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19 April, 2008 - Time to Review Farm Safety

Twice a year I climb into my “Farm Safety” pulpit to preach farm safety. I do it at planting time and I do it again at harvest time, perhaps the two most dangerous seasons on farms and ranches. There are times I wonder if these lectures on being careful and safe are really necessary.

After all, you are adults and you know farming can be a dangerous occupation and you know that you must be careful. Yet whenever I think I am overdoing it, I hear from one of you telling me that you suffered a serious injury in a farm accident or you lost a family member in a farm accident, because you took the attitude that “accidents always happen to somebody else and not to me.” A lady in Iowa who lost her husband in a farm accident several years ago, wrote to me and said don’t ever stop preaching safety.

So I will continue to preach farm safety, because I don’t like losing anybody in agriculture, particularly in an accident that could be avoided. When it comes to avoiding accidents it takes people who are mentally alert, who are wide awake and who don’t always take the fastest way, but hopefully will take the safest way.

Now, in many parts of the country, a lot of farmers are getting very nervous about the wet, cold spring and the delay in planting. I know what that means. Once the fields dry and the sun comes out, that planter that has been loaded and ready to go, will roll non-stop; probably 24 hours a day, and that is when things get a little dicey.That is when fatigue can set in and cause you to make decisions you wouldn’t normally make; or rain is coming your way and you just have to get that last field planted before the showers arrive.

One theme you have heard from me many times is “perhaps the most important twenty minutes you can spend in that tractor cab at planting time is taking a nap, to just refresh yourself and be ready to go again.” Then, of course, make sure the equipment is in good working condition; make sure that all your safety protection equipment is in place and working; make sure you have the Slow Moving Vehicle emblem mounted in a visible place on the back of the tractor or equipment that you will be moving on highways and county roads.The last thing you want is for some motorist to come over the hill or around a curve and impale himself on your corn planter. That happened to a friend of mine three years ago and he still worries every time he is moving equipment on the highway. The motorist survived his injuries, the corn planter didn’t.

So friends, this is an order. Be alert and safe during planting time. We need you, your family and friends need you and you want to be around to watch your kids and grand-kids grow up. I’m leaving the “Farm Safety” pulpit now, but I’ll be back in the fall!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.


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