Aug 03, 2023

How to Avoid a Costly Claim During Harvest Season

How to Avoid a Costly Claim During Harvest Season, view of vineyard

    How to Avoid a Costly Claim During Harvest Season

    Harvest can be the most rewarding, exhausting, and chaotic time of year for wineries. Understand what makes a safe workplace and be sure you know how to avoid a costly claim during harvest season.


    With the late summer weather comes harvest season. It’s a busy time for wineries and also the time of year that vineyards are most at risk for experiencing insurance losses or claims due to employees working long hours, performing time sensitive tasks, and possibly experiencing sleep deprivation.

    There are numerous factors that can create an accident-prone environment during harvest. Whether it is shifts starting in the middle of the night, forklifts constantly in motion, or the countless hours of heavy lifting, the odds that you’ll experience damage to your property or injury of an employee during this time increases dramatically. 


    Harvest Season Safety & Best Practices  

    Below are some tips you can utilize throughout harvest to ensure your operation doesn’t have to suffer from an unforeseen accident. 


    Night Harvest 

    • Have proper lighting on all harvesters, per Cal-OSHA requirements 
    • Hold a pre-harvest safety meeting to review best practices for when machinery and harvesters are working side-by-side 
    • Provide high-visibility garments (vests) & headlamps for employees in the vineyard 


    On the Crush Pad 

    • Hold a pre-harvest meeting to go over equipment and forklift safety 
    • Check all valves and empty tanks for leaks BEFORE filling them with wine 
    • Review “Confined Spaces” training with employees 


    Fatigued Employees 

    • Have patience with employees as they are adjusting to the new schedule
    • Allow them to rest if needed during the first few days. A 15-minute break can reduce the likelihood of an accident caused by sleep deprivation
    • Provide coffee and snacks to keep energy up
    • Review heavy lifting and repetitive motion practices to avoid injuries to employees 
    • Be mindful of those operating machinery or equipment, especially toward the end of a shift 


    Practice a Safe Harvest Season 

    We know there are countless numbers of things to consider during harvest season. Ensuring the safety of your employees is ensuring the success of your operations! 

    For more information on best practices or coverage, you may contact your Account Manager at M&G anytime. 

    What "covered" should feel like.

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