Clemson Agricultural Safety

Lawnmower Safety Quiz – May 2024


1. What PPE should be worn when operating a lawnmower?
2. Where should your discharge chute be pointed when mowing next to a roadway?
3. How fast can debris fly out of the chute of your lawnmower?
4. Before removing grass or debris from the deck, what should you do?
5. True or False: It is okay to operate a lawnmower with a child in your lap if you do not have adequate child care.


1. Closed-toed shoes, ear, and eye protection
2. Away from the roadway
3. 200 mph
4. Turn off the engine to the mower
5. False

Ag Injury News Report – May 2024

Ag Injury News Report

3/8/2024: Authorities respond to fatality ATV, tractor accident in Sheridan County
3/8/2024: 11-year-old dies in Pasquotank County after being pinned underneath an ATV
3/4/2024: 94-year-old killed in Fremont County grain bin accident
2/26/2024: Rescuers free man trapped inside Curwensville grain bin
2/26/2024: DPS investigating motorcycle and farm tractor accident
2/25/2024: Victim identified in logging accident in Blair County
2/23/2024: 7 farm workers in van, 1 pickup driver killed in head-on crash in California

Lawnmower Safety – May 2024

Lawnmower Safety


  • PPE: closed‐toed shoes, ear, and eye protection
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse
  • Always turn off the mower engine when removing any grass, cleaning clogged chutes, or crossing gravel paths and road.
  • Do not allow children to ride as passengers
  • Use mowers with adequate lighting or daylight
  • Keep all guards, shields, switches, and other safety devices in proper working order.


  • Is the chosen type of mower appropriate for the task? Are there other tools better equipped for the job?
  • Is the operator of the tool trained on how to operate the push mower safely?
  • Ensure the mower deck and discharge are free of foreign materials
  • Ensure that the blade(s) are (are) undamaged, unbent, and in proper working order. The nut is tight, and blade(s) is (are) not loose
  • Set height adjustment levers to the proper height. Ensure levers can move freely and are undamaged.


  • Check for bystanders.
  • Move the on/off switch to on, close the choke, prime the fuel line, grasp the pull cord handle firmly, and pull until the tool starts, then place the choke back in the open position.
  • When operating near or on loose material, be sure to position the mower so that the discharge is away from bystanders, fragile objects, and the road.
  • If operating near a roadside, look up often to ensure there are no oncoming cars.
  • Mow with discharge pointing away from trees to prevent ricochet of projected materials from the mower. Debris from the chute can travel at 200 mph.

Roadway Safety Quiz – April 2024


1. List three things that are protective equipment for agricultural equipment.
2. A slow-moving vehicle sign is required on equipment that travels at less than __________.
3. Why is it dangerous to pass agricultural equipment on rural roadways?
4. Before traveling on a rural roadway in agricultural equipment, if you have ROPS, what should you do?
5. True or False: Braking suddenly in front of agricultural equipment on a roadway is not a concern; they can stop just as quickly as you can in a passenger vehicle.


1. Slow-moving vehicle sign, a flag for long loads, and working lights and flashers
2. 25 mph
3. Agricultural equipment is often wider than the lanes on rural roadways and can obstruct the view for passing.
4. You should put your seatbelt on to hold you in the zone of safety in case you experience a roll-over.
5. False, agricultural equipment cannot brake as quickly as passenger vehicles.

Roadway Safety – April 2024

Roadway Safety

Rural roadway with sprayer traveling and multiple vehicles passing in the other lane.

Roadway travel for agricultural equipment is necessary in South Carolina because most fields are farther apart. With fields farther apart than other states, farmers spend a substantial amount of time traveling from field to field, increasing the risk of having a collision on a rural roadway. In South Carolina, 60% of all roadway collisions occur on rural roadways involving passenger vehicles, logging trucks, and agricultural equipment.

Common Hazards on Rural Roadways

  • When slow-moving vehicles are on roadways, rear-end collisions are increased and often result in passenger vehicles passing in dangerous areas. If you are operating a passenger vehicle behind a slow-moving vehicle, remember that they can only reach speeds of 25 mph or less. Approach behind them slowly and only pass if there is a clear lane and you have a clear view of the road ahead.
  • Often, agricultural equipment is wider than the lane. Be mindful of this if you are operating a passenger vehicle and attempt to pass agricultural equipment.
  • Rural roadways are typically poorly lit and can be a hazard to both the operator of the agricultural equipment and passenger vehicles.

Protective Equipment for Agricultural Equipment

  • Slow-moving vehicle sign (only for equipment that will operate on a roadway under 25 mph – not to be used on your golf cart!)
  • Flags for longer loads
  • Working lights and flashers

Driving Agricultural Equipment on Roadways

  • Ensure that all lights/flashers are working. These help you be more visible to passenger vehicles.
  • Follow all traffic laws! When turning, use your turn signals or hand signals if your equipment is not equipped with turn signals, and always travel at a safe speed.
  • If your equipment has ROPS (Roll-Over Protective Structure), wear your seatbelt. This will hold you in the zone of safety if you experience a roll-over while operating your equipment. The seatbelt will also keep you from being ejected from the equipment if you are involved in a rear-end collision.
  • Lock your left and right brakes together to keep you from accidentally only using one and turning off the road unexpectedly.
  • Ensure that your SMV sign is properly displayed to alert other drivers you are moving at a slower speed.
  • If possible, travel on rural roadways when traffic is light with both a lead and follow car to limit contact with passenger vehicles.

Interacting with Agricultural Equipment on Roadways

  • Pass equipment with caution. Equipment is often wider than the lanes and obstructs visibility to pass the equipment.
  • Avoid coming to a sudden stop in front of agricultural equipment as they cannot brake as quickly as a passenger vehicle.
  • Most importantly, be patient with farmers! They are just trying to do their job to supply us with food and fibers that are essential to daily life.

Irrigation and Center Pivot Safety – March 2024

Irrigation and Center Pivot Safety

Irrigation and center pivots provide much needed water to crops all across the state. While these systems have many benefits, like everything else, they are surrounded by various hazards. A main concern pertaining to center pivots is they have a high chance of being struck by lightning and becoming energized. Below are some of the many hazards that surround these systems.


  • Always stay away from self-propelled irrigation machines during storms. These are large metal objects and often attract lightning due to their size, construction, and their height in the field.

Irrigation Hazards Spraying Water on Powerlines

  • Do not touch irrigation systems while they are spraying water on powerlines.
  • Immediately alert the power company of the water on the line.
  • Distance, stream size, water conductivity, voltage, and wind can all affect the amount of current that is being carried through the water.


  • Do not approach or work around unguarded power take-off shafts, belts, and other power transmitting devices.
  • Alert others in the vicinity and the owners or operators to the hazard.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or leaving long hair down near rotating equipment.


  • There may be hand/footholds for a person to climb onto the machine, but it should not replace a ladder or other lift device. This metal structure does not meet the requirements of a safe ladder.
  • Ensure that ladders are properly anchored and angled before scaling the ladder.

Run Overs

  • Keep vehicles and other equipment out of the paths of self-propelled irrigation machines.
  • Many of these machines have excellent traction and can easily climb over and crush large objects that are in their paths.

Irrigation and Center Pivot Safety Quiz – March 2024


1. If water is being sprayed on a powerline, what should you immediately do?
2. What three things increase the chances of a center pivot being struck by lightning?
3. Before touching a center pivot, you should always _______ it.
4. True or False: The hand/footholds on center pivots are designed to be used as a ladder.
5. True or False: Wheels on center pivots have excellent traction and can easily drive over large objects.


1. Call the power company immediately.
2. Their size, construction (being made of metal), and their height in the field.
3. Test it for electric current.
4. False
5. True

Ag Injury News Report – March 2024

Ag Injury News Report

1/27/2024: Sheriff: Man in Wisconsin dies after reported farm accident, no foul play suspected
1/22/2024: Volunteer fire chief killed in ATV accident
1/22/2024: Man seriously injured in Williams County tractor crash
1/21/2024: A 2 y/o girl was fatally injured in a farm incident
1/17/2024: Jenison man in critical condition after car hits tractor in Georgetown Twp.
1/11/2024: A 78 y/o male farmer was fatally injured in a farm incident.
1/10/2024: Woman hospitalized in rollover crash involving tractor

Ag Injury News – February 2024

Ag Injury News Report

11/10/2023: Elderly motorcyclist seriously injured in accident with farm tractor
11/09/2023: One person dead after Toledo grain bin collapses
11/09/2023: Scotland County teen gets leg stuck in grain auger
11/06/2023: Woman dies after colliding with tractor in Buttonwillow area
11/02/2023: Man Killed in Grain Bin Collapse in Toledo