Each year, injuries occur to farmers and farm workers who are rushing to get hay put up before the next thunderstorm.
Here is a checklist of equipment inspection and safe haying practices that can be posted on or near mowers and balers.
* Know your operator's manual.
These manuals contain vital information for the safe and efficient operation for each piece of machinery. Every potential operator should familiarize themselves with the manuals.
* Be able to communicate with others.
It is a good idea to have a cellular phone or CB radio handy. Regular "check-in" times should be established.
* Inspect PTO shafts.
PTO shaft injuries are among the more deadly, disabling, and disfiguring hazards on the farm. Make sure all shields are intact and in place. Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing while working around PTO powered equipment.
* Turn off the engine and take the keys with you before clearing or repairing equipment.
A large percentage of injures occur to people who try to fix or clear equipment "on the run". Shortcuts like this may save a few moments, but the pain of an injury and time lost while healing make taking risks unacceptable.
* Handle and transport bales correctly.
Always use bale clamps or forks when loading round bales with a fr