By Richard Read
With Harvest soon to commence for many of you I thought it would be an opportune to send out a reminder regarding harvest safety.
Below is a reminder of key areas to address for harvest.
I would especially like to emphasize fatigue as a risk for those harvesting long hours and I encourage you to take a proactive and consultative approach with your workers. I have attached a link to the ACAHS Fatigue Self-Assessment tool below that I recommend you make available and discuss with your workers throughout harvest.
- Make sure all guards on machinery and equipment (harvesters, tractors, chaser bins, silos, field bins and auger), are in place.
- Ensure all people working during harvest – whether employees, contractors or family members, are inducted into the way you will manage safety during the harvest, including fatigue. Make your expectations for safety very clear to everyone.
- Have a standard policy where all harvester/machinery engines are stopped and keys removed from the ignition during maintenance; before working under raised hydraulics, header fronts and combs, ensure hydraulic and ram locks have been fitted and that the comb is chocked and supported; replace all guards after servicing/repairs.
- Look up and live, make everyone aware of electrical hazards and where they exist on the property. Consider having no‐go areas, if practical.
- Fire is always a risk at harvest – check that the water trailer is full; regularly clean down headers to keep trash and straw away from pulleys, belts and bearings; fit a fire extinguisher on the header, tractors and fuel trailer.
- Ensure traffic management is clear to all staff and truck cartage companies with the increased traffic flow during harvest.
I have also had strong feedback from clients who harvest at night and use High Vis shirts with reflector tape as they can see other workers from long distances. Please consider if this would provide a safer work place for your workers.
ACAHS Fatigue Self-Assessment
If you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to email me.
All the best for a safe harvest in 2016!
Insurance House Agricultural Consultant