Oskaloosa.com

August 15, 2013

Safety important for farmers

By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Staying safe while operating farming equipment both on the road and at the homestead is important.

Bob Wells, who deals with agricultural economics and farm management at Mahaska County ISU Extension, noted that farm-related accidents happen more often than some people realize. He said ISU Extension compiles information on farming accidents as they are reported in newspapers throughout the state.

According to Wells, grain bin accidents are on the rise. He said one reason for this is that grain bins themselves are becoming larger and people can sometimes forget about the amount of pressure grain can put on a person, should they fall into the bin.

Farming injuries can range from minor to fatal. Wells said some farming-related injuries can cause long-term disabilities, as well.

Many times, people working with farm equipment can be injured due to a lack of shielding over belts and pullies, added Wells.

Stress plays a role in farm injuries, Wells said. Increased stress can mean more accidents. There are publications on dealing with stress available at the Mahaska County ISU Extension Office, 212 N. I St.

It's also important to remember what farming tasks are age appropriate for children, noted Wells. He said ISU Extension offers information on this sort of thing, as well, including ATV safety.

To learn more about farm safety, visit http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ and search “farm safety.”

Each fall, drivers on rural roadways in Iowa notice farm equipment traveling along these roads. It's when they don't notice them that accidents can occur.

Wells encouraged drivers to be on the lookout for farm equipment using the roadways, adding that many rural roads have sharp turns and blind spots.

Thanks to innovations like slow moving vehicle signs and increased lighting on farm equipment in recent years, things are a bit safer on roadways. However, it is still important for drivers to be aware of farm equipment on the roadways.

National Farm Safety Week is Sept. 15 through 21 this year.

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Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.