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Grain Safety on the Farm

The following post is brought to you by Progressive Ag Foundation in support of National Farm Safety and Health Week:

The 2011 harvest will soon be under way, and with National Farm Safety and Health Week occurring Sept. 18–24 here in the US, now is a good time to remind children everywhere how dangerous grain can be during harvest and throughout the year as it is transported and stored on the farm. Grain safety is often a high-priority topic during Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, which teaches children 8 to 13 years of age things they need to know to remain safe and healthy on a farm or ranch.

Though grain may not seem to be an obvious risk on a farm or ranch, the dangers of grain during harvest, transport and storage may be deadly. Adults and children alike die every year from grain incidents that are highly preventable. 2010 was a record year for grain-related deaths. Fifty-one grain accidents occurred and 25 people died — five being children under the age of 16. The most common occurrences include suffocation when grain bridges collapse, or being trapped by flowing grain or by an avalanche of a vertical grain wall.

Grain safety is a high-priority topic.

“In a matter of 10 seconds, one can lose their life in flowing grain,” says Bernard Geschke, program specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation® (PAF). “Across agriculture, grain-related deaths occur far too often, and we believe it is critical to have this often unrecognized danger be a part of our education program.”

What can parents teach their children to help them avoid a grain-related injury or death?

1.      Always stay out of and away from grain bins and grain wagons even if grain isn’t flowing. Bridged grain can unexpectedly collapse and submerge humans. It only takes three or four seconds for a human to become completely helpless in flowing grain.

2.      Never try to save someone who is being entrapped by going into the grain yourself. Attempting to rescue someone without proper equipment and assistance may result in you being entrapped as well.

3.      Always use a harness or rope and have a spotter when walking or working around grain. This way, your spotter can help pull you to safety or stop the flow of grain.

Safety tips such as these are examples of the things children learn when they attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, which are held each year in more than 400 local communities throughout North America. Check out the video below to learn more about the dangers of grain entrapment.

Harvest Hazards

In the spirit of National Farm Safety and Health Week here in the United States, AGCO would like to share a message with everyone from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids. Make sure to visit our Safety tab to learn more about keeping your farm safe.

The shorter days of fall puts farmers and ranchers in a race against the clock during harvest. Factor in weather conditions and working hours always seem to be at a premium. With time and money on the line, a farm accident would grind harvest to stand still.

A little preparation can go a long way in preventing accidents. Planned maintenance and skilled equipment operation can minimize downtime and reduce potential for mishaps during harvest.

In addition manufacturers, like AGCO, have taken great strides to build safety features into equipment; however some potential hazards simply can’t be eliminated. Use guards and shields when possible and make sure everything is in working order.

The pressure of harvest often leads to fatigue, another major factor in farm accidents. Take your time and think safety. You can’t afford not to.

A few more things that will help make your harvest season a safe one for the entire family:

• Carry out preseason maintenance and repair several weeks before harvest.

• Clear plugged equipment only after the engine is turned off.

• All guards and shields should be secured before equipment is started.

• Wear comfortable, close-fitting clothing, including sturdy, protective shoes.

• Teach kids not to approach machinery while the engine is running and not to play on equipment.

• Always let someone else know where you’re working. Check in regularly.

• Avoid sleep deprivation and extreme physical exhaustion.

• Drugs or alcohol can impede safety.

Cheers to a save and abundant harvest!

The Power of Electricity

This is another great farm safety message brought to you by Farm Safety 4 Just Kids. Electricity is powerful. Agriculture relies on electricity to keep the barn lights on, to run equipment and to turn the alarm clock on every morning. Electricity is also a powerful hazard on the farm, one that demands respect.The Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives teaches farm safety at the Mammouth Cave Farm Safety 4 Just Kids chapter's safety day.

Lack of knowledge and skill are the leading cause of incidents involving electricity. Teach children how electricity works, and what types of materials conduct electricity and which ones don’t.

Once youth are old enough, trained and qualified to drive farm equipment, teach them to lower things like augers before crossing under a power line. It’s also important to teach them to stay in the vehicle if they become entangled in an over head power line. If you’ve explained how electricity works, they’ll know touching the machinery while stepping on the ground will complete the circuit.

In addition, make sure overhead power lines are well maintained and have adequate clearance to avoid these situations.

Here are a few more electricity safety tips:

• Keep face plates on switches and outlet

• Keep electrical panels free of dust and debris

• Keep electrical panels covered to reduce shock and fire hazard

• Use properly maintained tools and equipment that is double insulated

• Do not use electrical tools around water

• Equip the shop area with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters and use 3-prong grounding plugs

• Use undamaged electrical cords and do not carry tools by their cords

• Grip the plug, not the cord, to unplug a tool

• Switch off and unplug a tool before you change parts or clean it, or if it begins to smoke or burn

• Instruct children in proper behavior around and respect of electricity

Keep everyone safe around electricity. Prevent the electricity we need so much from harming the ones we love the most.

For more information about farm safety, visit http://www.fs4jk.org/.

Manure Storage

Question: When someone is overcome by manure gases, it is important for you to get that person out of the area as quickly as possible. True or False?

Answer: False. As animal wastes break down, several gases are produced. These gases are often trapped in manure storage structures that do not have proper ventilation. Of these gases, hydrogen sulfide is the most dangerous and is responsible for the most manure-related deaths of both animals and people. In low concentrations, this gas smells like rotten eggs. But at higher concentrations, it paralyzes the sense of smell. Within seconds of exposure, hydrogen sulfide can cause unconsciousness and then death.

NEVER try to rescue someone who is unconscious in a manure storage structure unless you have proper equipment and knowledge of the situation. Instead, call 911 or your local emergency medical service.  Multiple deaths from manure gases are common because rescuers succumb to the same gases as the victim. It is important that children stay away from manure storage areas. Fencing/child-proofing the area is highly recommended.

This farm safety tip is provided by the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program.  For information on how you can keep your child safe and healthy on the farm, ranch and at home, go to www.progressiveag.org. To view a complete list of Progressive Agriculture Safety Days taking place in 2011, visit http://coordinator.progressiveag.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb?VIEW=/safetydays/view.txt.

Children on the Farm

On the farm, it is always important to lead by example. Young children rely on guardians to supervise their activities to help develop an understanding of what dangers are and how to avoid them. Do you think that your children are old enough to fully understand potential dangers on the farm? Think again.

Children on the Farm

Progressive Ag Foundation Safety Days

  • Question: Most four- and five-year-old’s understand that one action leads to another, that behavior has consequences. True or false?
  • Answer: False. As children grow, they go through a series of developmental stages. While physical changes are obvious, mental and emotional changes are difficult. Preschool children are developmentally unable to clearly understand cause and affect relationships. They should be supervised carefully and be provided with safe distractions. They need physical barriers, such as fences, gates and locks to keep them away from danger. No one, especially pre-school children, should be allowed to ride on machinery.

This farm safety tip is provided by the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program.  Safety should be a part of every child’s curriculum. For information on how you can keep your child safe and healthy on the farm, ranch and at home, or to HELP US KEEP KIDS SAFE ON THE FARM, go to www.progressiveag.org. To view a complete list of Progressive Agriculture Safety Days taking place in 2011, visit http://coordinator.progressiveag.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb?VIEW=/safetydays/view.txt.

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