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It's farm safety week-take a nap!

Fri, Sep 17th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

September 19 - 25 is Farm Safety Week. The suggestion to take a nap may sound like a contradiction, but University of Illinois Extension Safety Specialist, Bob Aherin, says taking a break can actually be one of the best things you do during harvest.

Harvest is a busy time of year with long hours in the field. But, during harvest, an afternoon nap could save your life.

Research shows that after every two hours of work, like operating a combine, we should take a 15 to 20 minute break. This break can relieve the stress and focus of what we are doing. Data shows that injuries occur more often in late morning or late afternoon after farmers have been working for several hours.

It is important for others around the farm to remind workers to take a little break and to shut down the machinery. A little mid-morning snack and a little afternoon nap might just be a good thing. Even a short break in the middle of the afternoon or evening will decrease your chances of having a serious farm accident. After such a break we are more rested and more mentally alert.

Instead of thinking of the few minutes as downtime, think of a nap as a good risk management tool. The average farm accident can cost upwards of $20,000 in medical bills and lost productivity. The message is clear and simple for the harvest season: operator downtime pays because there are fewer errors, injuries, and even deaths when a body is well rested.

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