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Learn harvest safety tips at free MU safety expo, Aug. 2


Linda Geist
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185

Published: Monday, July 28, 2014

Story sources:

Bob Broz, 573-882-0085Kent Shannon, 573-445-9792

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Harvest is a time when there is a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it, said Kent Shannon, University of Missouri Extension specialist. This sense of urgency contributes to more farm accidents than any other time of the year.

Shannon and other MU Extension specialists and safety experts will give safety tips during the free Aug. 2 Combine Blessing and Safety Expo. The event offers activities for children and adults at the Central Missouri Events Center, formerly Boone County Fairgrounds, beginning at 4 p.m.

Boone County Farm Bureau and MU Extension sponsor the event, which includes a free meal of locally produced food. The first 200 children who attend will receive free T-shirts.

A safe harvest means preparation and organization, Shannon said. He offers some safety tips:

• Talk with employees and family members. Make sure they know when to stop doing something to avoid injury.

• Familiarize everyone with new equipment.

• Restrict access to handling and storage locations.

• Collect operator manuals for harvesting equipment.

• Review information and maintenance schedules to determine if service or preventive maintenance needs to be done.

• Perform operational checks on fans, augers, conveyors and other mechanical equipment.

• Check and repair slip, trip and fall hazards. Move protruding objects.

• Clean up debris, weeds and other obstructions.

• Inspect and test LP or natural gas lines.

• Install warning signs and safety locks. Make sure there are first-aid kits and fire extinguishers at each work site.

• Check electrical boxes and connections to make sure they are weatherproof, watertight and properly grounded.

• Check for open-conduit or exposed wiring. Check overhead wiring and make sure panels and switches are operational.

• Check the igniter on the grain dryer. Check and clean the grain dryer burners and check for leaks.

• Run the grain dryer fan to make sure it works.

• Always refuel your equipment after it has cooled. Fuel vapors can easily ignite on hot engines.

• Put fire extinguishers on combines.

• Drive harvesting equipment only when you are alert.

• Display the slow-moving vehicle emblem on all off-road vehicles and use flashers when on roads.

• Inspect hitches before using towing equipment or wagons.

The expo also will present safety information on ATVs, lawnmowers, household poisons, electricity and a variety of items that everyone should know about.