October - Hay Ride Safety
Safety Tips: Hayride Safety
Fall is here and the hayrides can’t be far behind. With the late afternoons and the nights getting more comfortable, the time is right for this age-old time of fun to start. Hayrides are popular for fundraisers or just a plain old “free fund”.
While you are planning for a hayride, you should keep in mind the 4 H’s of safety in hayrides...hitching, highways and horseplay.
- Hitching - This includes a wagon, tractor, or truck that is pulling the wagon and the safeguards used to ensure that the wagon is properly attached.
- Never attach more than one wagon behind the pulling vehicle. It makes the “snaking” action more intense and increases the potential for a rollover or sideswipe.
- Never pull a wagon so fast that it sways out of a straight line.
- A properly hitched wagon includes a well designed hitch pin made with a clip or lock between the wagon and the pulling vehicle.
- Safety chains to protect the wagon from breaking while in motion is another good facet for protection.
- Highways - A strong consideration for hayrides is planning or consideration of the traffic routes you wish to travel.
- Avoid highways or roads with traffic moving at high rates of speed and heavy concentrations.
- Depending upon the traffic route, it would be an added safety feature to have an escort both in front and in back, with lights on for more protection.
- An ideal situation for the “ride” would be to stay off highways altogether and use less- traveled back roads or large open pasture areas, if available.
- Make sure that the vehicle and the wagon have all lights working; there should be a slow moving vehicle (SMV) sign on the rear of the wagon.
- Horseplay - Horseplay shouldn’t be tolerated in any environment, and it has no place in any area with work or recreation.
- It can distract the operator by putting the “hay riders” lives in “harm’s way.”
- Adult supervision is imperative. Participants could easily fall off the wagon or truck and be run over by the wheels, thus causing serious injuries.
- A standing rule for hay rides should be that all riders must remain seated when the vehicle is moving.
- A good practice for hayrides is that the driver of the vehicle should have a short orientation with all the participants explaining the rules before the vehicle moves out on its route.
- Another reminder is that there should be no rider on the tractor.
DON’T PLAY THE FOOL!
SAFETY FIRST IS ALWAYS COOL!!
SAFETY IS OUR SPOKEN LANGUAGE!
Ted Gordon is the Risk Management/Loss Control Manager for the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. His office is located in the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, in Verona, MS. His telephone number is 662-566-2201.