Tree Farmer - November/December 2010 - (Page 44)

Practice Tractor Safety PauL tools & techniques By Easley now! Tractors make living on our Tree farms much easier, enjoyable, and productive. They also make it a lot more dangerous. I think it is like any tool we get used to working with: we will sometimes push them to do more than that which they are capable. once you are past the invisible line of safety, it is hard to back up. I share here some personal experiences with extreme injury and deaths from tractor accidents. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) records show that nearly one person dies every day in a tractor accident. It would be nice to think that by reading this column you might reverse that trend by at least one and not become a statistic. Rollovers are the leading cause of death in tractor accidents. Faster than you can think, a tractor can flip over backwards or roll sideways and crush the operator. Row-crop tractors with tricycle-type front ends should, in my opinion, never have a front loader attached to them. That is just an accident waiting to happen. Many of the smaller utility tractors have plenty of hydraulic power to lift more in a loader than it can safely carry. With rollovers contributing to more than 130 deaths a year, you would think more people would be trying to prevent an accident. It all starts with you — the operator. You are the one responsible for your safety. The use of a rollover protective structure (ROPS) and seatbelt is estimated to be 99 percent effective in preventing death or serious injury in an overturn, according to a 2004 NIOSH report. However, it is up to you to use your seatbelt. Keeping your body in the seat is the safest place to be, and it also gives you the opportunity to regain control. You never plan on an accident, but being prepared is the smart thing to do. stopped the tractor with the arms up, shut the motor off, and started out of the cab head-first. His leg hit the hydraulic lever, which brought the arms down on him, rolling him around the side of the cab. He had obviously tried hard to get the arms off of him, as he had broke both hydraulic levers kicking them with his foot. With the engine shut off, there was no way to reverse this mistake. David was crushed between the cab and the arms, a distance of 2 1/2 inches. Well now, that was hard to write. But when I tell you this maybe you will really hear me: Leave the shields and guards on your equipment! Martin Easley, my cousin, was killed when a tractor rolled over on him. It was winter with a heavy snow on the ground. Martin had gone out to feed his cattle in the late afternoon. The pasture he was going to was more than a mile The 1990 Illinois Tree Farmers of the Year Paul and Kathy Easley own and manage Oak Leaf Wood ‘n’ Supplies, 210 N. Main Street, Moweaqua, IL 62550; . Accidents I lost a son in a most hideous tractor accident on October 31, 1981. It sounds like a long time ago, yet it was just yesterday. David was 18, had just graduated from high school, and had a job at the local grain elevator. He was operating an old International loader with the loader arms that pivoted from the back of the tractor. Most of these units did not have a cab on them. The one David was using had a cab mounted on it with side shields to prevent the operator from getting out of the tractor while the arms were up. Those shields had been removed so the operator could squeeze out from under the arms while they were extended. One job for this unit was to put the grain bin doors on the silo. That job required two people, one on the tractor and one to bolt the door. The job was cut to one person by removing the side shields on the tractor. Dave had 44 International Year of Forests, 2011 Tree Farmer NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tree Farmer - November/December 2010

Tree Farmer - November/December 2010
How to Develop an Investment Strategy
Buyer’s Guide & Resource Directory
Associations & Organizations
Communication – Satellite Phones & GPS
Consulting Foresters & Managers
Co-op Resources
Equipment Financing
Fertilizers, Herbicides & Repellents
Financing & Credit
Forest Appraisal, Analysis & Management
Forest Measuring Instruments & Software
GPS & Satellite Phones
Land Sales
Portable Sawmills
Pressure Treated Products
Real Estate Brokers
Seeds & Seedlings
Specialized Excavating for Erosion Control
Supplies, Gifts & Apparel
Timber Buyers & Loggers
Timber Pricing Services
Tools & Equipment
Trail Layout & Construction
Tree Paint & Markers
Tree Protectors & Shelters
Wood Manufacturers
Associations & Organizations
Cooperative, State Research, Education & Extension Services
Grant, Loan & Cost-Share Programs
Tree Farm State Contacts
State Foresters
Taxing Issues
Sharing Your Experiences
Ties to the Land
Sharing Your Experiences
Tools & Techniques

Tree Farmer - November/December 2010