This time of year poses a high risk of injury for farmers as fatigue, stress and pressure build as they spend as much time as they can in the fields. Not only are hours long and the workload heavy, but farmers also have to deal with equipment breakdowns and weather-related issues. Staying safe during planting is challenging. Contact with machinery presents the biggest risk for both injuries and fatalities but there are ways to avoid them and stay sharp.
- Eat balanced meals.
- Set realistic work priorities.
- Consider hiring help for the busy weeks of planting; don’t try to do it all yourself.
- Stay well-hydrated to maintain awareness.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Be as rested as you can be; if necessary shut down for a few minutes and take a nap. Even a 20 minute break with a short nap can really help improve alertness.
- Take a short walk; it’s unhealthy to sit for long periods of time.
- Always have your cell phone on your person; see it as a safety feature.
- Remember to share the roads safely with vehicles as well as farm equipment.