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No One Can Take Your Place

In companies, as a new employee takes over for a retiring employee, you may have heard the phrase, “I can’t replace him (or her), I can only succeed him (or her).” In farming, that is profoundly true.

The theme for this September’s observance of National Farm Safety and Health Week is “No One Can Take Your Place”. Find info and additional resources at Let’s keep that theme in mind on the farm and the roads as harvest season kicks into gear.

Large farm equipment is beginning to travel local roads for fall harvest operations. As a driver, it is easy to get frustrated when you’re in a hurry and stuck behind something going less than 25 miles per hour, but try to take a breath and be patient. Safety is important to everyone, farmers and drivers.

One thing that every new Indiana driver learns about in their driver’s manual is the meaning of Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblems displayed on farm equipment and other vehicles. An SMV emblem is triangular, with an orange fluorescent center and red reflective borders.

slow moving vehicle emblem

Equipment and other vehicles displaying this emblem are capable of speeds no faster than 25 miles per hour. Driving at road speed, the gap between you and the equipment will close quickly, so immediate caution and slower speeds are prudent.

traffic safety tips

Farmers should recheck the condition of SMV emblems to make sure they are still fluorescent. Over time, these emblems can fade and become less noticeable. Other road-related safety equipment, such as headlights, taillights, flashing lights, hitch pins, tires, and wheel bearings also should be checked.

Farming remains one of the most hazardous jobs in America, with a fatality rate many times higher than the average for all other occupations. In addition, research indicates that at least one in every nine farm families will experience a farm injury requiring medical treatment each year, some of which result in permanent disability.

About this time of year, the Purdue Agricultural Safety & Health Program releases its annual “Indiana Farm Fatality Summary with Historical Overview.” The program has been monitoring farm-related fatalities in the state for nearly sixty years. It publishes a summary annually to maintain awareness that agricultural production is still one of the most hazardous occupations in the state and the U.S. The summary is available at; past years are also available.

Please take time to be safe and share the road this fall. Whether you are a farmer or a driver, no one can take your place.

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