The harvest season in Illinois is one when farmers can see the fruits of their labor, but it is also associated with specific hazards simply because of the nature of the season. All farmers must know the risks so they can avoid them.
Others might also benefit from understanding the inherent dangers. For example, having to operate machinery on public roads is a considerable hazard. Drivers can reduce the risks by driving safely and giving these hardworking men and women the respect they deserve while they are taking care of the harvest.
Farmers need to know the equipment they are using. Some of the machinery might be older, which means that it might not have the same safety features as the most recent models. For example, some tractors don’t have rollover protective structures, so there is a risk of crush injuries if they roll.
Anyone working in the field needs to know where other workers are. For those who are operating machinery, watching for people in the workspace is crucial because fatalities can occur if a person is run over. Workers not on equipment should make sure they aren’t getting into the path of moving vehicles.
Turn off anything motorized when it isn’t in use. Even if you are only leaving the combine for a minute, you should turn it off so that there are no accidents while you are gone. You should also turn them off if you are going to work on it for any reason.
The harvest season is a busy one. Anyone working on the farm needs to get adequate sleep. You face just as many, if not more, risks if you are fatigued. It might not be enough to only sleep at night. Consider building in a short nap or rest period during the day. Not only can this provide your body with a rest from the physical activity and the heat, but it also gives your mind a chance to decompress, so you can think clearly when you return to work.
When a farmer or farmhand suffers an injury, they might opt to take legal action against the liable party. This might be the driver who struck a tractor on the road or the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment. Finding out your options quickly after the incident is crucial since there are time limits for getting your claim filed.