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Extension > Local Extension Offices > Stearns > County Agriculture Educator > Articles > Keep Equipment Safety in Mind As You Prepare for Spring Planting

Keep Equipment Safety in Mind As You Prepare for Spring Planting

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
March 22, 2017        
           
Source:  Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator-Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties

 

Keep Equipment Safety in Mind As You Prepare for Spring Planting
By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (03/22/17) — The first official day of spring has come and gone, and it’s time to start thinking about spring planting.  Spring is a busy time of year, and a time to be thinking about farm safety and more specifically, equipment safety.  Tractors and large field equipment are the most common causes of farm accidents, injuries, and deaths.  They are a necessary part of farm work, but exercising caution when using them is crucial in preventing accidents.

First and foremost—read the safety information.  Pay attention to any safety or warning decals on the equipment.  Before operation, be sure to inspect the equipment for any safety hazards.  During inspection, also identify all safety hazards including: moving parts, pinch points, crush points, pull-in areas, and free-wheeling areas.  Be sure anyone who is going to be using the equipment is aware of these areas as well.

While using the equipment, keep bystanders—especially children—away from the equipment operation area.  Before approaching equipment for an inspection or repair, shut it down, turn off the engine, remove the key, and wait for all moving parts to stop.  This is the only time you should be removing any safety devices, such as shields from the equipment.  When any work you were doing is completed, safety devices should be put back on before equipment operation resumes.

In addition, be mindful when using public roadways.  Use lights and flashers to ensure you are easy for drivers to see and have a slow-moving emblem on your tractor and equipment.  It is Minnesota law for all vehicles travelling under 30 miles per hour on public roadways to have an emblem displayed.  You may also consider using a following vehicle when moving large pieces of equipment, especially at night.  Proper safety precautions on the roads keep not only you, but the other people using the road, safe.  We cannot control how other drivers may react to farm equipment being on the road, but it is vital that farmers are doing whatever they can to keep everyone safe.

Farm equipment is a dangerous part of farming, but following safety guidelines, keeping others away from the operation area, and using public roads in a safe manner will keep us all out of harm’s way.  Have a safe spring!

Contacts

Emily Wilmes
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems - Livestock
(320) 255-6169
krek0033@umn.edu
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