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Mowing and Foraging Safely: farmer riding tractor in field

Critical Safety Steps to Any Mowing and Foraging Operation

June 22, 2022


Mowing and foraging operations are crucial links in the agriculture production industry. Harvesting equipment accomplishes a lot of work and limits human contact with crops, resulting in a more consistent product that can be stored and even brought to market with minimal handling, cross-contamination, or risk of loss due to inefficient grain handling. 

Mowers, swathers, combines, balers, and other harvesting equipment require maintenance, specialized training, and other precautions to ensure harvest safety. Every year, people are injured on the farm. Here are some ways to help prevent that.

Harvest Safety Tips

At harvest time, farm safety is of the utmost importance. Any insurance agent can tell you that the hazards of the field, moving parts on machinery, and proper equipment upgrades are crucial to safety and health during harvest season. Look at these ways to stay safe during harvest to protect your employees, family members, and others from field to grain bin.

Personal safety

Protecting human life at harvest time is essential to ensure the safety and health of the field workers. Farm safety relies on personal protective equipment and clothing. You can stay safe by wearing these items when it comes to biting insects, dust and flying debris, sunlight, and other hazards.

  • Eye protection
  • Hats
  • Dust mask
  • Protective clothing
    • Jeans or long pants
    • Coveralls or overalls 
    • Gloves
    • Work boots and socks
    • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal safety equipment
  • Hydration equipment

Harvest Safety Tips

What not to wear in mowing and foraging operation

  • Loose-fitting, oversized clothes
  • Rings or jewelry
  • Open-toed shoes or sandals
  • Distracting devices

Equipment operation

At harvest time, you must be appropriately trained in equipment operation and any safety features. You may spend hours on your own and should know all the ins and outs of proper operation and maintenance, minor repairs, and how to do them safely. From how to operate lifts and steering controls to coming to a complete stop, there are no shortcuts to farm safety. Contact us to learn more about equipment upgrades and lawn mower safety.

Equipment pre-check

Many operations start the day by fueling and greasing their equipment. As you do this, look your equipment over, ensure your tires are appropriately inflated, your hazard lights are working, and your fluids such as brake, coolant, and oil levels are good.  

Keep it clean

Farming is messy work, and your equipment should be kept clean to improve its functionality and lifespan. Clean corroded battery terminals regularly and scrape off mud and other debris to improve performance.

Cleaning and lubricating your moving parts are required to protect your equipment and help you safely operate a mower. Surface areas where machinery comes into contact with the grain should also kept free of oil or other harmful substances.

Guards and glass

Your windshield, windows, and mirrors protect you from the elements, but if they are scratched, broken, or dirty they can reduce your visibility and create a hazard. Fenders, guards and shields, and other protection from moving parts help keep the equipment clean and prevent you from getting tangled up in the works.

Repair or replace any broken or missing guards and shields. Lights and signals ensure you can see and be seen in the field and on the roads.

Shut it down

If you notice something doesn’t sound or feel right when operating your equipment, shut it down and get help. Running vehicles with moving parts can pose a life-threatening danger. Mower bars and spinning blades cut through muscle and bone as quickly as straw.

mowing ang foraging operation on the road

Equipment on the road

Transporting harvest equipment between fields sometimes requires taking your equipment on the road. Farm machinery presents a danger because it is a large, slow-moving vehicle, sharing the road with faster-moving cars and trucks that might not have time to stop. Make sure your equipment is visible by installing reflectors, hazard flashers, or even driving with a pilot car to increase visibility.

Know your surroundings

Farm safety at harvest time requires you to always use your eyes and ears to read the situation. From the shape of the terrain to other workers, ditches and sloughs, or irrigation equipment, any field can be an obstacle course. Maintaining safe speeds prevents rollovers when riding mowers, broken equipment, or the danger of being thrown from moving equipment. It also reduces your threat to other workers or animals in the area.

Stay Safe 

Safety is the most crucial thing during hay harvesting. Because of the nature of the farm equipment and sometimes the experience of workers, severe injuries can happen. Most of them are preventable with the proper training and equipment. Set yourself up for a great harvest by making sure your equipment is functioning at its best using top of the line hay conditioning rollers from B&D Rollers.

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