Reminder for farmers: Stay rail safe when you’re out in the field

March 9- 15, 2014 is Agriculture Safety Week, and if you’re a farmer or rancher there’s no better time to refresh and revisit your rail safety knowledge.

Operation Lifesaver has worked closely with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture to develop rail safety materials specifically for farmers, ranchers and employees that offer reminders to farm machinery operators to ALWAYS stay alert in your day-to-day activities around the farmstead access roads that cross the train tracks. 

We want to remind you that farm crossings are passive, meaning there are no warning lights, bells, gates or signs. If you are a farmer or a rancher and have employees who must use the farm crossings on your property, ensure this straight-to-the-point rail safety message is engrained to memory:

Field to Field—YIELD TO TRAINS! 

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Give yourself the time to safely stop at all farm crossings

Ensure you have the time to slow down and come to a complete stop at all farm crossings. The quick-hit tips below are great to have on hand, and in the tractor. In fact, we recommend you print off these free rail safety resources and paste them up on a visor or on the dash in your machinery for easy reference.

  • Stop no closer than 5 metres from the nearest rail. Allow extra distance for front-mounted buckets and chemical tanks on farm tractors.
  • To better hear the train, open machinery cab windows, turn off radios and fans, and remove headsets.
  •  Make sure that the farm machinery is properly lined up with the farm crossing to ensure safe passage over the train tracks.

Ask yourself, is it safe to cross?

Just take a second and rattle of these reminders in your mind before you cross. Don’t be in a hurry -  remember: your life is always worth the wait.

  • Before resuming, make sure there is enough room on the other side of the train track or tracks to fully clear without stopping.
  •  Make sure that any towed equipment does not become unhitched while crossing.
  •  Watch wagons and other equipment during the crossing so that no loaded materials become dislodged and fall onto the train tracks.

It can be tricky manoeuvring farm machinery

As you’re well aware, the machinery you operate can be monstrous in size and tricky to manoeuvre. It is especially important that you adhere to all rail safety measures around farmstead access roads near the tracks.

  • Do not attempt a crossing with low-slung equipment that can become lodged on “humped” crossings.
  • When operating new farm machinery over farm crossings for the first time, make sure that heavier and wider equipment can be safely moved over the crossing.
  • Always secure hitch pins with a pin key to prevent them from becoming dislodged when moving across rough farm crossings.

Stay rail safe now and always and remember: Field to Field—YIELD TO TRAINS