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Use Your Personal Safety Skills this Fall

Use Your Personal Safety Skills this Fall
By Charles Schwab
Fall is a busy time of year with an increase in farm activities that can lead to injuries. Those facts are clear because agriculture remains the most dangerous industry in the United States, based on deaths per 100,000 workers.
This year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week theme, Sept. 20-26, is “every farmer counts.” It is important for every farmer to use his or her personal safety skills to make this year the safest one on record.
combine safety.Regardless of the external pressures of time, weather and stress, it is best to always chose safety first, according to Charles Schwab, Iowa State University professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering with extension and outreach responsibilities.
This year perhaps more than any other year, farmers and farm workers need to use extra caution during harvest season. Our medical community and first responders are already strained dealing with the pandemic. Every farmer counts while trying to make this year’s harvest safer.
Miscommunication or misunderstandings can place coworkers and yourself at risk of serious injuries. Common tasks like hitching grain wagons to tractors and more complex operations like unloading combines on the move, demand effective communications. Include safety in your explanations of tasks that will be performed and listen carefully to those working with you.
Monitor the signals from your body. During long work activities, it is important to keep your body working at optimal conditions. Keeping hydrated, nourished and alert are essential for your personal safety efforts. When your body signals are ignored, your mind’s effectiveness to avoid injuries is diminished. Loss of observational power, reduced attention span, and weakened critical thinking skills put you in potentially hazardous conditions that could have been avoided.
Making a safe decision is paramount during harvest. So often, a person who has been injured shares that the safe course of action was used multiple times before but then the one time it wasn’t, the injury occurred.
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