Staying Safe This Harvest Season
With temperatures reaching into the mid-90s this past week, it’s hard to believe autumn is now officially upon us. For Missouri’s agricultural community, this time of year revolves around the fall harvest, which demands a grueling amount of work for our farmers in a short period of time. Whether you’re a young farmer just starting out or a seasoned pro, it’s always worth taking a moment to review some simple reminders about farm safety before you head out to the fields. The following are several great tips from the Mayo Clinic on how you can stay safe during this harvest season.
First, stay rested and take breaks, keep hydrated and don’t skip meals. Being overtired creates an impaired mental state comparable to intoxication, while dehydration and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be more dangerous than you may realize. Second, Mayo suggests always keeping a first-aid kit with a tourniquet close by in your truck, combine or both. Next, share how long you plan to work and set ongoing check-in times, so someone knows you’re okay. Finally, always follow best management practices by respecting the recommended usage of safety mechanisms and shields on your equipment.
Adhering to these safety tips will prove all the more important this harvest season, as a new law (Senate Bill 8) recently went into effect that allows Missouri farmers to operate their agricultural equipment on state highways at night, provided their vehicles are equipped with proper lighting. While this important change will enable our agricultural producers to more efficiently harvest their crops, it also creates additional opportunities for accidents to occur. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is therefore urging motorists and farmers alike to be extra vigilant when driving during periods of darkness. Please visit the MSHP website to learn more about SB 8 and view a list of reminders for safe travel this harvest season.
As always, please feel free to call, email, or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.