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By Staff | Sep 17, 2010

Harvest is only weeks away and possibly only days away. Silage chopping has started so in some respects, harvest is underway.

This is a good time to remind everyone of the importance of safety.

It’s subject we can all go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have heard it before, here we go again.”

Do not take safety so lightly. I am one who hates to hear other people get preachy to me so I will try hard not to annoy you with any preaching on my part.

Safety is just a matter of being aware of what you are doing and thinking ahead.

I have seen myself in late afternoon doing things that I would not have done in the morning when I was refreshed. Weariness takes our edge off and sets us up for poor decisions.

It is those brief moments of incomplete thinking or just plain carelessness that put us in danger of being injured, maimed, or losing our lives. This is serious business.

It can be as simple as standing in the wrong place or placing a hand where it does not belong.

We have all heard tragic stories about a spinning shaft grabbing a piece of loose clothing. Events such as these take only seconds and change lives forever.

It’s an exciting time of year to see machinery moving across a field and be a part of the dance that takes place between equipment and the people who operate them.

Cool mornings with wearing a jacket give way to shedding the jacket and working in shirt sleeves as the sun warms everything up.

Once the sun sets we look for that jacket we were wearing only hours before and putting it on feels go good as we continue the duties of the day working into the night.

It’s a great time of year and even food eaten out in the field seems to taste better when consumed under a sunny blue sky on a fall day.

Those occasional breaks during the day can be good for both man and machine.

Prepare yourself for the days ahead. Keep a fire extinguisher in places that can be reached quickly.

Make sure it is a working extinguisher. How long ago was it that you checked it?

Always know where your cell phone is. I consider cell phones one of the great advancements in safety for everyone.

I do not want to place a call for help nor do I want to receive one but if help is required, I want my phone in my pocket where I can reach it and that it has a charged battery.

Be careful of those shortcuts. I like saving time as much as anyone, but attempting to save a few seconds or minutes by taking chances that can have serious long term results is not worth it.

I can remember some shortcuts that afterward I realized what I was dong and how much of a chance I was taking, I wondered, “What was I thinking?”

Harvest includes powerful and heavy machinery, electricity, unmarked intersections, long hours when monotony can set in, the hazards are many.

I have made it this far in my life with all parts of my body intact and I want the same for you.

So does your family.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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