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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
October 19, 2001     Cape Gazette
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October 19, 2001

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74 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Oct. 19 ,Oet. 25,2001 Put safety f'trst during harvest Although harvest is a busy time on the farm, don't hurry safety, cautions Ron Jester, Cooperative Extension safety specialist at the University of Delaware. Safety first when using harvesting equip- ment such as combines, he said, will reduce the number'of fall farm accidents. "While combines are used for considerably fewer hours than tractors, studies show that they cause twice the number of re- portable injuries," Jester said, "And more than half of combine • mishaps occur while victims are clearing, repairing or adjusting the machine. Always shut down pow- er before making any repairs." Jester lists human error as a ma- jor factor in most harvest injuries. He said studies indicate that 90 percent of all accidents are caused by people taking unsafe chances, often because of haste or fatigue. Jester suggests periodic breaks to relieve the monotony of ma- chinery operation. "Even if you eat your meals in the field, at least get offthe equipment and relax for ,t Produce, nursery Delaware fresh produce and nursery stock growers and brokers have the opportunity to market their products at the Produce Mar- keting Association (PMA) Trade Show. set for Oct. 28-30 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The PMA Trade Show is the premier fresh produce exposition in the country, with more than 16.000 industry executives, in- cluding wholesalers, brokers, large grocery chain buyers, mass merchandisers, club store buyers and growers expected to attend this year's show. "Delaware farmers are looking 15 to 20 minutes," he said. " Jester also advises farmers to dress for comfort and safety. Pro- tective footwear and close fitting clothing are essential when work- ing around equipment. Dust and noise also contribute to fatigue, so wear a comfortable respirator and hearing protection. According to Jester, equipment- related accidents that injure and kill can be prevented by following safe practices. Here is his list of harvest operation guidelines: • Take time now to get the equipment harvest-ready, ensuring safe and efficient operating condi- tion. • Carry out routine maintenance on schedule, in the evening; fuel and lubricate equipment for the next day to prevent condensation and corrosion. • Secure all guards and shields before starting equipment. These safety devices reduce the potential for individuals getting caught up in moving parts. • Block the tires of hydraulical- ly-operated equipment before working around or under the equipment. • Shut off the power before leaving the driver's seat. • Do not unplug equipment when power is engaged? In the event the machine suddenly clear s itself, the human brain cannot send a signal fast enough to the hand to let go of crop materials. With the power and "speed of mod- ern equipment, dismemberment and/or death is a likely result. • Keep a fire extinguisher on each piece of equipment. • Do not allow children in the workplace, especially when large equipment operation is involved. Tragedy can occur when children get in the path of equipment from which the operator's view is re- stricted. • Operating on highways is more dangerous than in fields, so keep the SMV emblem clean, put on warning lights and use escort vehicles on busy highways, where the road curves and in other haz- ardous locations and always wear a seatbelt. stock growers can market goods |br new outlets and marketing op- portunities for their produce," said Paul Cartanza, president of the Delaware Potato Board. "This isjhe first time in several years that the PMA show has been in our regnon, and many Delaware farmers will have the chance to at- tend the show and meet new buy- ers." he said. According to Melanie Rapp, marketing specialist with the Delaware Department of Agricul- ture (DDA), the PMA show is the easiest, most cost-effective way for growers to build marketing channels and strengthen existing relations with brokers. For more information, Rapp can be reached at 302-698-4522 or 800-282-8685; or by email at Melanie Pesticides Continued from page 73 8. Secure pesticide application equipment to prevent unautho- rized access. 9. Ensure pesticide label and Material Data Safety Sheets are available on all stored pesticides. 10. Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers readily avail- able. including fire, law enforce- unent and medical contacts. "The above points are most im- portant," said Whitney. "Our ini- tial thoughts on pest management have taken a turn that we may not I-,ave considered only a month ago. Today we all have responsi- bility to more closely monitor proper storage and practices." 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