Posts

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

Driving become hazardous in winter

Safety Insights – Winter Safety Tips

The winter season brings cold temperatures and often severe weather that create many hazards for individuals working in these conditions. Even if you work indoors, winter weather still poses many dangers for you such as driving into work in lousy weather or walking through an icy parking lot or yard to get to your building. It is essential to recognise and address the hazards winter brings with it.

Winter driving

One of the main issues winter poses in many parts of the country is poor driving conditions. The hazards created by winter weather make it hard for even the most experienced drivers to operate a vehicle safely.

Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. Snow, sleet, and ice significantly increase the chances for slip, trip, and fall incidents to occur.

Winter safety tips when driving

  • Monitor weather for any incoming snow storms or icy conditions and plan your travel around those conditions. Do not put yourself in a situation where you are stuck on a roadside
  • Do not drive in wintery conditions if possible. Eliminating driving eliminates your chances of being in an accident
  • Be a defensive driver. Stay clear of other drivers and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, in case you need to brake or turn to avoid an accident
  • Slow down. Winter weather conditions necessitate having to reduce your speed. Reducing your driving speed will give you more time to react as well as help to avoid losing control of your vehicle

When walking on icy/ snowy surfaces

  • Remove trip hazards before snow or ice conditions are present
  • This eliminates someone tripping over a buried object after the snow or ice hits
  • Shovel and salt parking lots and walkways before work begins in that area
  • Have walkways addressed before workers get on site in the morning
  • Take your time when walking across slippery surfaces
  • Taking smaller steps lessens your chance of losing your balance
  • Wear proper footwear for the weather condition. Wear shoes with solid tread on the soles

Preparing grain bins for harvest

Preparing grain bins for harvest should be done to maintain the quality of grain and to make sure the areas around bins are ready for the busy season ahead. It is also a good time to inspect any mechanical components and clean up around the bin. Simple maintenance and safety rules will make sure we don’t experience any difficulties in the season ahead.

A key reason why people become entrapped in grain is because grain stored in bins is spoiled. Making sure that the bins are ready to be loaded with newly harvested grain reduces the risk of spoilage. If the grain is in good condition, people don’t have to enter the bin, reducing the risk of entrapment. Read more

Heat stress

Heat stress can be a killer on the job site. Outside of the direct consequences such as heat stroke, heat stress can cause incidents due to loss of focus or excessive fatigue on the job.

Heat-related illnesses

Heat cramps

 

Heat cramps are painful, brief muscle cramps. Muscles may spasm or spasm involuntarily. Heat cramps can occur during exercise or work in a hot environment or begin a few hours later.

Heat exhaustion

There are two types of heat exhaustion. Read more

following farm equipment photo

Safely transport oversized loads

With larger farm equipment comes larger transportation challenges. Equipment wider than highway lanes poses a hazard to not only the equipment operator, but also to other motor vehicle operators. Tall equipment can come into contact with low-hanging wires, bridges and other vital pieces of infrastructure.

Collisions with other vehicles is a major concern while transporting all farm equipment on Read more

Grain auger and Bin photo

Maintain augers and create safe work zones to prevent entanglements

An auger in good condition is an essential tool when it comes time to move grain and feed around the farm. Per hour of use augers are one of the most hazardous machines on the farm, especially if they haven’t been properly maintained.

Although Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting statistics have identified runovers as the top cause of agriculture-related fatalities, the number of reported entanglements remain on that list and continue to be an area of concern. Read more

ATV safety

ATVs on the farm

Your family is your pride and joy. Whether you are raising children, watching out for your partner, or checking in on Dad after a long day in the field, you would do anything to keep them safe, while preserving the farm experience for future generations. ATVs on the farm ATVs are used on our farm […]

Soybean Storage and Conditioning


Now that your crops are in the bin, it’s important to learn how to keep them conditioned and stored properly.
Throughout the winter months it’s important to monitor your soybean temperature, and to aerate your bins.
If you haven’t sold any beans then coring out your bin can be an option to remove some fines, and help stir the grain a bit.
It is important to make sure that soybeans are stored at a 14% moisture or lower. Don’t assume that because your beans went into the bin really dry, you don’t have to aerate. Those low moisture beans are still hot and need to have the field heat removed. Read more