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Harvest Has Enough Distractions: Rethink Cell Phone Use, Safety Policies

Harvest Has Enough Distractions: Rethink Cell Phone Use, Safety Policies

Practicing safety habits is part of the job description, make it yours too.

The weigh wagon in the field when the Northeastern Wayne FFA was harvesting their corn plot had an interesting description on it. Many auger wagons have safety reminders, but this one had a large warning painted on the side in big, bold, hand-painted letters: "Don't Enter Box When Auger is Running."

It's a good reminder to anyone, but especially when teenagers are around, helping weigh samples and check grain moisture, then record results. They were members of the FFA chapter.

Related: Safety Risks Involved in Agriculture: Get the Point?

Loud and clear: This message is very clear: stay out of the wagon if the auger is running!

The warning had a dual meaning. If you're in a wagon of any type with an auger at the bottom where grain flows out, it's always possible to get a foot caught in an auger.

Second, a full grain cart is not a good place to observe harvest time action. If someone opens the auger to unload the cart into a waiting a wagon or truck, grain entrapment and even suffocation could be a risk.

This cart was operated by Seed Consultants, Inc. A Seed Consultant rep was helping harvest the plot, along with reps form other seed companies.

Seed Consultants has a strict policy in other safety matters. For example, if any employee is talking on the cell phone while driving. Either receiving or sending a call, even hands-free, they could be dismissed from their job, no questions asked.

Related: A Cell Phone May Not Save You Inside a Tin Can!

After personally missing a highway exit and going the wrong way recently because I was engrossed in a cell phone conversation, I can certainly see the value in that policy.

If you're in the habit of talking on the cell phone while combining, operating a tractor or unloading grain, you might want to rethink your guidelines for you and your employees. There are plenty of distractions at harvest without adding more.

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