Fires and accidents can be avoided during the harvest season with good planning and training courses.
I have copied this from the British Farmer &Grower monthly journal. A good Harvest Checklist recommended by that publication. I was delighted to see how many of our courses would be helpful with keeping people safe on the farm.
Check combines and balers well before harvest and carry out all recommended maintenance.
Check electrical wiring for rodent damage before start-up after storage.
Thoroughly check tractors and trailers to ensure they are safe and roadworthy with particular attention to signals, lights, brake efficiency and wear on links, pins and couplings.
Check fire extinguishers are in place and are the correct type, fully charged and in full working order.
Make sure regular and casual harvest-staff are trained in the correct use of machinery – especially safe working around power lines and on slopes.
Check that field entrances are not obscured, for example by overgrown hedges or long grass.
Regularly cleaning out dust and chaff from hot spots in combines and balers.
Switch off engines and ensure parts have stopped before clearing blockages or carrying out maintenance.
Always stop and investigate hot-running engines or bearings.
Put in place a system for keeping in contact with lone workers.
Keep mobile phones on your person – not left in the tractor pick up cab.
Make sure drivers are aware of the locations and heights of power lines and check that the machinery will safely pass under wires and restrictions.
In every day conditions, keep a sprayer filled with water on hand attached to a tractor to lay a fire break in the event of a crop fire.
Instruct drivers to keep to safe speeds in the grain yard.
Check signs are in place to help lorry drivers go to the right place, and alert members of the public to any potential hazards.
Keep children away from working areas.
Clean dust regularly from grain dryers and ensure that all staff running the dryer are fully trained and know what to do if fire breaks out.
Ensure fire extinguishers are readily accessible.
Make sure ladders and platforms used for maintenance are in good condition and a safe system of work is in operation.”