When Lisa Pfeifer visited the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, she brought visual aids. The Extension safety specialist with Ohio State University set up shop with other safety exhibits in the middle of the Expo hall.
“We want them to look at this farm scene we have set up and see how many unsafe practices or conditions they can find,” she explained. The goal, of course, was for FFA members to go back home and take an objective view of the conditions and practices on their own farms.
There are many unsafe things happening in the featured photo above and the photo below. See how many you can spot.
Keep reading to see which five unsafe practices we highlighted.
1. A child is playing in a wagon load of corn. Look closely at the lower left-hand corner of the photo. There is a figure representing a child standing on top of the grain in the gravity wagon. Treating grain wagons or trucks as play areas sets a bad precedent, safety experts say. If someone pulled up the wagon to unload, the child could be sucked under and suffocated once grain started flowing out the open door into an auger. Entrapment happens fast.
The other common tragedy that happens when kids play in wagons or trucks in the field is when the person in the combine doesn’t know anyone is there. Dumping a full hopper from a modern combine can cover a small child.
2. Where is the ROPS on the tractor with the baler? Note that someone is standing on the platform of the tractor hooked to a round baler in the center of the photo. If the tractor is moving, that person should be seated, experts agree.
The bigger issue is that the tractor doesn’t have a Rollover Protective Structure to protect the driver. Bill Field, Purdue University Extension safety specialist, notes that tractor rollovers are still the leading cause of farm fatalities.
3. Children are playing on unsecured big round bales on a hay wagon. Look to the center right in the photo. Several big round bales are sitting on a wagon. At least two figures are climbing over them. Experts say while this may look like an inviting play area, it’s an accident waiting to happen.
4. The bales on the pickup truck on the road aren’t secured. Scroll up to the main photo at the top of the story. The pickup pulling the trailer has bales that were tossed in the back. Regulations require that such loads be secure, experts say. Exact requirements depend upon what and how much you are hauling.
5. There is no SMV emblem on the forage wagon on the road. Although you can’t tell from this angle, the tractor in that top photo is pulling a forage wagon without a slow-moving vehicle emblem. Know the rules for how SMV signs should be mounted and when they must be used, experts note.