While the snow is flying, most farmers are busy putting together next season’s crop production plans. You may be reviewing your harvest maps, checking the grid samples for a potentially perfect nutrient application, or making sure you have enough Channel® seed to cover your acres. But don’t forget that winter is also the perfect time to review your farm safety plan.
During the hectic summer and harvest season, safety supplies are occasionally used and not replaced or become worn and weathered. Supplies such as dust masks, ear plugs, bandages and disinfectants can degrade over time and lose their effectiveness. Dust-filtering respirators often require cartridge filter replacement to effectively remove dangerous dusts and grain molds. Locks that secure grain bins, chemical storage areas, and locks on electrical panels should be examined and replaced if lost or not functioning. I bet you can think of several lightbulbs that need to be replaced or somewhere that an additional fire extinguisher just makes sense.
Winter is also the perfect time to consider safety upgrades on the farm. Considerations include:
- Additional lighting around high-traffic areas.
- Installation of safety rails and ladders around and inside of grain bins, which can help prevent serious falls.
- Identification and replacement of guards around machinery parts such as belts, chains and gears.
- Installation of warning signs to remind yourself and others about safe operating procedures.
At Channel, we take safety very seriously. Each sales area and agronomy team have a designated safety lead. The role of a safety lead includes periodic reminders and review of safety procedures. In addition to training, safety leads provide weekly reminders and safety messages at employee meetings. Who is the safety lead for your farm?
Performance may vary, from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields.
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