Once again, grain harvest is upon us. Small grain harvest is already started, and even finished in certain areas. It’s amazing how quickly that sneaks up on us every summer!! I live in southwestern Minnesota. Already, some area farms are harvesting sugarbeets. And no doubt we’ll see combines rolling in soybeans within the next two weeks. Now is the time to make safety a priority.
I want to offer some ideas about safety for this harvest, especially around your grain bins and grain handling equipment. Plainly said, there is NEVER a valid reason for being unsafe. Is any component of your farm or business activity worth incurring injury or loss of a life? Of course not.
Spend a few hours walking around and closely inspecting all of your grain equipment. You’re looking for worn out and unsafe parts. You’re also going to make sure all guards and shields are in sound condition and are INSTALLED. What good is a safety shield if it’s broken or removed?
MANY farm equipment manufactures offer free replacements for your broken or missing guards and shields. That’s right, FREE. All you need to do is call the manufacturer and tell them what you need. It’s that simple.
Now, at this point in the conversation, I frequently hear this comeback: “The company that made my auger (or bin, or fan, or conveyor, or WHATEVER) is no longer in business. I can’t get a guard that fits.” Is that a good reason to abandon safety? I don’t think so.
If parts for your equipment are not available, then the answer is simple: It’s Time To Replace The Equipment. Sure, that will cost you some money, but imagine if you or a loved one became injured or worse because of your obsolete machinery. Is that worth it?