Harvest season safety tips from Ill. Dept. of Agriculture

As we enter fall, the Illinois Departments of Agriculture and Labor remind all farm workers to...
As we enter fall, the Illinois Departments of Agriculture and Labor remind all farm workers to stay safe, especially during the busy harvest season.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 1:19 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - As we enter fall, the Illinois Departments of Agriculture and Labor remind all farm workers to stay safe, especially during the busy harvest season.

Governor JB Pritzker has proclaimed the week of September 18-24 National Farm Safety and Health Week in Illinois, with the theme, “Protecting Agriculture’s Future.”

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the agriculture sector is one of the most dangerous in America. Each year the farming profession sees over 500 fatalities nationwide.

“It is important to bring awareness not only to the physical dangers of farming, but the emotional toll it takes as well,” said Jerry Costello II, director, IDOA. “While we highlight roadway safety, confined spaces safety, and other traditional farming hazards, it is also important to encourage famers to take care of their own health.”

Most farmworker injuries and deaths are caused by tractor overturns, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. On average, these incidents result in about 130 deaths each year nationwide.

“As we enter the hectic harvest season, it is more important than ever to follow best practices to safeguard farmers’ and farm workers’ safety. Now is the time to remind employers and farm workers to put safety first, especially around grain storage facilities, which can be especially risky,” said Illinois Department of Labor Acting Director Jane Flanagan.

According to IDA, visibility is a key to safety on the roads. All farm vehicles using the public roads must display the fluorescent orange Slow Moving Vehicle triangle. Additionally, tractors and other self-powered farm vehicles must have proper lighting. Drivers should remember farm vehicle operators have limited visibility to the rear. Anyone passing such a vehicle should use extreme caution.

Each day during National Farm Safety and Health Week, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will highlight emerging issues and important topics on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Monday, Sept. 20: Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
  • Tuesday, Sept. 21: Overall Farmer Health
  • Wednesday, Sept. 22: Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
  • Thursday, Sept. 23: Confined Spaces
  • Friday, Sept. 24: Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture

Follow the Illinois Department of Agriculture on social media for these important updates throughout Farm Safety and Health Week.