Released: September 16, 2005
National Farm Safety, Health Week Emphasizes Safe Harvest
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Harvesting Safety & Health is the theme of the 62nd annual observance of National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 18-24, sponsored by the National Safety Council and supported by farm safety advocates across the United States, including Kansas State University Research and Extension.
The theme for National Farm Safety and Health Week reminds us that harvest season comes with important safety messages, said John Slocombe, K-State Extension farm safety specialist. Especially important is safety on our rural highways as farm equipment and passengers use the same two lanes. Harvest season generally is a time when we see an increase in collisions between farm equipment and other vehicles.
These collisions are often the result of the speed differential between slower-moving farm equipment and passenger cars and trucks, Slocombe added. A highway, the closure distance and time between a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour and a farm tractor pulling a grain wagon traveling 15 miles per hour is very short. The passenger vehicle driver simply doesnt have enough time to react if they do not recognize the farm equipment soon enough.
Slocombe reminds farmers to take steps to enhance farm machinery visibility by replacing worn or damaged Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblems and using appropriate lighting and reflective markings. Most tractors and combines are equipped with lighting and markings that make them more visible on the highway.
Passenger vehicle drivers can help too, he said, by acknowledging the fall farming season is busy and often requires large farm implements to be moved on public highways. Drivers in rural areas should always be alert to the possibility of encountering slow moving farm vehicles and be prepared to slow or stop to avoid a rear-end collision or striking a farm vehicle turning into a field or driveway.
Extra patience, careful driving habits, and the use of highly-visible markings and lighting will help prevent farm vehicle collisions as fall harvest season gets underway with the annual observance of Farm Safety Week. Lets all do our part to stay safe, Slocombe said.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
John Slocombe is at 785-532-2906 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Kerri Ebert is at 785-532-2976