and full, in the upright position. Secure cylinders with a chain or properly rated belt
  • Ensure that the valves are closed tightly with the protective caps in place
  • If storing cylinders outside, place them on a fireproof surface and enclose a tamper-proof secured enclosure
  • Protect cylinders from contact with ice, snow, water, salt, corrosion, and high temperatures
  • Use a chain or adequate support system to protect cylinders from falling. Consider securing each cylinder separately to prevent other cylinders from falling when items are removed from storage.
  • Separate oxygen cylinders from fuel gas cylinders or combustible materials.

In addition, always avoid the following activities:

  • Avoid fastening cylinders to a work table or to structures where they could become part of an electrical circuit
  • Do not store cylinders in enclosures such as lockers or cabinets
  • Do not tamper or alter safety devices
  • Avoid placing cylinders in a horizontal position
  • Do not accept compressed gas cylinders from the supplier unless they are properly labeled and contain protective valve caps
  • Avoid dragging, sliding, or dropping cylinders. They can be rolled for short distances on their base. Use of cylinder trolley or cart is preferred. Always secure the cylinder to the cart or trolley.
following farm equipment photo

Sharing the road – farmers and motorists

Now is the time for field crop harvest, and more motorists will be encountering farm equipment on rural roads, increasing the potential for accidents.

Harvest season generally brings a time when there is an increase in collisions between farm equipment and other vehicles.

Keep in mind the following safety tips for motorists as you share the road with farm equipment:

  • Farm machinery has a legal right to use public roads just as other motor vehicles.
  • Farm machinery can unexpectedly turn onto a public road from a field or driveway.
  • Farm machinery operators may not be able to see you because the large equipment or a load can block part of their rear view.
  • Slow-moving farm machinery traveling less than 25 miles per hour should display a slow moving vehicle emblem on the back of the equipment.
  • Extra-wide farm machinery may take up more than one lane to avoid hitting obstacles such as mailboxes and road signs.

Before passing farm machinery:

  • Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator is likely preparing to make a wide left turn.
  • Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass.

Rural road rage can be negated if everyone takes the responsibility to have extra patience, careful driving habits, and use high-visibility markings and lighting.

Safety PPE gear

Eye injury and prevention

Our eyes are one of our greatest assets. If we don’t protect our eyes from eye injury, we could quickly and easily lose our vision. It’s important to eliminate or engineer out the hazards that could pose hazards to our eyes. Farming can be a very dangerous occupation, so always keep safety in mind.

Most of the hazards to our eyes while working cannot be fully eliminated so proper eye protection is critical. Read more

Grain storage bins

Preparing silos and bins for harvest

Be safe while preparing silos and bins for harvest

We all know that farming is potentially a very dangerous occupation if precautions and safety are not top-of-mind in everything we do. We may, or can easily take for granted every action we perform every day, working at the things we love. Harvest is an exciting time for everyone, but please, take the time to plan every step of the way and come home safe to your loved ones. Read more

forklift safety

Lifting and rigging safety

Lifting and rigging work is considered a high hazard task.

Protect yourself, your coworkers and the people around you while performing any hazardous type of work–on the job or at home.

There are a lot of associated hazards that accompany lifting any loads with cranes or equipment. It is important to not only understand proper rigging techniques, but also the other hazards that accompany this type of work task.

Lifting and rigging incidents

The first type of incident regarding lifting and rigging is some type of breakage of a sling, wire rope, or chain resulting in a dropped load. While these type of incidents usually have the most severe consequences, there are often many other types of less severe incidents that cause the majority of injuries or property damage.

Some of the other injuries and incidents that occur are sprains, falls, crush injuries, electrocutions, and struck-by incidents.

Hazards such as swinging loads, manual handling of heavy rigging, holding on to tag lines, moving equipment, pinch points, working on elevated surfaces, trip hazards, slippery surfaces, etc. can all be present during lifting operations.

Safe work practices

  • Anyone in a work area where a lift is being performed should be properly trained on the work scope, hazards, and mitigations of the task.
  • Inspect all rigging prior to using it for a lift.
  • All rigging should be properly stored after lifting operations are complete. Proper storage helps prevent the rigging from being damaged.

Summary

Proper planning and forethought is important to eliminate hazards and avoid incidents.

Be aware of the hazards that affect you and your coworkers on each unique lift that is completed.


The safety of our employees, customers, contractors, suppliers, visitors and the community is of the utmost importance to us.

Work safe. Farm safe. Home safe.™

 


Prevent farm fires

Did you know?

Faulty electrical systems cause approximately 40 per cent of farm building fires with a determined cause, making it one of the leading known causes of farm fires.

What can you do?

Regular inspections and maintenance are key to reducing the risk of a fire. We recommend that you work with a professional to inspect and monitor your farm buildings. Read more

back pain photo

Day-to-day work around the farm doesn’t have to be painful

Here are some tips to avoid injury by evaluating activities and preparing for them

Farmers take their aches and pains as part of their work, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Understanding factors that contribute to on-farm injury can be a start to reducing risk of getting hurt.

Why it matters: Farmers are busy, especially in certain seasons of the year, so reducing risk of injury when they need to be at their physical best can have important farm business implications.

Julie Anceriz, Syngenta Canada’s territory health and safety manager, told a recent Whole Farm Health seminar put on by the Ag Women’s Network, that there are ergonomic factors that affect risk of injury no matter what type of work one does, whether sedentary at an office chair or in a combine or tractor, or active, lifting and doing heavy work. Read more

tractor safety

Back to safety basics – operating a tractor

Safe operation of the most used equipment on the farm – the tractor

With a new year comes resolutions. This year, instead of making a resolution to do something you’ve never done before, what if you made a resolution to perform daily tasks properly and safely? Something like operating a tractor?

Tractors are essential to farm operations. From field work to feeding the livestock to cleaning snow, tractors are the most used machine on the farm. Firing up the tractor is pretty routine on the farm and operation seems pretty straightforward. As simple and as commonplace as using these machines are, the fact remains that the majority of agriculture machinery-related fatalities involve tractors. Reminders on basic safety while operating tractors can help everyone stay safe.

Did you know that the majority of deaths on Canadian farms involve a tractor? Runovers and rollovers are the top two ways people are killed on the farm. Unmanned machine runovers account for approximately half of all runover fatalities. This means that half of all runover deaths happen when no one is even driving the machine! Passengers and operators who fall from the machine are also killed in runovers all too frequently.

Bystanders are also in danger of being runover, unfortunately, most killed in bystander runovers are children under the age of nine. Runovers are easy to prevent if basic tractor operating procedures are followed. Before mounting the tractor, walk around the machine to check for obstructions, bystanders and to check the general condition of the tractor. If any systems are faulty, do not use the tractor.

Before starting the tractor, make sure that all controls are in their neutral positions, the parking brake is applied and the clutch and PTO are disengaged. Do not start or operate any of the controls from anywhere other than the seat. Be sure to drive at a speed slow enough to keep control of the tractor, especially over expected hazards like railroad crossings. Do not drive the tractor on ground that may collapse, like near ditches or embankments.

When coming to a stop, make sure you are parked on even ground, disengage the PTO (if connected), and lower any implements that are attached. Be sure to place all controls in the neutral position, apply the parking brake and turn off the engine. Remove the key. Never dismount if the tractor is still moving.

It cannot be stressed enough that tractors are not passenger vehicles. Except for those built with instructional seats, they are built for one person. There are far too many stories of extra riders being killed or injured. Keeping extra riders off the tractor is an easy way to prevent tragedy.

To sum up, watch for bystanders (keep kids in supervised, safe play areas), do not try to start the tractor from anywhere but the operator’s seat, drive cautiously and never, ever allow extra riders. Operating a tractor safely is one New Year’s resolution that will pay off in reduced injuries and fatalities.


Source: Grain News and The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association