Keep an eye on young people during harvest

People should keep an eye on children when dealing with farm work.
People should keep an eye on children when dealing with farm work.
When avoiding accidents that involve farm equipment, one of the most important things people can do is make sure the proper safety measures are followed.

In a recent column for Minnesota's Hutchinson Leader newspaper, Nathan Winter, agricultural productions systems educator for the McLeod-Meeker County Extension, noted that many farmers may feel they need to hurry during harvest time. However, like many things in life, hurrying can lead to making mistakes.

Winter noted that farms present a risky work environment, regardless of the age of the worker. When it comes to young people, precautions need to be taken when dealing with farm equipment.

"Youth often are working at a very young age with very little supervision," Winter wrote. "Youth at risk are many times innocent bystanders or passengers on farm equipment."

Workers on farms need to make sure to keep track of where younger people may be working or playing, especially when farm equipment is being used.

Furthermore, education should play a part in keeping young people safe on the farm. Along with teaching young people about farm equipment safety, older people should take the time to field any questions that may arise.

According to Carol Ricketts, who is the manager for the Warren County Farm Bureau in Illinois, people should not carry passengers, especially children, while operating farm equipment.