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Harvest Safety

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Photo of equipment harvesting corn.

Harvesting crops is dangerous work. In Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health, about half of the 500 farm injuries that occur yearly take place during August through November, our prime harvest months. An ISU Extension publication (Harvest safety yields big dividends) states that almost half of farm injuries occur in August, September, October and November.

According to the National Ag Safety Database, injuries are often caused by one of these five contributing factors: stress, negligence, recklessness, fatigue or overexertion. Especially during the pressures of the harvest season, it’s entirely possible for those working to experience one or more of these problems.

Take care It’s tempting to forget personal needs during the harvest rush. But mistakes can slow or end work … and cause injuries. It’s vitally important to stay alert and on top of the job at hand. Be sure to:

  • Get adequate sleep so you stay alert while working with dangerous equipment. Remember that your life—and the lives of those who work with you—depend on it.

  • Take regular breaks for eating, drinking, clearing your mind and stretching your legs.

  • Avoid alcohol and drug use.