Farmers, rural residents encouraged to stay safe this harvest season
9/19/2012 2:57:19 PM
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged farmers and those living in and traveling through rural Iowa to stay safe this harvest season. Northey issued the reminder as part of National Farm Safety and Health Week which runs from September 16 to 22.
“Due to the drought conditions across Iowa harvest is entering full swing a couple of weeks sooner than normal, so those working on the farm and those traveling through rural Iowa need to be aware and keep safety in mind,” Northey said. “It has been a stressful year for everyone involved in agriculture, but being sure to take the necessary time and think safety throughout harvest will help make sure the year doesn’t take a tragic turn.”
Tips for farmers include using the slow moving vehicle emblem on all appropriate tractors and equipment and making sure they are in good shape and visible. Also, be aware of and avoiding flowing grain suffocation hazards while unloading bins and wagons. Retrofitting older tractors with a rollover protective structure (ROP) is another important safety measure.
Harvest season is also a time when those traveling through rural Iowa need to be alert to potentially slow moving equipment and should be prepared to take a little more time if necessary. The Iowa Department of Transportation has a video entitled “Rural Roadway Crashes – They’re Preventable” that has more information on how to safely travel Iowa’s rural roads. It is available on their website at http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ods/RuralRoadCrashes.html.
More farm safety information is available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach at http://www.abe.iastate.edu/extension-and-outreach/agricultural-health-safety/ or from the Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) at http://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/icash/.