During the harvest season, make safety an integral part of your farming operations. At Viterra, our employees are continuously striving to ensure our work environments are as safe as possible. On the farm, it is also important to discuss safety and have a plan in place to ensure safe and efficient execution of your harvest.
There are many potential hazards during harvest. Below are some of these hazards and ways you can prevent or minimize them from occurring.
Grain Handling / Storage Safety
It is important to alert all workers and family members to the dangers of flowing grain.
• Inspect bins and make repairs prior to filling
• When working with flowing grain and bins, try to work in teams of three with one to monitor, one to assist and one to go for help if needed. It isn’t always possible to have the additional support on-site, but it provides the safest scenario possible.
• Have grates installed over discharge openings to avoid being drawn in
• Be aware of overhead power lines and ensure a debris-free work area
• Never enter a bin while material is flowing or where material has bridged or is hung-up overhead
The number one cause of injury or death on the farm involves large machinery and equipment. Proper training is key to ensuring workers have the necessary skills and confidence to operate farm equipment.
• Ensure others are well clear of the equipment you are operating
• Ensure auger guards and shields are in place to avoid contact with moving parts
• Check each machine to ensure it is in good working order prior to working with it
• Look at all fields in places where there may have been a change from the last harvest (i.e. water, washouts, debris, etc.)
• Carry a charged cell phone or two-way radio, and always let someone know where you are working. Keep all emergency telephone numbers readily available.
• Power down all equipment and ensure keys are securely in your pocket before attempting to do maintenance, clear away material, clean or adjust any components
• Watch for power lines and other potential hazards when transporting equipment from one field to another
Harvest Safety Tips
• Wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
• Avoid baggy clothes and ensure that hair is tied back to prevent entanglement
• Carry a fully charged fire extinguisher on all machinery
• Keep appropriate first-aid materials in vehicles and machinery
• Take periodic breaks and incorporate some physical activity to prevent fatigue
• Make areas around bins, equipment storage and high traffic areas “No Play” zones for children
By incorporating these best practices in your day to day activities, you can minimize on farm incidents and create a safe working environment for your business. We wish you a safe and prosperous harvest season.
President & CEO