The PEI Federation of Agriculture Offers Tips for a Safe Harvest Season

It is that time of year once again when the agriculture community is getting back into full swing and farmers are getting ready for the busy harvest season. With fall upon us, it is not uncommon to see farm machinery on Island roads and in the field. This is an opportune time to remind farmers and their employees, as well as motorists, the importance of safety.

There are a few basic safety reminders for farmers and their employees that we recommend they follow to avoid accidents. Farmers should ensure all equipment is in good working order and the use of safety lights, signs, and back up alarms are used on all equipment. Equipment operators should ensure safety guards are in place at all times, and that all safety devices are functioning properly. When performing maintenance on equipment, ensure the equipment is shut off and the key is removed; also remember to replace any guards that may have been temporarily removed. Farm employees are encouraged to have up to date safety training, and use personal protective equipment when necessary to protect them from injury. The fall harvest often requires working long hours which can result in fatigue- which increases the chance of accidents occurring; remember to get adequate rest each night, take breaks, and keep hydrated.

When operating farm machinery and equipment on Island roads we encourage farmers to make sure equipment is well marked and illuminated, and visible to motorists; rear facing work lights should be shut off during highway operation. The use of escort vehicles should be used when over-width or over-length equipment is being used, and extreme width vehicles should not be operated on roadways during night time when visibility is minimal. Be sure to use caution when entering/exiting roadways in locations with limited sight distances, and ensure the sizes of loads or equipment being hauled are appropriate for the size of tractors being used.

We ask for patience from motorists for slow moving and oversized farm equipment that we will be meeting on Island roadways over the next few months. We encourage motorists to take caution when passing farm machinery, and to share the roadways accordingly. With the cooperation of both motorists as well as farmers we can keep safe and avoid accidents.

For additional information on safety and training please contact Charlotte Crooks at the Federation office – charlottec@peifa.ca