Post Hole Digger Safety by godzila13


									Advice about safer farming from the claim files of American Family Insurance

Post hole digger becomes
spinning nightmare
Claims involving moving equipment mishaps are all too common
A farmer and his hired hand were digging post holes one
cool morning, just like they’d done on several other days.
The job was second nature, they both knew it so well.
The farmer backed his tractor into place with the helper’s
instructions, engaged the digger through the tractor’s
power takeoff, and the worker lowered the swirling auger.

                                         implement. The machinery may
I  t was so cut and dried, the
   farmer wasn’t even looking back
when he heard a desperate shriek
                                         have had the guard removed, been
                                         attached improperly, or might even
from his helper. The farmer whirled      have been too old to have adequate
around to see the man lashed by          guards. The hired hand could have
the cord of his hooded sweatshirt        been a friend, family member or
to the spinning drive train of the       the farmer himself.
power takeoff, fighting for his life.        Whatever the facts, one thing
The farmer instantly turned off the      never changes: someone’s life can
machine, but not before the helper       be ruined. In this case, it is not only
suffered multiple serious injuries.      the hired hand who was hurt, but
   This is one version of a type of      the farmer who faces potential
claim we receive all too frequently:     financial ruin because he didn’t
injuries from moving parts on farm       report important changes in his
equipment. The post hole digger          farming practice that affected his
could have been almost any other         insurance coverage (see below).

“I should have known better...”
   “I can’t tell you how much we         our adjuster suggests to, “Ask             or Dad’s sweatshirt on a youngster
hear this from farmers after an          yourself whether your life is worth        have all contributed to accidents in
equipment accident,” says an             a few extra minutes to replace the         our claim files.
American Family claims adjuster.         safety equipment.”                           Sometimes the clothing rips away
“People are in a hurry when they’re       Also, wearing extremely loose            before someone is seriously hurt;
planting or harvesting, and they       clothing with hanging strings or            other times the victim is less fortunate.
sometimes neglect safety for the       cords around moving machinery               Insist on some work clothes for each
sake of saving a little time.”         can be dressing for disaster.               family member and farm worker
   On the power takeoff, for example, Drawstrings, oversized T-shirts              that are comfortable but won’t be
a joint on the shaft might fail during and shorts popular with teenagers, hazardous around farm machinery.
a busy season. The machine’s guard
is removed for repairs but may not
be reattached in the rush to get
                                                     Seasons change — so can coverage needs
back to the field. It can always be
                                                  An injury to you or a co-worker is bad enough, but it can
done later, the farmers say, when
there’s more time. Often, “later”                 be compounded if your coverage doesn’t keep up with
never comes. Removing but not                     your farming operations.
replacing safety equipment is not                    When the farmer described above reported his accident, he discovered
only dangerous; it increases your                 two serious gaps in his liability coverage. First, it is important to make
liability if an accident happens.                 sure that if you hire employees, your payroll is accurately reflected in the
                                                     declarations on your insurance policy. The farmer had hired help for
   Ag safety experts suggest that
                                                     years, but hadn’t updated his policy since the days when he worked the
farmers do a quick double-check                      farm himself.
of the safety equipment on their
                                                         American Family’s Farm/Ranch policy provides automatic Employers
machinery before each use. Make
                                                     Liability coverage for any employee injury as long as your total payroll
sure that all safety guards are                      doesn’t exceed $2,500 during your policy year. If it does, be sure to
properly installed on your equip-                    tell your agent so your coverage can be adjusted. Remember, for
ment. Obtain guards for older                        insurance purposes, the year begins on the same date as your policy.
equipment that might not be                              The post hole-digging farmer also had not informed his agent
properly protected. Implement                        about the rented field he was working when the accident happened.
dealers or your county agent can                     Your liability coverage extends to the land you declare in your policy.
answer safety questions you might                    If you purchase or rent additional farm land, be sure you tell your
have. If a machine needs repair                      agent so he or she can update your policy and assure protection.
during the height of a busy season,
                             u t l yo   u have p-to-datem
                                                      a cl i
                Don’t waitour nsuirance coverage is u
                      sure y
                      to make                                                                    your taxes. Si
                                                                             ’re preparing                            s
                                                          1 When you uring out your yearly expense
                                               g on      you’re already
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                                 the first thin                                             wages, new eq
     Since insurance is hardly                  any      for areas su   ch as outside                           quickly
                                  y seasons, m                                               ntals, you can
                  d s during bus                         and land ac     quisitions or re              it needs
     farmers’ min                   e when they’r
                                                               k your policy
                                                                                   to see whether
                  w   their coverag                       chec
     of them revie                     planning or        updating.
                       orking, such as
       not outside w                     es to make                                           ing for the co
                   time. T wo good tim                     2 When         you’re budget                       the next
     bookkeeping                                     :                                       op a plan for
                                     up to date are        year. You p    robably devel
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                                                               wing or livesto                              d and
                                                           gro                            r workers, lan
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                                                                                              t from what is
                                                            equipmen     t. If it is differen                      ent.
                                                                                                 talk to your ag
                                                            on your po     licy, it’s time to
                                                                                                           at your
                                                                                        t way to see th
                                                                   In fact, the bes                           growth is
                                                                                          with your farm
                                                             covera   ge keeps pace                            y yearly.
                                                                                           view your polic
                                                             to have    your agent re                              at —
                                                                                                 mily service th
                                                             It’s a no -co   st American Fa
                                                                                                      count on.
                                                                                      er — you can
                                                              un like the weath


American Family Insurance
6000 American Pky
Madison WI 53783

Advice about safer farming from the
claim files of American Family Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   6000 American Pky., Madison, WI 53783. If you have questions or would like extra copies, contact your American Family Agent.
                                                                                                                           Prevent is published for Farm/Ranch policyholders by American Family Mutual Insurance Company and its subsidiaries,

In this issue, learn to prevent:
s   Injuries from moving equipment parts
Insurance gaps as your farming

operations change
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Editor: Glenn Harrison, Corporate Communications

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