Safety Tip: Be Viz-able on farm; It could save your life!
By Jonathan Marcotte, Safety Champion
We all know that spring is right around the corner, and with it comes the rush of spring work and getting crops planted. Now is a good time for each of us to review some of the hazards and key safety topics, and to help our family, friends and neighbors do the same.
Many of our team members at Cargill conduct seasonal pre-spring work meetings with dairy producers. Before my days as a safety champion and Cargill Dairy Focus Consultant a Cargill, I was a farm manager and organized these meetings with suppliers. Those meetings (then and now) help us all keep our heads in the game and focused when the days got long and seat time is plenty.
A key aspect to our own safety is being visible on the farms. Part of that is wearing high visibility clothing such as hats, shirts and our high viz vests, or anything that can alert a busy farmyard or bunk silo to our presence. Cargill team members are given yellow high visibility vests to wear on farms. These pieces of apparel are much easier to see, especially at night or in bad weather like snow or rain. In some cases, this vest could save your life.
In the beginning of 2018 there was a tragic accident on a Cargill dairy customer in Vermont. A longtime employee, family friend and mentor was run over and killed by the farm owner’s son. The son was running the feeding payloader, while loading grain into the feed truck. Had that employee been wearing a high-viz vest, he may have been seen.
I hope that by sharing this terrible tragedy, and emphasizing that being safe is everyone’s responsibility, we can greatly reduce the chance of this happening elsewhere. We can each take simple steps like wearing our high viz vests to ensure that an incident like this never happens again. We need to set an example for others.
Take the time and simple steps to ensure our own safety. We can help spread the word on visibility/line of sight safety with all dairy producers. I would be happy to never hear about this kind of tragedy again.