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Harvester safety

Harvest is a busy time on a farm.

With ripe produce ready to pick and pack and only a short time available to do the work, there can be lots of additional people and machinery at work. This presents a range of safety risks.

Planned maintenance and skilled equipment operation can curb downtime and reduce the potential for accidents during harvest.

Make sure you, your employees, relief drivers or contractors are properly trained in how to use the harvester safely.

Make sure operators are aware of the risks and safe operating procedures and are provided with an instruction manual. This should give instructions on safe use of the machinery, clearing blockages and the recommended procedure for cleaning the combine and grain tank between crops.


The hazards of harvesters are:

  • becoming entangled with the levelling or discharge augers in the grain tank
  • falling from the machine, especially during pre/post season cleaning
  • contacting overhead power lines
  • being run over
  • contact with the knife, reel or stripper rotor
  • contact with the straw chopper or spreader
  • being trapped under the header or injured by the header falling from its transport trailer
  • being injured by the drive mechanisms or trapped when automatic sensors operate
  • dust, fires, and noise.

Further information

More information on the do’s and don’ts of harvester safety