To my fellow corn growers,
As planting season rolls on, I wanted to stop and take a moment to remind you to always Take a Second for Safety. I know we all have many things on our minds beyond putting the crop in the ground, which makes it even more critical that we take time for safety. I know we always think we’re being careful, but we’re often guilty of cutting corners here and there to get as much work completed as possible. This can have devastating consequences if we get careless. I want you to be here for #plant21. Below are some tips from Nebraska Corn to help keep you and your family safe this planting season. Always remember, you are NOT alone. If there is ever anything I, or Nebraska Corn, can do for you, please reach out. We are only a phone call away.
- Be careful when approaching equipment. Approach from the front and gain eye contact with the operator before approaching.
- Ensure the equipment is fully stopped and disengaged before climbing onto a vehicle.
- Do not place yourself near any unguarded or otherwise running machinery.
- Avoid pinch points between equipment. Visibility can be limited, and serious injury can occur.
- Entanglement hazards can happen very quickly.
- Do not ever try to unplug any equipment without disengaging power and removing energy from the equipment.
- Never pull or try to remove plugged plants from an operating machine.
- Always keep shields in place to avoid snags and entanglement when working around equipment.
- Be careful climbing on and off equipment.
- Be alert and extremely careful when working in wet or slippery conditions.
- Keep all walkways and platforms open and free of tools, dust, debris or other obstacles.
- Clean all walkways and platforms before use.
- Wear clothing that is well fitting and not baggy or loose. Also wear proper non-slip, closed toe shoes.
- Use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery. Face machinery when dismounting and never jump from equipment.
- Never dismount from a moving vehicle.
- Carry a fire extinguisher with you in your vehicle (A-B-C, 5 or 10 pound).
- Remove dust and buildup from equipment. Check bearings regularly to prevent overheating and chance of fire.
Grain Bin Safety
- If entering a bin, wear a harness attached to a secure rope.
- Never work alone.
- Never allow children to get too close or inside the bin.
- Wear a dust filter or respirator when working in bins.
- Stay out of bins when equipment is running.
Helpful Tips for COVID-19
On-Farm Safety Procedures
- Minimize the exposure of outsiders. Use telephone, emails or texts for communications with employees or contractors who do not reside on the farm. Observe appropriate social distancing if someone needs to visit the farm or work on site.
- Increase sanitation of workspaces and make it part of your daily/weekly routine. Simple things like disinfecting work surfaces, countertops, computer keyboards, doorknobs, hand railings, tractor controls, and monitors can make a difference.
- Make cleaning supplies readily available, including cleaning solutions, buckets, mops, brushes, etc. for cleaning break areas and the shop readily available. Place disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer on equipment and in truck cabs and in high traffic areas.
- Stay in the house if you’re sick. Farmers and their employees regularly work while sick. This is a time to break that tradition. If employees are sick, tell them to stay home, and if the family is sick, they should isolate themselves as much as possible and not visit work areas.
- Monitor personal travel with a personal travel log.
- Provide guidance for handwashing and handling materials. Make sure guidance is available and communicated to employees.
- If you have off-farm employees or seasonal help alert them, all sick employees must stay at home.
- Identify and coordinate a drop-off location for supplier deliveries to the farm. If possible, set this up away from on-farm high traffic areas and housing.
- Create specific instructions for drop-off deliveries.
- Provide the location and all procedures needed at the drop-off point.
- Create signage to easily identify drop-off points. List all point of contacts with contact information to assist with questions leading up to delivery and upon arrival.
- Practice distancing with delivery drivers. In these circumstances, it is best not to greet them with a handshake. Instead, keep a recommended distance of at least six feet.
- Avoiding personal interaction is best. Log all deliveries and on-farm entries.
- Utilize a visitor’s log for everyone entering the farm.
- If your operation has a significant number of employees, encourage them to avoid large gatherings and practice social distancing during non-work hours. Alert employees where they can find sanitizing materials in the shop, or in the truck or farm equipment. Regularly sanitize contact surfaces. Disinfect all door handles and knobs, floor mats, steering wheels and other commonly contacted surfaces. Regularly sanitize common gathering places –shops, lunch areas, office space.