Nebraska Corn reminds ag workers,
rural residents and visitors to be safe this harvest season

Posted October 31, 2017

SOURCE: Nebraska Corn Board

LINCOLN, Neb. – As farmers begin harvesting their crops this fall, the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association encourage farmers, as well as rural residents and visitors, to take a moment for safety near farming operations to avoid serious accidents or injuries. To help promote farm safety, “National Farm Safety and Health Week” will take place September 17-23, 2017. This week-long farm safety promotion has taken place every year since 1944 and occurs during the third week of each September.

The theme for this year’s farm safety promotion is “Putting Farm Safety into Practice.” According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the agricultural sector is the most dangerous industry in America. In 2015, there were 180 reported fatalities of agricultural workers, which was up 22 percent from the previous year. While “National Farm Safety and Health Week” will help remind farmers, rural residents and visitors about the importance of farm safety for seven days, it’s also important for people to be cautious on or near farm operations throughout the year.

“There are a lot of moving parts at harvest time – combines, tractors, grain carts, trucks, augers and people,” said Dan Wesely, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Morse Bluff, Nebraska. “Please make sure all of your family and hired help understand the importance of taking the proper steps when it comes to safety.”

Harvest is a busy time for farmers, as they often have a narrow window to complete their work. It’s important farmers take care of themselves to ensure a safe and productive season.

“Be sure to take care of yourself during harvest,” said Dave Merrell, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from St. Edward, Nebraska. “During long hours, take time for short breaks. It may seem unproductive, but it’s good for you. Make sure to get enough sleep and take the time to eat healthy. This will help you be alert and engaged while operating large machinery.”

Farmers are not the only people who should be cautious during the harvest season. Anyone who may be visiting or traveling through rural areas should be mindful of increased farm traffic on roads and highways. Harvest equipment should be visible with front and rear warning lights, as well as slow moving vehicle emblems to notify motorists of approaching machinery. In rural areas, parents of small children should also develop safety rules to prevent youth from playing on or near harvest equipment.

Read more from the Nebrask Corn Board about harvest safety.