On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDSALS) issued a press release in which Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey encouraged farmers and those living in and traveling through rural Iowa to stay safe this harvest season. Secretary Northey issued the reminder as part of National Farm Safety and Health Week which runs from September 16 to 22.
Tips for farmers include using the slow moving vehicle emblem on all appropriate tractors and equipment and making sure they are in good shape and visible. Also, be aware of and avoiding flowing grain suffocation hazards while unloading bins and wagons. Retrofitting older tractors with a rollover protective structure (ROP) is another important safety measure. Harvest season is also a time when those traveling through rural Iowa need to be alert to potentially slow moving equipment and should be prepared to take a little more time if necessary.
The Iowa Department of Transportation has a video entitled “Rural Roadway Crashes – They’re Preventable” that has more information on how to safely travel Iowa’s rural roads. It is available on their website at http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ods/RuralRoadCrashes.html.
More farm safety information is available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach at http://www.abe.iastate.edu/extension-and-outreach/agricultural-health-safety/ or from the Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) at http://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/icash/