Harvest time is winding down in Iowa, and combines are cleaning the last of the grain and dumping it into wagins to be hauled to market or storage. Extension safety engineer David Morgan says an one danger that appears during any harvest time is the risk of fire. Any time you mix a machine that creates a lot of dust and chaff, and has a lot of oil in it, the potential for some kind of fire goes up. He says the operator of a machine, alone in the field and busy with many tasks, can fail to notice a spark back in the operating parts of the machinery. Morgan says operators should check over harvest equipment with an eye out for fire danger. One thing he suggests is keeping the machine well-maintained, checking bearings and making sure they’re well lubricated as a hot bearing can create a spark, and making sure any leaks of oil or fuel are repaired. There have been several combine and equipment fires this harvest season in Iowa.
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