119 W. Sherman, Hutchinson, KS 67501 - Ph: 620-664-6297 - Cell Ph: 620-200-1381 - Fax: 620-664-6265

PROGRESS IN MOTION

Do you like a challenge? Do you like feeling the power of sitting in the seat of a large expensive piece of equipment and being in control? The adrenalin rush is now, how will you react?

With equipment as massive and expensive as it is today, it is critical that you receive the proper training you need to understand the results of your every move while operating harvesting equipment and its associated vehicles.

Owners and managers of good harvesting operations today, understand that time and training is vital to the success of their business.An attitude of "For The Highest Good of All Concerned" is essential.

A high priority includes safety training in conjunction with each operational function that you will be expected to perform. It is vital that you not only know what to do in all situations but how to do it safely and efficiently.

Members of the U.S. Custom Harvesters have long recognized the need for practicing safe (non-destructive) operations.

Early members have long recognized the need for effective training materials as they worked with potential employees. Early efforts included the production of a videotape illustrating various tasks to be performed by employees. Discussion of the correct way as well as the results of incorrect procedures was discussed.

The name of this first videotape became "Safety is an attitude." The organizations members realized that safety wasn’t something that should be taught to employees but was something that everyone associated with the harvesting business must be conscious of each and every day.

It simply had to be constantly on our mind during everything we did, and simply had to become everyone’s attitude at all times. In addition, it becomes everyone’s job to police the rest of the crew as all phases of the harvesting business is being conducted.

Furthermore, the organization developed a second, more complete video taping with associated written test questions. Many harvesters use the training tape and questions to share with their employees their particular company policy regarding various tasks of the overall process.

CDL (Commercial Drivers License) requirements have necessitated time allotted to train truck drivers and to explain safety as well as company expectations.

State and regional safety meetings conducted in the Spring of the year for employees and their employers, as well as many combine manufacturers allow even more opportunities to discuss safety at the beginning of wheat harvest held along the Texas Oklahoma border.

Recently, members were ask to identify their training resources needed and as result, a new safety committee began work on a safety handbook available to all members and sold to non-members through the organizational office in Hutchinson, KS. The committee was aggressive and committed, and finalized the task during the spring of 2001.

The handbook is divided into Employer/Employee Responsibilities, Pre-Harvest Preparation, Transportation, Lodging and Non-Work Procedures, Field Operations, and association information designed to help both the employee and the employer.

The handbook is a written documentation for employers and employees to access as we all accept the fact that "Safety is an attitude" that is a high priority for everyone associated with the harvesting industry.

USCHI members remain committed to providing a safe working environment for everyone (employees, employers, customers, and local residents, etc.) to conduct business. Safety is an attitude that we all must posses as we harvest the grain that feeds the world.

Tony Rattei
Safety Committee Chairman

Lee Lancaster
Past Safety Committee Chairman