Spring Planting Requires Increased Focus On Safety

Working fast to get crops in to beat incoming weather is just one instance in which farmers increase their risk of injury, a safety expert with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences says.

Knowing some simple safety precautions to take during spring planting is critical for farmers to reduce the potential for injuries, said Kent McGuire, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural health and safety professional. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

Spring planting is a time when farm workers are continually moving from one piece of equipment to another and climbing on equipment to fill with seed or make repairs, McGuire said. This is a time that farmers should take extra precautions to prevent falls when working around farm equipment, he said.

“During spring planting, there is a sense of urgency to get corn and soybeans planted,” McGuire said. “Farmers put in long hours, day after day. That’s when fatigue or complacency sets in, and a slip, trip or fall injury can happen very quickly.

“It’s real easy to get out of the tractor after several hours and not pay attention to that last step or the uneven ground conditions that can cause a fall injury.”

There were 19,700 reported injuries and illnesses among those working in crop production in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And reported injuries and illnesses among those working in livestock production numbered 12,300 that same year, the federal agency said.

In a statement, the agency said the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector was one of only two private industry sectors to see an increase in the rate of injuries and illnesses in 2011. The increase was led by injuries in crop production and animal agriculture, primarily dairy cattle and milk production.

Most equipment-related accidents on the farm are due to farm tractor rollovers, according to the Farm Injury Resource Center. The center said other equipment-related farm injuries include: being caught in running machinery; highway collisions between farm equipment and other vehicles; being struck by falling machinery parts; and equipment contacting overhead or underground power lines.

Slips, trips and falls from farm equipment are also a concern, McGuire said. And those can be prevented if farmers take precautions, he said.

“When a self-employed farmer gets injured, especially during this time of year, it can be devastating to the farm operation from a business and financial standpoint,” McGuire said. “In a lot of cases, self-employed farmers wear many hats. They are the farm manager, equipment operator and repair mechanic.

“By being involved in all of the aspects of the farm, it can be devastating when they get injured.” said McGuire. “With that in mind, farmers should take a few seconds to think about that next step, to prevent that serious injury from a fall that could lay them up for the rest of spring planting season.”

Precautions in preventing falls from equipment should include:

  • Observe the basic safety rules of the equipment’s operating manual.
  • Shut off equipment and make sure equipment is in “park” before dismounting.
  • Maintain three points of contact when mounting or dismounting equipment. This means keeping one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot in contact with the equipment or ground at all times.
  • Ensure that steps, hand holds, platforms and railings are in safe operating condition.
  • Clean dirt, mud and debris from work platforms and decks of equipment before entering these areas.
  • Face toward the equipment when mounting or dismounting equipment with ladder-style steps.
  • Avoid trying to carry objects when mounting or dismounting equipment.
  • Exercise caution when steps are wet or dirty.
  • Avoid jumping off the last step.
  • Anticipate changes in ground elevation or rough terrain when dismounting from the last step.
  • Be alert and focus on foot placement when walking, especially during early morning or evening when daylight is limited.
  • Avoid distractions or hurrying when walking from one piece of equipment to another. Be observant to any slip, trip or fall hazards in your line of travel.
  • Ensure that equipment or the work area has adequate lighting to complete the task in low light conditions.
  • Use a ladder or elevated platform to work on those hard-to-reach places rather than trying to stand on the equipment in an awkward position.

For more information on agricultural safety issues, contact McGuire at 614-292-0588 or mcguire.225@osu.edu.

Leave a Reply

Management Stories

ManagementTechnology and agriculture: a Futurist’s Perspective
July 30, 2015
Futurist David Zach, speaking at this week’s InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, shared thoughts on the benefits and limitations of Read More
StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosphorus Is Leaving Fields
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
ManagementFCI Trade Summit Update & Precision Tank Turns 50
July 23, 2015
Editors Dave Frabotta and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the upcoming FCI Trade Summit in Las Vegas, NV, and how Precision Tank Read More
ManagementUpdates On UAV Rules & Crop Conditions
July 16, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj provide updates on the ongoing UAV regulations debate and how the nation’s crops are Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Allied Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Feed Division Facilities Receive Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification
July 13, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Feed Division, a marketer and distributor of value-added feed ingredients for the aquaculture, livestock and pet food industries Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Expands To Brazil With Acquisition
July 8, 2015
BRANDT has acquired a majority interest in Target Brasil Fertilizantes Ltda. through its Brazilian subsidiary. Target Brasil manufactures, distributes and Read More
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Latest News
CropLife 100Allied Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
FungicidesReport: Sudden Death Syndrome Symptoms Appearing In Soy…
July 30, 2015
Last week, symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS) began to appear in April 15-planted soybeans at the University of Illinois’s Read More
Seed/BiotechAdvanta Seeds Adds New Phoenix Corn Hybrids
July 30, 2015
Corn growers in the High Plains and Western states have new options available for the 2016 growing season from Advanta Read More
ManagementTechnology and agriculture: a Futurist’s Perspective
July 30, 2015
Futurist David Zach, speaking at this week’s InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, shared thoughts on the benefits and limitations of Read More
Biofuels Plant in Lousiana
Industry NewsIdle Biofuels Plant In Louisiana To Reopen As Ammonia F…
July 30, 2015
A Lithuania-based company plans to spend $265 million to reopen an idle biofuels refinery in Grant Parish as an ammonia Read More
FFA at Monsanto Booth at the 2015 National Farm Machinery Show
Industry NewsFive Students Receive The 2015 Monty’s Plant Food Compa…
July 29, 2015
This fall, five college-bound students will have financial support through the Monty’s Plant Food Company FFA Scholarship. All five scholarship Read More
GYPSOIL Blendable Pellets
Crop InputsBeneficial Reuse Management Launches Pelletized Gypsum …
July 29, 2015
Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM) announced this week at Ag Media Summit that its GYPSOIL Pelletized Products Division will open a Read More
StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosph…
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
FertilizerKoch Agronomic Services Launches N-TEGRATION Technology
July 27, 2015
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC (KAS) has launched  N-TEGRATION Technology, a process technology platform designed to enable production of enhanced efficiency fertilizers at Read More
HerbicidesExpert: IARC Herbicide Classifications Leading To Confu…
July 24, 2015
Few people in the crop protection industry had heard of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) before this Read More
ManagementFCI Trade Summit Update & Precision Tank Turns 50
July 23, 2015
Editors Dave Frabotta and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the upcoming FCI Trade Summit in Las Vegas, NV, and how Precision Tank Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesUSDA Deregulates Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Cotton Trait
July 23, 2015
The USDA today issued its decision deregulating Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist cotton trait in the U.S. The USDA has now completed its Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Showcases Versatile Product Por…
July 23, 2015
Technology has revolutionized agriculture by bringing farmers, retailers and distributors to the forefront of the digital age. To meet the Read More
FertilizerWSJ: Cf Industries Exploring Merger With Dutch Chemical…
July 23, 2015
U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries is in advanced merger talks with Amsterdam-listed chemical company OCI NV, the Wall Street Journal Read More
HerbicidesNufarm Releases New Panther SC Herbicide
July 23, 2015
Nufarm has announced the availability of new Panther SC herbicide. Panther SC is the first liquid formulation of flumioxazin available Read More
EquipmentFarmLink Launches Farm Equipment Sharing Program
July 23, 2015
FarmLink has introduced a new online farm equipment sharing community – MachineryLink Sharing – leveraging this new economy business model Read More
HerbicidesCould The South’s Most Troublesome Weed Represent A Thr…
July 22, 2015
Palmer amaranth is undoubtedly the most troublesome weed in the southern United States, taking a devastating toll on both cotton Read More
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Hires New Director Of International Sales
July 22, 2015
Global Agriculture firm H.J. Baker announced today that Steve Langley has joined the company’s Crop Performance Division and Animal Health Read More