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National Farm Safety and Health Week


167 farm workers are injured on a farm and a worker dies in a farm accident EVERY DAY.

38 children are injured on a farm EVERY DAY and a child dies in a farm accident EVERY THREE DAYS.

Farm safety is important to every farmer and operator.  AGCO® works hard to deliver safe equipment and operating instructions on how to use our equipment most effectively.  In recognition of National Farm Safety and Health week AGCO offers the following guidelines to help make sure EVERYONE stays safe during harvest:

  1. Manual and Safety Signs. Read your operator’s manual and safety sign information.  They are packed with information to help you be more productive, increase the life of your equipment and keep you, your family, and workers safe.
  2. Maintenance. Keep all machinery serviced and maintained properly.
  3. Guards. Make sure all guards and shields are in place and secure.
  4. Turn the machine off when not operating. Put equipment in neutral or park, engage parking brake and turn off engine before dismounting. Wait until all mechanisms have stopped moving before attempting to service or unclog a machine.
  5. Working under the machine. Lock hydraulic cylinders or support the head prior to working.
  6. Crop Debris. Make sure all crop debris is removed at frequent intervals to reduce potential fire hazards and possible equipment damage.
  7. Fire Extinguishers. Keep and maintain suitable fire extinguishers on your combine. Make sure they are accessible from the ground.
  8. Children. Create a Safe Play Area for children on the farm that has effective adult supervision and safe play activities for children.  Equipment cabs are not safe play areas.
  9. Bystanders. Keep bystanders and others away from the equipment operation area.
  10. Blind spots. Make sure the area behind the combine is clear before backing.
  11. Riders? Limit riders on equipment! Instructional seats are designed for training or diagnosing machine problems.
  12. Seat belts. Wear seat belts.  ANYONE in the cab should have his or her seatbelt fastened.  Do not lean against the windshield or rely on it to keep you in the cab.
  13. ROPS. Have rollover protective structures fitted on tractors.
  14. Towing. Always use safety chains for towed equipment.
  15. SMV. Always use a slow moving vehicle sign and flashing amber warning lights on public roads.
  16. Road Safety. Never travel left of the center of the road after dark, during poor visibility or when approaching the top of a hill or a curve.
  17. Stay alert. Be physically and mentally fit when operating machinery. Fatigue, stress, medication, alcohol and drugs can detract from safe equipment operation. Take breaks.
  18. Training. Train all operators to safely operate the equipment.

1 2012 Data from CDC website:

2 2014 Fact Sheet, National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety

For more information see the following websites:


Shift Work: The Massey Ferguson Dyna-6 Transmission on the Farm

Ask Gavin MacDonald why he and his father, Donnie, purchased their Massey Ferguson® 6490 and he counts the reasons, literally.

Gavin MacDonald and his father, Donnie

Gavin MacDonald and his father, Donnie

Specifically, the number of times he would have to shift gears while driving to the field farthest from the barn in a comparably priced “green” tractor.

“Twenty-one shifts there and 21 back,” he says. “We figured that was a lot of shifting to do with a lot of clutch work when you’re spreading manure or something like that.” Because the MacDonalds’ MF6490 has a Dyna-6 transmission, “you set it and it shifts on itself,” Gavin continues.

“You basically drive it like an automatic [transmission] car,” adds Donnie. “It’ll go through its ranges … and gear down when it can. That’s great on fuel economy.”

The first Massey Ferguson tractor Donnie bought was almost 27 years ago and from Brock Proudfoot at Proudfoot Motors in nearby New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. “Since then,” says Donnie, who now owns five Massey Ferguson tractors and one combine, “we’ve been pretty well with him for everything that he can supply. We get great service … right through to the parts and service, and all the guys at the shop. We don’t have a lot of breakdowns, but we get good service when we do have them.”

Donnie and Gavin do, however, comparison shop. “You just don’t buy something because the color,” says Donnie. “Massey’s always been competitive.

“They’re also very durable,” he continues. “Like I say, some of the tractors have been here for quite a while.”

See the full story about the MacDonald operation, “Budding Trend: Young People on the Farm.”

AGCO Aftersales Gives Back to the Community

Left to right:  Paul Mullins (Paramedic), Charlotte Mese, Charlie Farrington, Lee Brown, Emily Sharlot, Tina Williams, Capt. Paul Hogan and Gavin Doughty

Left to right: Paul Mullins (Paramedic), Charlotte Mese, Charlie Farrington, Lee Brown, Emily Sharlot, Tina Williams, Capt. Paul Hogan and Gavin Doughty

Following the very successful Discover AGCO event held at the NEC in Birmingham, UK last month, AGCO’s Aftersales group made a presentation of £2,135.38 to the Air Ambulance Service based at Coventry Airport on Monday (24th March 2014).  This magnificent sum was collected during a busy event with generous donations from the UK and Eire AGCO dealer network, AGCO staff, suppliers and the farmers who attended the show, with an equal amount raised for the British Heart Foundation.

The Air Ambulance is deemed very close to the hearts of most agricultural businesses, as many farmers and their families rely on the service to reach rural areas of the country. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) provide treatment on the scene of an incident, and a rapid means of transport to the hospital most suited to treat the casualty’s specific injuries and illnesses.  They attend a variety of emergency rescues, including road traffic collisions, serious sporting injuries, severe burns, industrial accidents and any other medical incidents that require rapid response.

On average, the service attends six rescue missions every day, costing approximately £1,700 per mission.   The state of the art Agusta helicopters can reach speeds of up to 200mph which means they can be at the emergency scene in less than ten minutes.

Livestock: Different Than The Family Pet

Animals are a great aspect of farm life, but they can also be a threat to the safety of those working with them. Livestock is a major source of injuries to children in agricultural settings. The size difference, an animal’s unpredictability, and children’s lack of knowledge or skills puts children at risk.

Children often don’t view livestock as dangerous, yet, animals cause numerous fatalities and injuries each year.  When working with livestock it is important to realize some of the differences between how animals and humans sense their surroundings. In comparison to humans, animals:

  • See in black and white, not color
  • Have difficulty judging distances
  • Have extremely sensitive hearing
  • Are frightened by loud noises and high frequency sounds hurt
  • Are very protective of their young.

Many of these factors cause animals to respond as skittish and frightened of unfamiliar surroundings. Chores involving livestock care and handling are often one of the first responsibilities given to children, increasing their exposure to the dangers at an early age. When working around animals encourage your children to:

  • Be calm, move slowly, and avoid loud noises
  • Wear steel toed shoes
  • Avoid the hind legs of animals
  • Approach large animals at the shoulder
  • Avoid animals with babies
  • Avoid stallions, bulls, rams, and boars
  • Always have an escape route when working in close quarters

Even though an animal may look friendly, all animals need to be treated with respect. They can be unpredictable. Teach children to be alert when around livestock and while working with them.

*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater, Marketing Director from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids

Protect Your Farm From Fire

Believe it or not, but winter is a very common season for fires due to the use of additional heat sources. Fire can be particularly destructive on the farm. From property to lives, take a few steps to prevent it from happening to you.

Children, especially age 5 and under, are at the greatest risk of home fire-related death and injury. Young children don’t know what to do and are likely to panic in a fire. They may hide in a closet or behind a bed instead of escaping. Practice fire drills at home once a year. Show your children all of the safe ways to escape a fire from every room of the house and every building on the farm. Designate a meeting place outside and make it part of the drill. One way to prevent fires in the house is to install smoke detectors. There should be a smoke detector on every level and outside bedrooms.

Fire extinguishers are essential items on the farm in case a fire breaks out. Besides the house, keep fire extinguishers in barns, other farm buildings, and machinery including tractors and combines. The local fire department is a terrific resource as well. Ask them to help you start the process of protecting your farm from fire. Both you and the fire department will be better prepared if a fire should occur.

And follow these fire safety precautions on the farm:

  • Test smoke detectors once a month and replace the batteries twice a year (when you change your clocks for daylight savings).
  • Replace smoke detectors that are ten years of age or older.
  • Place proper fire extinguishers in strategic locations, making sure they are accessible.
  • Get training on how to use fire extinguishers.
  • Plan your escape routes.
  • Designate one place outside where family members should meet in case of fire.
  • Keep matches away from children.
  • Don’t enter a confined livestock area or housing structure if it catches on fire.
  • Install lightning rods.
  • Store gasoline and other flammable fuels in proper containers in a cool place.
  • Turn off engines when refueling machines.
*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater, Marketing Director from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids

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