When the crops are ready to be harvested, farmers have only a window of time—between weather events, equipment breakdowns, and life events—to get the best quality crop out of the field. To make the most of this time, farm workers trying to get as much work done as possible.

The rush to harvest can lead to farmers working long days with little sleep. Make sure before starting, to note the location of power lines.

One of the biggest hazards for farmers is posed by power lines. To stay safe around overhead power lines workers should do the following:

  • Use a spotter when operating large machinery near lines.
  • Use care when raising augers or the bed of grain trucks around power lines. 
  • Keep equipment at least 10 feet from lines—at all times, in all directions.
  • Inspect the height of the farm equipment to determine clearance.
  • Always remember to lower extensions when moving loads.
  • Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
  • If a power line is sagging or low, call the local utility immediately. 

Always remember to periodically look up and be aware of your surroundings. If you can’t safely pass under a power line, choose a different path.

If contact is made with a power line, remember, it is almost always safest to stay on the equipment. Make sure to warn others to stay away, and call the local utility provider immediately. The only reason to exit is if the equipment is on fire. If this is the case, jump off the equipment with your feet together and without touching the ground and vehicle at the same time. Then, still keeping your feet together, “bunny hop” away.

Additional safety tips include:

  • Do not use metal poles when breaking up bridged grain inside and around bins.
  • Always hire qualified electricians for any electrical issues. 
  • Do not use equipment with frayed cables.
  • Make sure outdoor outlets are equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • When operating a portable generator, make sure nothing is plugged into it when turning it on, and never operate a generator in a confined area. Generators can produce toxic and deadly gasses like carbon monoxide.
  • Always use caution when operating heavy machinery.

Harvesting Equipment

  • Only allow properly trained people to operate the equipment
  • Ensure the equipment has been properly maintained
  • Make sure anyone who is out in the fields have some form of communication


  • Get enough sleep every evening
  • Eat foods that will keep you mentally and physically aware
  • Drink water to stay hydrated
  • Stop periodically to stretch

Moulds & Dust

  • Have the correct and clean air filters in place when operating machinery
  • Wear safety goggles and dust masks if necessary
  • Stop periodically to get some fresh air