National Farm Safety Week is over but the need to think about farm safety is just as important this week as it was last week. You don't have to obsess about safety to the point you are paralyzed to do anything for fear of having an accident. In our book, you just have to practice common sense.
I haven't always done that. Here are five things I pledge not to do again.
5. Don't throw gasoline on a brush fire! That was 20 years ago and I remember it like yesterday. Boom! I was lucky. What bothered me most was that when I shared it in print, three people actually wrote, telling me how to do it "without getting hurt"! No way!
4. Fasten gates before they fall over, not after. I set an extra hog panel against the pasture fence and forgot about it. The sheep found it, knocked it over, and it was hidden in the grass. My toes found it and I bruised my ribs in the fall.
3. Think about what you're doing now, not two hours from now. I fed in a daze the other night, thinking about a meeting that evening. I banged my head on a door sill that is just right to catch me if I don't duck. It still hurts.
2. Use proper chains to pull something, or don't do it. Years ago my cousin agreed to pull my car home when the transmission went out because I was too cheap to call a wrecker. He was too cheap to buy a good towing strap. Just after we crossed a busy highway and I rolled safely into a parking lot, the chain fell off my bumper. Never again!
1. Stay out of the loader bucket, it's not a ladder. I shared my escapades in getting to my roof in the loader bucket earlier. This is a tough pledge because it's so easy, but also so dangerous. I just heard about an older farmer who has his sons lift him into the combine cab with the loader bucket every day!