We see plenty of harvesting equipment in nearby farm fields, as corn and soybeans are brought in for the year.

There is a window of opportunity each year for harvesting -- after the crop has dried a bit, but before the snow comes -- so when it's time to harvest, the work days are long.

Unfortunately, long work days can lead to farm accidents. Fatigue, rushing to harvest before rain comes and working in the dark of night can all contribute to accidents.

Agriculture remains one of the country's most hazardous industries, ranking fourth in work-related fatalities.

Farm safety programs are available, but it takes effort on behalf of producers to set up their operation to be safe and to follow the common rules.

Thankfully, more farm equipment is designed with safety in mind, with appropriate guards, sensors and warnings. However, it still requires a commitment by the operator of the equipment to be safe. Removing guards for expediency, modifying equipment or using it improperly makes the safety improvements worthless.

For most of us, we can see the satisfaction of a successful harvest this time of year. Let's make sure it's a safe harvest as well.

-- Jon M. Hunter