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How to prevent frozen pipes this winter

Learn what you can do to help prevent pipes from freezing.

Last winter was rough, and this winter isn’t shaping up to be any better. While we can’t change the weather, we can partially control the impact it has on us. One way to assert control is protecting your pipes from freezing when the temperature dips below 32 degrees F. Here are a few tips:

 Maintain an inside building temperature of at least 50 degrees F.

Provide additional insulation to help protect water and sprinkler pipes. Pipes along an outside wall or in an attic or storage/crawl space are especially vulnelnerable

Watch for early signs of frozen pipes or water damage

 


Common Hazards During Harvest Season:

  • Traffic increases
  • Higher traffic speeds
  • Extended hours leading to exhaustion, etc.
  • Inexperienced and/or reckless drivers or hired workers
  • Trucks and wagons in disrepair
  • Inattentiveness due to increased cell phone usage
  • Smoking around dump pits

General Grain Vehicle Safety:

  • Never walk in front of vehicles, even ones that appear out of gear.
  • Always make sure drivers can see you before you operate any equipment on or near a vehicle. If you cannot see the driver in their side mirror, they cannot see you.
  • Always use consistent and agreed upon hand signals.
  • Make intended/expected movements
  • Wear high visibility clothing and the proper PPE
  • NO SMOKING

Dump Pit Safety:

  • When stopping a vehicle, shift into neutral and set the parking brake.
  • Do NOT begin hoisting dump bed vehicles until instructed to do so.
  • If you have any problems with the mechanism that allows grain flow from the vehicle, inform the dump pit operator.
  • Do NOT use cell phones in the dump pit.
  • Do NOT proceed back to the scale until the dump operator signals to you that it is okay to move!
  • Ensure all dump pit employees know where the "safe zones" are to stand in as vehicles enter and exit the dump pit.
  • Practice good housekeeping. Clear walkways and operating areas. Soybeans in particular can be a great fall hazard if not properly swept away after dumps.

Straight Truck Operation and Safety

  • Communicate and stay in visual contact as much as possible.
  • Be sure the truck bed is down when opening the end gate.
  • After the gate is opened, unloaders should step to the driver-side of the vehicle to ensure visibility and to avoid any objects falling from the truck.
  • The driver should hoist the bed slowly to initiate grain flow.

Tandem Truck Operation and Safety

  • Communicate and stay in visual contact as much as possible.
  • Make sure truck bed is down when dumping a tandem truck with cargo doors.
  • Open the small gate first to take pressure off of the center door.
  • Open cargo doors carefully
  • After the cargo doors are opened, unloaders should step to the driver-side of the vehicle to ensure visibility and to avoid any objects falling from the truck.
  • The driver should hoist the bed slowly to initiate grain flow.

Hopper-Bottom Semi Operation and Safety

  • Communicate and stay in visual contact as much as possible.
  • Face vehicle squarely and bend at the knees when turning the side wheel to open hopper-bottom.
  • Turn at a safe and comfortable pace.

Gravity Wagon Operation and Safety

  • Communicate and stay in visual contact as much as possible.
  • Wear hand protection when turning flywheels on gravity wagons. Scraped knuckles happen easily!
  • Stay to the side of the wagon when grain is flowing. Gravity wagons are known to occasionally tip.

Again, these may seem like common sense tips, however, they are easy to follow and even easier to forget. If you have any further questions, visit the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois website for additional resources, or contact an Abbe Insurance Agency associate.

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