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Harvest Safety Starts With Each of Us

ProVision Partners Shares Harvest Safety Tips

As harvest season approaches, local emergency personnel are preparing to assist with farm accidents. Statistically, accidents on the farm increase in the fall due to extensive on-going harvesting operations.

"Long tiring hours can lead to accidents when trying to get the crops in," Pittsville Fire Company shared. "Taking breaks can be very important. Fire departments too must prepare for the fall, by being well trained to manage these types of incidents. In some instances, helicopter response to farm accidents is required. Knowing how to establish a safe landing zone is one of the fire and EMS duties."

Earlier this month, personnel from three agencies, Arpin, Pittsville and Vesper, along with some cadets attended a training on Marti Farms in the Town of Hansen. Life Link III Medical Transport service provided personnel and a program along with the helicopter response to better help EMS prepare for these types of calls.

"We are so very fortunate in our area to have the partners in agriculture that we do – all the farms that surround us have always offered up so much of their time, space and talents and have always opened their doors for us for this type of training," PFC stated. "These are some of our true partners."

As farm machinery head to the roads to carry out the harvest, it’s important for motorists to keep a watchful eye out to avoid fatal collisions.

Every year, 1,000 farm vehicle crashes occur in the Midwest. Studies show that rear-end crashes by passenger vehicles are the most common type of accident involving ag equipment, often on roads with speed limits of 55 mph. Injuries occur 75% of the time with the non-ag driver 5 times more likely to get hurt than the ag driver. Harvest is the deadliest time with half of crashes occurring in the fall and between 2-6 p.m.

Using seat belts, not drinking and driving, and reducing distractions like cell phone use while on the road do their part to keep both drivers of ag and passenger vehicles safe this season.

Nate Bennington, Chief Operating Officer at ProVision Partners, shared the following tips:

 Farmers

  1. Wear your seat belt
  2. Stay off your cell phone
  3. Properly illuminate your vehicle and install turn signals
  4. Conduct vehicle inspection prior to movement
  5. Ensure your trailer lights are properly hooked up and functioning
  6. Early notification of other drivers of a turn across the road
  7. Plan for proper rest
  8. Wear protective equipment like eye/ear protection and steel toed boots
  9. Keep children away from the equipment

Motorists

  1. Keep a safe distance from farm equipment as they have limited ability to react quickly
  2. Utilize your head lights during periods of limited visibility
  3. Be cognizant of lighting on farm equipment
  4. Slow down and if required to pass ensure you have ample time to make the maneuver safely
  5. Stay alert and wait to check your phone when you stop
  6. Be aware of turn signals

Everyone remember the motto:  Safety starts with me.