Here is another good article on planting safety from Farm Progress. This article focuses more on equipment and on the farmer. Doing a thorough check of equipment and replacing damaged parts before planting starts is a good way to prevent problems in the field. Putting together an emergency plan and making sure that your fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and emergency contact numbers are up to date is part of the preparation.
Also, even though planting season always a time crunch, don’t be in so big of a hurry to get started that you’re planting before the field is really ready for it. If you’ve had problems more than once from going into a particular field early in the season, that’s a big indicator to hold off a little longer . One thing that I’ve been finding in the reports coming in to the database is that poor environmental conditions like mud, icy surfaces, debris, and bad lighting are a contributing factor in many ag injuries. It isn’t mentioned much on the academic side of things (which is something I’d like to change) but from the data I’m getting, it seems like a lot of injuries could be prevented if people took more precautions when working in poor environmental conditions.
It’s also important for farmers to take care of themselves during planting season. There have been a half dozen or so studies at this point showing that getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night or sleeping poorly increases the risk for injury. Not eating enough or drinking enough water can also impact performance, as does working while sick. If the workload is more than you can mange without feeling sick or having to cut back on sleep, finding some temporary help for the busy season might be the answer. Even if the second person can’t plant, having someone that can help feed animals or haul supplies can help take some of the pressure off.
Click on the link below to see the article by Farm Progress: