Welcome to the ACRE

The Agronomy Center for Research and Education, ACRE, is an outdoor laboratory for Purdue Agriculture. Used for field research and hands-on teaching, the 1,135 acre farm is a busy place with faculty, staff, student, and visitor activity. I am Jim Beaty. I have been Superintendent of the ACRE since 1986. With my four full time staff members, part time help, and student employees we are responsible for operating the research farm. About 53 university researchers conduct projects here at the ACRE. I plan to write about our research, visitors, and farm safety thoughts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #75

ACRE activity may involve digging a hole or excavating. Two general risks are involved. First, people must be protected from accidentally falling in. Second, people working in the excavation must be protected from cave-in or entrapment with crushing. Purdue’s REM now has an Excavation Safety Policy It can be found on the web at. http://www.purdue.edu/REM/safety/esp.html Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #74

The big concern during hot weather is heat related illness especially dehydration and heat exhaustion. Crews working at ACRE should be proactive in protecting workers by providing plentiful replacement fluids, altering schedules, and monitoring workers’ health. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Monday, May 16, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #73

Because heavy items can shift, remember to firmly and snugly secure all items during transport. If you are moving equipment on a truck or trailer then it is especially important to follow the guidelines involving multiple tie-down points. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #72

A quick safety thought for summer; if you are bitten or stung by an insect and sense you are having an allergic reaction, seek medical help immediately. Jim

Monday, May 9, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #71

A new trend in program administration is the “Impact Statement” This is also a constant risk at “Tall Corn” intersections, but does not create the good kind of impact statement. Seriously, when our corn gets tall, the visibility at the corners of fields is greatly reduced and creates blind intersections. Drivers must slow down to a near crawl in order to “nose out” and check for traffic. Never zoom through a tall corn intersection. With 135 numbered fields, ACRE has 22 miles of gravel and grass roadways with an intersection generally located at ¼ mile intervals one direction and 1/16th mile intervals the other direction. Since corn is grown in about half the fields, that is a lot of blind corners. So be cautious, slow down to a crawl, nose out carefully, and proceed through ACRE intersections with care. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Monday, May 2, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 70

Remember that lightening can strike several miles ahead of or behind the actual rain. If you see lightening or hear thunder you should begin to exercise caution and initiate your safety plan for that situation. Think about it; even the soccer people suspend action for lightening in Indiana. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #069

Plan ahead for summer. Talk to you employees now about summer field activities. Heat and humidity can stress field workers. Both heat exhaustion and sun stroke are concerns. You should stay hydrated and take breaks more often. Protecting your head with a broad brimmed hat is smart. Check on fellow workers for symptoms including confusion. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #68

Watch out for congestion in the ACRE building area during our busy seasons. Add that to traffic from the Beck building and safety both driving and while walking around become even more important. Please stay aware of your surrounding and be on the watch out for hazards. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #067

No sunscreen equals sunburn. Use sunscreen and you won't sunburn so soon. Remember the sun is hot. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #66

Many ACRE field workers take breaks or eat lunch in the picnic area just outside the Research Building. This is a nice, centrally located place near the breakroom and restrooms, but it is also a congested area with people and traffic in close proximity. If driving remember to stop at the stop sign and expect people to walk out of the breakroom door or the women’s restroom door, so drive slowly. If you are a pedestrian then be cautious and watch out for the traffic. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Friday, April 8, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #65

As I crossed the main lane at ACRE yesterday and heard a horn honk, I decided it was time to again remind everyone about driving safely at ACRE, especially on the main lane in the building area. Remember there can be numerous people around the Research Building especially during lunch and breaks. Remember the STOP sign and to limit speeds to 15 mph maximum in that area. Also remember that the Beck building adds to our traffic load on the lane. Sometimes those drivers are not as familiar with our lane, so drive slowly and defensively especially when a group has dismissed. Finally there may be times during congestion or construction when you will need to avoid the main entrance and enter the farm from County Road 500 West. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #64

KA-BOOM! The outdoor disease called “Get-done-itis” plus lightening can be fatal. “Get-done-itis” sometimes affects field workers who think finishing their work is more important than their safety. Here is a True or False quiz, “Don’t stop working in your plots until you get rained on.” FALSE! This is especially false if you are exposed out in the open spaces of ACRE’s fields. Seek immediate protection inside your vehicle and proceed in when lightening is in the area. Another True or False question is, “Don’t worry I am protected from lightening by the towers or the big electrical transmission line that runs across the ACRE.” This too is false. You are still at risk from a lightening strike if you are out in the open. I have witnessed a lightening strike on the power line and the charge arced off to the ground. So if lightening is in the area just be safe and seek shelter. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Thursday, March 31, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #63

For the safety of yourself and others who work inside the Crop Protection Laboratory at ACRE please remember that good pesticide inventory management and cleanliness go a long way towards creating a safe working environment. If you have pesticides inside the CPL; Check that your inventory sheet is up to date; Make sure each container has your initials or name on it and that each container is dated. Check the condition of each container. Place the containers on your assigned shelf and check that liquids have secondary spill pans. Do keep outdated or old pesticides. It is not safe to expose your workers or others to unnecessary exposure risks while working in the CPL, so keep it clean and practice good inventory management. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #62

When you come to ACRE or send workers to ACRE you should stop at the research building to check if the field you are going to has been sprayed and has a restricted re-entry interval or notice if any nearby fields are scheduled to be sprayed today. Before ACRE spray operators go to the field to spray pesticides they record the planned spray on the public bulletin board in the Research Building. To make it simple they even use colored maps to show which fields they are going to. Please stay out of fields where applications are scheduled or have been. It’s for your safety and it’s the law too. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE.

Monday, March 28, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #61

I want to remind people about safety planning. (from #14) Researchers need to think about and prepare a “Project Specific Safety Plan” for your work at the ACRE. Do you have special hazards that should be addressed? Like tractor operation, moving PTO shafts, powered moving belts or pulleys, pinch points to avoid, stationary threshers, driving on the farm and to and from campus, etc. When packaging seed do you treat seed with a fungicide? Please identify hazards and train your people to work safely. A simple outline of your “Project Specific” safety points is an important start. If you use your word processing program even digital pictures can be added to the outline to help identify the hazards. Congratulations to people like Andy Linvill, Kiersten Wise, and Charles Woloshuk, who have initiated their own “Project Specific” safety programs. So think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Monday, March 21, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #60

Accidents can occur and do happen without warning. The consequences of minor injuries may be reduced by appropriate first aid. As an example, recently I smashed my big toe. Ouch! I immediately put a bag of ice on it. I elevated my foot and kept my toes iced on and off for the next few hours. Even though my toe was very sore, I reduced the potential damage significantly by actively administering appropriate first aid. My safety thought then is to have an action plan when something does happen. Know where to find your project’s first aid kit. Know that zip lock bags and ice are available in the shop’s break room. Decide if you need to call 911 or seek professional help. Finally, don’t forget to report the injury to you supervisor so that they can file a “First Report of Injury” form. For me that was the worst part, but I recovered from that embarrassment too. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE Jim

Friday, March 18, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #59

Anhydrous Ammonia is a great source of nitrogen, but its use comes with additional exposure and risk factors. The physical characteristics of anhydrous ammonia cause users to handle it, in a way, like bottled propane. It is a liquid under pressure that boils off into the gas stage at a low temperature when released in the soil or air. Users must protect their eyes, skin, and airway from exposure. Users should carry a small eye wash bottle on their person. Users should have a supply of safety water on the applicator. Users must be aware of safe handling practices before applying anhydrous ammonia. The safety factor that helps make anhydrous ammonia a usable product is its terrible odor. The human body can sense ammonia at very low concentrations. When sensed by workers, they should seek escape from the concentrated area. If field workers are in an area when ammonia is being applied in a nearby field they should be aware of wind conditions and the odor of ammonia. Likewise applicators need to consider the exposure risk of nearby workers and delay application until the area is clear or ask those workers to leave the area until the application is complete. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #58

What is a pinch point? For work place purposes it is any place on a machine where a part of the body can get caught between two parts. Safety guards are most often used to shield workers from these hazards. But some pinch points are impossible to guard and require user judgment. An example is pinching your fingers or hand in a slammed doorway. Identified agricultural hazards at ACRE would include the area between a tractor and an implement. The risk hazard increases when hitching an implement to a tractor, especially if two people are involved. A direct line of sight is only one aspect that is critical to safe hitching. Another hazard is after a machine is stopped for repair or adjustment. It is critical that the energy of the machine be released or locked out. Remember every machine doing mechanical work can have pinch points. Injuries for powerful farm machinery can be very serious. So think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #57

Spring Fever will soon be here and so will be the use of farm tractors. It is important that tractor drivers are trained and familiar with safe tractor operations. The owner’s manual is a great place to find safe operation information. Some key points are 1) understand how to start and stop the tractor, 2)never allow riders unless the tractor has an approved “buddy” seat or unless you are training a new driver, 3)understand how to connect to an implement with a low hitch on the draw-bar only, 4)know the safe way to connect and use hydraulics, 5) be completely trained on the safe use of a PTO (power take-off), 6)know how to use dual brakes, 7)know when to lock the dual brakes together for road use, 8)avoid roll over accidents by slowing down on curves and being careful on hillsides, 9)use the tractor’s front-end loader as low as possible to keep the tractor stable, and 10)know the area where you will be using the tractor and scout it for hazards. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Monday, March 14, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #56

Spring weather means people will be doing spring cleaning at ACRE facilities. ACRE barns, storage areas, and indoor work spaces can present spring cleaning hazards if dust, mold, or rodent residue is present and left to decompose in the building. Dead mice or other frozen rodents need to cleaned-up before warm temperatures become standard. Some mice feces might harbor the “Hanta” virus, but not too commonly in Indiana. So wearing an appropriate mask in dusty, “mousey smelling” clean-up areas is a wise idea. Rubber “kitchen” gloves are good hand protection too. At any rate cleaning is very important. Dust can be reduced by using a sweeping compound and gently broom cleaning. Keep fresh air in the area. Avoid using a shop vacuum in closed spaces, since it creates very fine dust particles that can be inhaled easily. Bleach and soap can be used to kill germs. Items in storage that are wet should be dried immediately or thrown away to avoid mold growth later. My summary is that cleaning is important, so do it, but protect yourself in doing so. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Friday, March 11, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #55

With the busy planting season ahead, I know several researchers will be hooking up trailers and hauling equipment. I am reminded by Steve Hawkins that trailer safety is very critical. Now is the time to get the annual trailer inspection from Transportation Services. Steve pointed out the top 10 key safety areas that include; Proper sizing of truck to load pulled, proper sizing of the ball to the ball hitch receiver, placement of the load on the trailer for balance, trailer decking in good shape with safe loading techniques, securing the load adequately, working trailer lights, working brakes on the truck and trailer, proper use and size of safety chains, break-away safety brakes, and driver qualification and licensing. Thanks for the tips Steve. Think, plan, and work safely at ARCE. Jim

Thursday, March 10, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #54

I have more information about driving at Purdue. Employees, student employees, student drivers, and volunteers should already have completed and submitted forms RM01 and the USA General Release form or self evaluate. If you drive on University business in a University vehicle or your personal vehicle you need to meet “Minimum Driver Qualifications.” Make sure your employees comply too. See the web site for details. .http://www.purdue.edu/risk_mgmt/Vehicle_Use_Info/Welcome.html . . From the site you can click to; View the Policy Check the MVR Grading Grid for Minimum Driver Qualifications, and Find the USA General Release Form. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #53

If you drive a University vehicle the new Purdue Vehicle Use policy will affect you. See this web site for details; http://www.purdue.edu/risk_mgmt/Vehicle_Use_Info/Welcome.html A Motor Vehicle Record Check may be required or self evaluation. Student compliance is required. College of Ag faculty and staff compliance is required. If you drive your personal vehicle for work purposes you must comply with the policy too. I can’t fully explain all of the policy here, so check it out on the web. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 52

"I get hurt (non-emergency) on the job at ACRE. Where do I go?" The two approved care facilities in the West Lafayette campus area are; ** Clarian Arnett Occupational Health Center and ** Regional Occupational Care Center (ROCC). Remember that PUSH, Purdue University Health Center, is no longer the place to go with work related injuries. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Friday, March 4, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #51

“WPS Training” So what! Who cares! Society thinks it is so important that pesticides be used safely, that an EPA law requires anyone working in a field at the ACRE to have safety training before starting work. So REM makes training available. The training is good for 5 years. REM trainers conduct many of the sessions in the Agronomy Conference room. Supervisors of newly hired employees can ask for us to arrange and advertise the training. There really is no excuse for not getting the training. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Thursday, March 3, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #50

“Electric Shock!” is not my idea of a good time. So if you are using an extension cord at ACRE, then make sure to use one of the new type extension cords with GFI protection built in. Or make sure you are using a GFI protected electrical circuit. GFI stands for “Ground Fault Interrupter” and the technology helps prevent shocks and electrocution. Also never use an extension cord that is frayed or has bare wires. Make sure the cord you use is rated for the amperage load that you will be using, as undersized cords can overheat and be dangerous. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE Jim

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 49

Cold weather sample processing at the ACRE can be challenging. Plant threshers or corn shellers can create dust. On a very cold day, in a closed barn or building this creates a dilemma as the air gets dusty and is miserable to inhale or the exhaust fans discharge so much air that the heating system can not keep up. If supplemental heat is required, it is critical that it be provided in a safe way. Always follow the owner’s manual precautions when using supplemental heat. If in doubt, then ask for a qualified opinion from a Purdue Fire Protection expert. They know the rules for safety. Additionally, it is critical that all shelling dust and plant material be cleaned from the area, especially on or around the heat source. Remember that this dust is not only combustible but when air borne can become explosive at the correct mixture and the supplemental heat source can be the ignition source. So think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Friday, February 25, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #48

During the holiday season a good gift is safety. ACRE safety is year-round. The best gift you can give your family, your co-workers, and yourself any holiday season is an awareness of safety all year long. Be aware of hazards and don’t put yourself or others at risk of a preventable injury. Make safety a culture. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Thursday, February 24, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #47

As we tried to load a combine on a semi-trailer recently, many safety thoughts ran through our minds. But with a temperature in the single digits and high winds it was “frostbite” that really got our attention. Painfully cold toes and fingers are a helpful warning sign to take a warm-up break. The cold chains and metal added to the hazards of frostbite. So wear proper clothing, avoid prolonged skin exposure, and go into a warm place as needed to avoid frostbite. Think, plan and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #46

With the leaves off the trees along the lane it seems that traffic using the lane and driving around the building area has picked up speed. The speed limit around the ACRE building area has always been 15 miles per hour. The lane is not wide and it is tree lined, thus reducing the usual margin for error. Many ACRE buildings are close to a roadway or drive. Hazards include people walking, equipment moving in or out of a building, and other vehicles. I don’t want anyone or anything hit, injured, or damaged. The ACRE Advisory Committee reaffirmed the 15 MPH speed limit along the entrance lane and around the building area during a recent meeting. Please stress driving safety. Think, plan, and work safely at the ACRE. Jim

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #45

REM recently conducted our annual building safety inspection. While inspecting our 60 buildings and looking over hundreds of pieces of equipment we were cited for safety violations. Three themes recur; 1. Extension Cord violations 2. Fire extinguishers either missing or not inspected 3. Unlabeled or uncapped chemicals While we were cited for other violations, if we focused on these problems we could reduce our hazard exposure very simply and still have time to correct the other violations by the required abatement dates. As required the list is posted on the ACRE Shop bulletin board for your inspection. Let’s all work to correct those citations. Let’s think and plan for a violation free and safe ACRE while putting our plan into practice every time we work at ACRE. Thanks Jim

Monday, February 21, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #44

We have completed an environmental and safety audit at ACRE. 1. Our pesticide posting center at the Research building meets expectations. Please keep posting ever pesticide application. Please check the posting center before entering a farm field. Respect re-entry intervals and use personal protective equipment. 2. Our above ground fuel tanks are in good order. Please continue to replace the hose after use, avoid spillage, and check for leakage during use. 3. Pesticide storage in the CPL building needs attention, however. All packages need to be secure and clearly labeled with ingredients. Waste Storage needs some attention too. All waste needs to be in closed containers and labeled. Safe use of pesticides and petroleum chemicals can reduce our health risks. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #43

The University has a new safety awareness program, called “Slip, Trip, Fall, Call”, to report unsafe surface conditions. Similar hazards need to be highlighted at ACRE. Especially important hazards this time of year exist around combines, tractors, wagons, and the grain bins. Those hazards are ladders and steps. Combines may have ladders or steps. Grain bins have ladders. The Post Harvest Center has both ladders and steps. A simple recommendation for ladders is “toes and tummy in” and three points of contact. Always face “in” to use a ladder. It is not recommended to climb down a ladder facing “out”, as heel slippage on a ladder rung can more easily occur. When it is muddy it is important to keep equipment ladders and steps clean. Most importantly remember to slow down when using ladders or steps and practice safe habits. Plan, think, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Monday, February 14, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #42

Here are some more ACRE safety thoughts about combines. Some researchers have found it better to use a plot combine as a stationary combine for small plots than to use a single plant thresher or a bundle thresher. This can be made a safer operation with a few extra precautions. Teach everyone involved in the operation about the procedures and safe operation. Place the combine on a level solid location with adequate space to work. The area should be cleared of tripping hazards. Be sure to put the combine in neutral and set the parking brake. Double check this. The reel mechanism must be stopped while the collection belt operates. No moving parts should be exposed and all guards should be securely in place. When placing plants in the combine, you must keep hands and arms away from the moving collection belt. As needed you must move threshed debris away from the rear discharge of the combine. You should always train other workers in emergency shut down procedures. Plan, think, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

RCAS in Corpus Christi Texas

The Research Center Administrators Society met in Corpus Christi this week. Sessions included management of centers, safety, working with bio-mass and much more. Great meetings for me and hopefully my peers.

Friday, February 4, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #41

Harvest season brings on the use of combines and other powered equipment. The dust and dried plant material that accumulates on power equipment can be very combustible. A combine fire, although rare, would be a serious hazard to ACRE workers. To avoid this hazard keep harvest equipment cleaned daily, or more often if needed. Broom off or use the farm shop compressed air system to keep equipment clean. Be especially aware of plant material that wraps tightly around shafts or bearings and might heat up. Seriously attempt to keep the area around the engine exhaust system free from any debris. Proper equipment maintenance is critical to prevent bearings from overheating during failure. Plan, think, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Thursday, February 3, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 40

One harvest season hazard to avoid, happens when a plot combine gets stuck in the mud and chains, cables, or synthetic tow ropes are used for removal. Pulling out equipment that is mired in the mud requires special safety considerations. Don’t get under an unstable machine to attach the chain. Don’t stand between the two machines during the hooking process unless you are sure the pulling machine is stopped and in park. Always attach to sturdy low structures, like tool bar or tie down hooks. The pulling vehicle should be heavier than the combine. Use a tractor instead of a pick-up if possible. The condition and rated size of the chain, cable, or tow rope is critical. A slow steady pull is much safer than a “snap pull” which should never be executed at ACRE. The driver of both the stuck combine and the tow tractor must be keenly aware of the rebound hazards should the tow line fail. If a line is under tension and a connecting hook fails, then the stored energy in the line under tension can create a sling-shot rebound and send the hook or cable from the other end flying back towards the machine and person on the opposite end. Likewise helpers and spectators should stay a safe distance away from a pulling process. Plan, think, and work safely at ACRE.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #39

When heavy rains occur at ACRE some hazards to consider are the big ditches that drain the farm, especially the “Box Ditch.” Avoid rushing water both personally and in a vehicle. Don’t blindly drive across the wooden bridge if water is above the deck, as it might have floated away (again). Also avoid “superintendent rage” by not driving on soft or muddy lanes. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Friday, January 21, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #38

For many ACRE researchers and workers the fall harvest means the use of harvesters, stationary shellers, and stationary threshers. These powered mechanical devices can be hazardous. The use of shields over moving and rotating pulleys, belts, chains, and shafts can greatly reduce the chance of entanglement. Additionally operators should keep hands and feet away from the input throat when feeding plant material into the device. Avoid wearing loose clothing, sweatshirt draw strings, dangling jewelry, and other entanglement objects. Also remember to turn off the power or engine to the device when cleaning or repairing it. Stay away from engaged PTO shafts (Power Take-off Shafts) and never step over an operating PTO. Plan, think, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Monday, January 10, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #37

With harvest also comes a time to clean up plots at ACRE. Please don’t leave hazards in or near your plots in the fall. Removing all wire flags is important. If they are hit by a mower or power equipment it creates a problem. Likewise rocks that end up moved to a grass lane or plot edge can become a hazard at mowing time. All research items should be picked up from the research plots and surrounding area. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Sunday, January 9, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 36

When harvest time arrives in the fall, wheat planting time is here as well. That means lots of activity in fields, on roads, and around buildings. One of my biggest concerns is safe driving at ACRE. Please drive cautiously and pay attention at the corners and along field edges. Be especially careful around the building area. Speed on the main entrance lane should be reduced with the extra traffic added by Beck building activities. Plan, think, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 35

Recently we experienced a “911” emergency at ACRE. We discovered that calling “911” on a hard line telephone may be better than relying on a cell phone. From a hard line telephone the call automatically goes to the correct dispatcher and our address is automatically recorded and displayed for the dispatcher. A cell phone call during the previous emergency was “dropped” and dispatch was unable to respond appropriately until we called back on a hard line. We have a telephone available 24 hours a day in the Research Building for emergency use. If you do use a cell phone it is important to know our address, which is “4540 US Hwy 52 West “ and our city, county, and township. We are at West Lafayette, Indiana, Tippecanoe County, and in Wabash Township. And by the way our sick person felt better by the time the ambulance arrived so the story ended well. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim.

Friday, January 7, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought # 34

Sharpening a hoe seems simple enough, just put on your eye protection, turn on the wheel grinder, and carefully sharpen the cutting edge. The first hazard to avoid is eye injury. So please wear eye protection every time you use a wheel grinder to sharpen your hoe at ACRE. It is required! Even though it is a simple job, safety is still required to avoid an accident. Other hazards will include finger or hand injury if they come in contact with the rotating wheel. Check the wheel before starting for signs of cracking or stone fatigue. You do not want a wheel to fail and disintegrate while you are using it. It is important to firmly and steadily brace the hoe on the tongue guard during sharpening. If the hoe bounces or vibrates excessively during sharpening, then stop and reposition the hoe or look for grinder problems. Always check that the gap between the grinder’s abrasive wheel and the tongue guard is less than 0.250” and that the tongue guard is secure. Plan, think, train, and work safely at ACRE Jim

Thursday, January 6, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #33

Yes there are hazards at ACRE, but one of the more serious hazards is present just before you enter the farm. That hazard is traffic on US Highway 52 as you try to turn into the farm. Use extreme caution when entering or leaving the farm entrance and at the County Road 400 W. intersection. Use patience and exercise caution. Use your turn signal. When trying to turn in, watch in your rear view mirror for tailgaters or inattentive drivers. If you think you will get rear-ended, then pull over or abort the turn and continue to the next safe place to turn around and try again. If you are in a tight situation at the main entrance then County Road 500 W may be an alternative to the 4540 entrance. Just drive on down there and safely turn into the farm. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #32

The ACRE forklift is a very handy piece of equipment. But its use also has hazards. To reduce the chance of injury on any Purdue forklift the University requires “Forklift Training” from a REM instructor. If you need training please let me know and we will set up a 3 –hour training program. Otherwise please ask a certified driver to do your forklift loading and lifting at ACRE. Think, plan, and work safely at ACRE. Jim

Monday, January 3, 2011

ACRE Safety Thought #31

One hazard at ACRE is simply being too focused on getting a task completed and not stepping back to look at safety. The attitude that “I’ve got to get it done” can result in an injury. Another is what some might call “letting your guard down” or “I’ve done this a million times” or just “not paying attention.” Whether one is too focused on their work or not focused enough, safety should be a primary concern. Put safety first. Think, plan, train, and work safely at ACRE. Jim