At CHS, we prioritize safety for everyone involved in our business – our staff, external contractors, and of course our member-owners. See below for some seasonal safety considerations to keep in mind on your farm.
Three Points of Contact
The safest way to mount and dismount vehicles, equipment, and ladders is to maintain three points of constant contact. That means one hand and two feet, or two hands and one foot – at all times. Anything less and you’re risking a fall.
Tips for Using the THREE POINT System:
– Always face towards the equipment.
– Get a firm grip on the rails or handles.
– Look for obstacles on the ground before exiting.
– Mount and dismount when the equipment is stopped.
– Break the three-point contact only when you reach the ground, cab, or platform.
– Slow down and take extra care in wet, snowy, or icy weather.
– Avoid wearing loose or torn clothing that can catch on the equipment.
– Wear shoes with good support.
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
– Never jump – you may land off balance or on an uneven surface and fall.
– Don’t climb down with something in your free hand – put it on the vehicle floor and reach up for it when you get to the ground.
– Don’t use tires or wheel hubs as a step surface.
– Don’t use the door frame or door edge as a handhold.
Harvest can become a long season with less rest than other times of the year. Be aware of the signs of sleep deprivation and stop to rest if you reach that point, for your safety and the safety of others around you. Signs of sleep deprivation:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming, wandering, or disconnected thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven
- Yawning repeatedly or rubbing eyes
- Trouble keeping head up
- Drifting from lane to lane, tailgating, or hitting the shoulder or rumble strip
- Feeling restless or irritable
ATVs are different than other vehicles, as well from one another. Make sure you know the unique operating procedures for the ATV you are riding. Remember to be cautious and to know the limitations of both your skill and the equipment. Serious injury can result from improper use of these machines.
Below are key points to inspecting and operating your ATV safely:
Inspect Before You Ride
– Tires and wheels
– Controls and cables
– Lights and electrical
– Oil and fuel
– Know the land you are riding on and the limitations of your machine
– Stay away from dangerous terrain, such as steep slopes, swamps, or tall grasses
– When dismounting the ATV, watch carefully for mud, holes, ruts, or other obstacles that could trip you up
– Always look ahead and choose a speed that is proper for the terrain, visibility, operating conditions, and your experience.
– Pick the safest paths of travel around or over hazards.
– Adjust your speed well in advance when approaching a hazard.
Travel Safely Up and Down Hills
– Some hills are just too steep for your ATV – if the hill you are approaching looks too steep, it probably is.
– When approaching an uphill climb, move up on the seat and lean forward.
– Do not attempt to ride backward down a hill – should you begin rolling backward, do not apply the rear break abruptly.