During the Virtual Farm Science Review (FSR) this week I hope some of you took advantage of the many educational events and demonstrations. I realize it was not like actually being at the Review, but it was the best we could do in this crazy year we have found ourselves in for 2020.
One of the areas of the FSR was the farm safety and health programs. One important event that was included was a showing of the film “SILO.”
I took the time the other night to watch this film, and I’m very glad I did. It was a great reminder for all of us to practice safety and communications at all times on a farm.
Inspired by true events, “SILO” follows a harrowing day in an American farm town. Disaster strikes when teenager Cody Rose is entrapped in a 50-foot grain bin. When the corn turns to quicksand, family, neighbors and first-responders must put aside their differences to rescue Cody from drowning in the crop that has sustained their community for generations.
Cody was saved, but one person did lose their life by getting swallowed up by the corn in that grain bin.
If you get a chance to see this film I encourage you to take the time to watch it. I have to say, the events of that day depicted in this film were graphic and real and it could happen to anyone if precaution and safety are not followed.
Our first-responders have the equipment and technology today to save lives in these types of situations but timing is everything in order for the rescue to be successful. Having a plan for entering a grain bin full of grain and taking safety seriously could save a life.
Some of the other topics we should spend some time thinking about that were covered at FSR this week included:
Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety; Overall Farmer Health; Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture; Emergency Preparedness in Agriculture; and, Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture.
This is all very timely as it is National Farm Safety and Health Week and the fact we are very close to getting the 2020 fall harvest underway here in Clinton County. The theme for this year is “Every Farmer Counts.”
Another item I want to remind everyone about is road safety, especially during peak farm activity such as harvest or in the spring during the planting season. Here are some key reminders for the farmers that travel the roadways:
• Make sure lights are legal and working.
• Use hazard lights and slow moving vehicle emblems.
• Take caution while driving machinery across or onto all but especially heavy traveled main roadways.
• If necessary, provide a follow car with flashing lights.
• Pay close attention to the attachments you are pulling on the roadways.
• If traffic backs up and it is possible and safe, pull over to allow traffic to pass safely.
• If possible, limit movement of large equipment during evening or peak traffic hours.
These are some reminders for the rest of you traveling our roadways:
• Slow down when you see farm equipment!
• Watch for hand signals and turn signals.
• Do not speed past farm machinery!
• Look out for the triangle slow moving sign on farm equipment using our roadways. It means what it stands for, farm equipment moves very slowly.
• Do not suddenly pull out in front of oncoming farm machinery, they can’t make quick stops.
• Do not expect equipment to travel partly on the shoulder.
• Finally, SHARE THE ROAD!
There is a lot of great farm safety information at the Ohio State University AG Safety and Health Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OSUAgSafetyandHealth/ .
We have a big harvest coming up quickly, so finally this week, I ask and I pray that each farm family takes a moment each day to reflect on keeping safe and healthy, being smart in your daily activities and that you have a plan in place for the “WHAT IF’S”.
Accidents happen and in many cases they happen quickly and unexpectedly. Let’s have a great and successful harvest in 2020 — it’s been stressful enough this year.
Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.