Safety & Health
- Farm Safety
- Rural Road Safety
- Stay Healthy
For farmers, agricultural safety is your best investment. There is no healthy farm without a healthy you! Illinois Farm Bureau promotes safety and health, both on the farm and in agricultural and rural communities, to reduce the number of farm work-related injuries and deaths by encouraging safe practices and increasing public awareness of the importance of safety and health in agriculture.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Make safety a priority on your farm and in your community. It can save a life and/or a limb.
- Call Before You Dig – Dial 811
Farmers need to be aware of critical underground utility facilities, such as rural water, fiber optic, electric, pipeline and high-pressure gas distribution systems, on their property. Utilities can be buried at various depths beneath farm fields. Projects such as tile plowing, building waterways and setting posts require a call to JULIE.
Protect yourself, your farm, your family and your community. Striking a single buried utility can result in high repair cost, immense property and environmental damage, injury and most importantly, loss of lives.
A call to “811” is the simplest way to prevent loss of life and damage to underground utilities. You owe it to your family, your farm and your neighbors to dig safely. Do not assume that you know what is underground in the area you are digging. Do not make a judgment call. Make a free phone call – to 811 – before every digging project.
To learn more, visit www.call811.com.
5 Steps to Safer Digging
- Pre-mark the dig site with white paint or flags
- Call JULIE at 8-1-1 or go online (illinois1call.com) to submit your own locate request before you dig
- Wait the required amount of time (two business days)
- Respect the marks
- Dig with care
When farmers call either 8-1-1 or 800-892-0123, they will speak with a JULIE Call Center Agent who will take the location and description of the project site and notify affected member facility owners and operators. These members will then send a professional locator to mark the approximate location of their underground utility lines with small flags, markings or paint at no cost. (JULIE personnel do not perform locating or marking services).
- Grain Safety
Best Practice Prevention Strategies
- 35 grain entrapment incidents were reported in 2020 representing a 7.9% decrease from the 38 recorded in 2019. 57% of those were fatal. Many more incidents remain unreported each year. (Source: Purdue University)
- 80% of all grain entrapment cases occurred in the Midwest, or Corn Belt.
- Three female cases were documented 2020, two of which involved falls from storage structures.
- The average age was 46.9 years old.
Did You Know?
- In 4 seconds, an adult can sink knee-deep in the suction of flowing grain. At this point, he or she can’t free themself without help. (Source: Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health)
- Suffocation from engulfment is a leading cause of death in grain bins. (Source: OSHA)
- Flowing grain behaves like quicksand. An adult can be completely buried (engulfed) in 20 seconds. Most engulfed victims do not survive. (Source: Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health)
- From 2010 to 2019, there were 330 grain entrapment incidents reported. 47.6% of those were fatal. (Source: Purdue University)
- Most entrapment and engulfment events occur because workers enter a bin or storage structure to check on condition of grain or to address problems with grain flow due to spoiled grain or equipment malfunction. (Source: Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health)
- Around 80% of reported engulfments involve a person inside a bin or storage structure when grain-unloading equipment is running. Engulfments in flowing grain also occur in outdoor grain storage piles, grain wagons, rail cars, and semi-trailers that unload from the bottom. (Source: Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health)
- The best ways to prevent engulfment incidents are to eliminate the reasons for entering a bin in the first place, and to restrict unauthorized access by youth or other individuals who may be unaware of hazards. (Source: Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health)
- Grain Handling Safety Council (www.grainsafety.org)
Tips for Farmers
- Do everything possible to alert motorists to the presence of your farm equipment and slow travel speed.
- Plan travel to avoid rush hours, bad weather, the busiest roads, and the time before daylight and after dark.
- Be obvious to motorists by proper use of reflective Slow Moving Vehicle emblems on any implement operated on public roadways. It’s the law!
- Use reflective marking tape and reflectors at the extremities of equipment.
- Turn on hazard lights mounted on farm equipment and turn off field work lights for all roadway travel.
- Install mirrors that are wide enough for you to see what is following you.
- Always use turn signals to indicate plans to turn into fields or driveways.
- Be aware of traffic----oncoming, in front of you, and behind you.
- If road and shoulder conditions are safe, pull over temporarily to allow traffic to pass.
- Slow down on turns and curves. Check the traffic behind you.
- Minimize the width of equipment as much as possible. You may not interfere with traffic in an adjoining lane.
- When practical, truck larger equipment to the next location.
Tips for Motorists
- Above all, slow down and be patient.
- Reduce speed when encountering farm equipment on public roads. Flashing amber lights mean “caution.”
- Slow down when you see the Slow Moving Vehicle Emblem----the orange and red reflective triangle warns you that the tractor or combine travels at a slow rate of speed.
- Keep a safe distance from the farm equipment so farmers can see you. If you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you.
- Pass wide, large farm equipment only if you know conditions are safe and you are sure the farmer will not be making a left-hand turn. Be cautious when pulling back in.
- It is illegal to pass in a no passing lane or within 100 feet of an intersection, railroad crossing, or bridge.
- Be prepared to yield to wide equipment.
- Always wear a safety belt and heed the road’s speed limit.
- Watch for the farmer’s indication of a turn. Newer equipment has one or more amber lights flashing rapidly to indicate a turn. Older equipment is typically not equipped with turn signals so watch for the farmer’s hand signals.