How to stay safe during harvesting

Harvesting season is a busy time for farmers.

Working with augers, silos, field bins and chaser bins can be dangerous. If these are used incorrectly it can result in cuts and fractures, loss of limbs, electrocution and even death.

To make sure you stay alive and well during harvesting, we have pulled together some tips for use before and during harvesting.

Planning for harvesting:

  • Think carefully about where you place silos and bins. You need clear space, surface support, draining and vehicle access.
  • Talk to suppliers to make sure the storage and equipment you buy is right for your farm.
  • If you think you will be working at heights, install fall protection such as caged ladders, platforms and handrails.
  • Develop an emergency plan and test the plan.
  • Check that machinery guards are in place and emergency stops are working.
  • Check the lock out and tagging systems on your machinery.
  • Buy a breathing mask if you think you will have to work in your silos.

Before you start to harvest:

  • Always let someone know before you work around silos, bins and with augers.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks on machines and on any breathing apparatus you might use.

During harvesting:

  • Don’t ever enter a silo after fumigation until it has been ventilated.
  • Don’t lift an auger higher than it is safely able.
  • Don’t assist the grain to flow into an auger with your feet or hands.
  • Never attempt to clear a jam or blockage until an auger is off, the power source is isolated and all moving parts come to a complete stop.

To hear how an incident with an auger almost cost Mark, a farmer from Tamworth, his life, check out his story.

Do you work with grain on your farm? Share your story and tell us how you stay alive and well.