Safety Tips

Harvest Safety

Harvest time on the farm involves a lot of heavy equipment and machinery that can pose a risk to you or those around you. Follow these basic tips to ensure you use your farm's machinery safely and responsibly.

  • Wear hearing and eye protection around running machinery
  • Wear dust-filtering masks
  • Wear chemical respirators, gloves and mask if handling chemicals
  • Ventilate silo headspace at least 30 minutes before entering to remove gas concentrations
  • Disengage the power take-off shaft before getting off a tractor
  • Never step across a rotating power shaft
  • Never wear loose fitting clothes around moving parts
  • Use wheelblocks to prevent roll-away accidents
  • Closely supervise children in work areas

Fence Safety

Taking the time to construct a well-built fence can prevent your livestock from wandering off your property and into harm's way. Here are some tips for building a safe and strong fence for your farm property.

  • Fence should contain three to five wires
  • Top wire should be at least four feet from the ground
  • Bottom wire should be at least 18 inches off the ground
  • Center wires should be evenly spaced between the top and bottom wire
  • All wires should be tight and securely fastened to fence posts
  • Posts should be about 12 feet apart
  • Posts should be anchored at least two-and-a-half feet in the ground and stand at least four feet above ground

Fire Safety

Fire is one of the most common threats that faces any farm and ranch operation, particularly in the dry summer months. Here are some simple steps you can take to limit the risk of fire on your farm.
  • Keep your machine shed clean
  • Store chemicals in sealed containers
  • Dispose of oily rags
  • Clear shrubbery and debris away from your machine shed and outbuildings
  • Store hay away from outbuildings
  • Don’t allow smoking in or near your machine shed
  • Don’t park vehicles over combustible materials
  • Make sure your electrical systems are safe and up to code
  • Keep electric motors around your farm free of dust
  • Make your property easily accessible to emergency vehicles
  • Create and practice a fire emergency plan with your family
  • Leave fire extinguishers at strategic locations around your property

    Slow Moving Vehicle Safety

    To ensure the safety of other motorists, you should put the Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) symbol on your heavy equipment that you need to periodically drive on the road. You should mount this small, reflective triangle point up at their rear of your vehicle, mounting it at eye level for motorists driving behind you. You should replace this symbol if it becomes faded. It should not be used as a replacement for electric lights on the rear of your equipment.

    Rural Road Safety

    • Don't rush
    • Pass with care
    • Watch for Slow Moving Vehicles (SMVs)
    • Yield to wide vehicles if necessary
      • Remain visible when driving behind large vehicles
      • Mark the edges of your large vehicle or equipment with reflector tape
      • Install mirrors on equipment if necessary to increase visibility