The fall harvest season can be one of the most dangerous times of the year for employees in the agriculture industry; the use of complex machinery in hazardous environments can lead to a number of potential risks.
Additionally, employees can be exposed to various engulfment hazards when crops are stored following a harvest.
In order to have a safe and productive harvest, you should encourage your employees to do the following:
- Read the owner and operator manuals for all equipment before harvesting.
- Check all equipment to ensure that it has been properly maintained and that all guards are in place to protect employees.
- Inspect the fields that will be harvested early and check for hazards such as stumps, rocks, ditches and debris. If any hazards cannot be cleared, ensure that there is adequate signage in place to warn employees of the hazards.
- Never operate machinery while sick or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Maintain extra caution when entering grain storage areas to avoid suffocation and engulfment hazards. This includes checking oxygen levels in the storage space, powering down all moving equipment in the area and never “walking down” a pile of grain.
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