Date Posted

August 24, 2021

Julie Moore, ACIP CRM
Manager, AB Commercial Auto Underwriting

SGI CANADA Insurance Services Ltd, Alberta

After a hot, dry, and dusty summer across the prairies, it’s finally harvest time. We want you to be safe during this busy season, with nothing slowing down your harvest. Here are a few tips that may help you reduce your risk.

Protect your equipment from a fire

Keep your machines clean:

-Use compressed air or a leaf blower to blow dust, chaff, and any other combustibles off the machine.

-Pay special attention to friction areas and exhaust and electrical systems.

-Remove grease and oil build-ups, crop residue, and any other debris, especially from rotating or moving parts.

-While working, stop regularly to clean out debris.

Do daily checks of your machines and their components:

-Check bearings and belts for excessive friction and heat.

-Look for cracked, leaking, or dust-covered exhaust systems that could start a fire.

-Inspect fuel, oil, and hydraulic lines and fittings for leaks, and tighten them up.

-Make sure your machine’s cooling and electrical systems are properly maintained and working normally.

Be ready to douse the flames:

-Keep a fully charged 10-lb ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in the cab of your combine.

-Mount a second larger fire extinguisher on the outside of the machine, within reach of ground level.

-Practice using a fire extinguisher before you really need it.

-Keep a water source nearby – a 1,000-gallon water tank with a pump will help you put out any fires on your machinery and prevent the fire from spreading.

Protect yourself:

-Keep a cellphone handy so you can call 9-1-1 for help before you try to put the fire out.

-Wear appropriate clothing, safety glasses, and footwear while operating, cleaning, and maintaining your machinery.

-Make sure to turn off the engine and any other equipment before you clean and inspect it.

In case of a fire:

-Turn off your engine, get out, and approach the fire with caution.

-Watch the area where the fire was to make sure it doesn’t flare up again.

Protect your harvesting equipment – and yourself

Harvesting equipment tends to be big, loud, and dangerous. When you’re working with a combine and other harvesting equipment:

-Protect your lungs and ears. Grain dust and debris particles can build up and cause lung damage, and the constant, loud noises from grain dryers, ventilation fans, tractors, and combines can cause hearing loss.

-Field debris from choppers, distributors, and spreaders can hit you at high speeds – keep out of the way as much as you can!

-Shut off the engine or initiate a full shutdown while you’re doing maintenance, making machine adjustments, or clearing plugged machines.

-Pay attention to the size and height of your equipment. Falling off can lead to serious injury, and parts such as an unloading auger can add additional height, making it far too easy to hit trees and power lines.

-Be extra careful while attaching and detaching headers. Put cylinder stops in place before doing maintenance or other work underneath your combine’s header.

-Fatigue from long hours, pressure to finish, and bad weather can all make you less alert, so remember to take the breaks you need to continue working effectively.

Protect yourself financially

Like you, we’re prairie folks, and we know how important it is to protect your farm-related investments – from seed and equipment to animals and crops – through good insurance. Talk to your broker about the farm insurance options that are right for you. And at harvest time, as always, take care out there! Remember: your machinery and equipment can be replaced, but you can’t.