Look after your health at harvest time

Discussion in 'Healthy food' started by Kayall, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Kayall

    Kayall Roots of LW Administrator New wings

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    At harvest time, farmers often neglect their health, wellbeing and safety as they work long hours under pressure to get the job done. It’s crucial all machinery and equipment is checked to ensure a smooth and timely harvest. Simply mending the header and servicing the tractor won’t cut it if you want to protect the key component – you. Protect yourself against injury and accidents by planning ahead with these simple tips.


    Check your tractor cabin

    Do you have the right filter in place? Harvest can be a dusty business so make sure you have an appropriate – and clean – dust filter fitted into your cabin. If you’re using chemicals, an activated carbon filter is recommended. These should be recharged every 6 to 12 months (or after 400 hours of service).

    If you have cabin dust, or can smell the chemicals you’re spraying, recheck your filter.
    Do a safety check

    Always check the safety of your machinery – does your auger have a guard in place, and how about the power take-off (PTO) shaft? These two pieces of equipment are the main cause of injury to hands and feet. Also consider the risks unguarded equipment has for children and pets – they don’t understand the equipment you use or how dangerous it can be.

    Hint: make sure your first aid kit is well stocked and easy to access. Organisations such as WorkSafe Victoria, Farmsafe Australia and Agriculture Victoria offer valuable advice on the safe operation of tractors and other farm machinery.\

    Keep moving

    Sitting in a bent or rotated position puts us at increased risk of spinal and joint pain. One way to reduce injuries is by taking regular breaks – get out of the cabin and walk around. Try these exercises while you’re in the cabin:
    • point your toes and use your big toe to write your name in the air
    • do some marching on the spot (while sitting down)
    • arch your back then straighten up tall
    • turn your head side to side to stretch out your neck muscles.
    It might sound a bit silly, but it’s better than sore shoulders, neck or lower back pain!

    Eat healthily

    When you’re sitting in the tractor or header all day, watch your kilojoule (or calorie) intake. We’re less likely to burn energy when we’re sedentary and consuming large meals and foods high in saturated fat. Get a good start to the day by having a healthy breakfast that is rich in essential vitamins and nutrients (such as fibre, low-GI carbohydrates, B vitamins, folate and protein). Oats, barley, bran-based cereals, grainy breads, eggs and cooked veggies (e.g. mushrooms, spinach and beans) are all ideal.

    Don’t skip meals either – pack a wholegrain sandwich or roll, and nuts, fruit and veggies to nibble on. Avoid ‘convenient’ snacks like muesli bars, biscuits and chips as these are often high in sugar, salt and saturated fats.

    Hint: if you're stuck for meal ideas, check out our healthy recipes.
     
     
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