Farmers and non farmers reminded to practice farm safety during fall harvest

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- September is Farm Safety Month

With that said, it's already the time farmers are ready for the fall harvest season that's right around the corner. Farmers are in a hurry to get the crop off before the first snow falls and they can no longer get in the fields.

Dr. Heather Schlesser from UW-Madison DIvision of Extension joined NewsChannel 7 at Noon on Thursday. She said farming is one of the deadliest industries. In 2015, 527 people died, in 2016, 417 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury.

She said they're exposed several potentially dangerous situations during a normal day of work, including the potential for tractors to overturn, which was the leading cause of death for these farmers and farm workers.

Here are some practices that can help keep farmers safe:

- Get enough sleep

- Get out to stretch every couple of hours

- Watch steps and hand holds

- Slow moving vehicle signs required for all vehicles traveling less than 25MPH

- Use lights when on the road, especially during hours of darkness, a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise

- Towed vehicles operated during hours of darkness need two tail lights or two reflectors

- All IOH that are more than four feet wide to the left side of the center line of the towing unit must have an amber reflector at the widest point on the left. That marks the extreme widest point of the vehicle to oncoming traffic.

- Don’t take short cuts

- Focus on farm safety and proper training of employees.

- Store chemicals properly and out of reach of children.

- Be extra careful when you enter a grain bin.

Schlesser said there are also practices non farmers can do to keep everyone safe, including being aware of more farm equipment being on the roads.

Here are some things to remember:

- Only pass a farm vehicle in a passing zone.

- People need to look for the equipment and be smart about passing

- Headlights on equipment allow farmers to be in the field late at night, so you need to look for them all times of the day and night.

In 1990, National Institute of Occupational safety and Health developed an extensive agricultural safety and health program to address the high risks of injuries and illnesses experienced by workers and families in agriculture.