Staying safe during the fruit harvest

May 04 2018

Fruit picking may not be a glamorous job. But it’s one that pays the bills; especially when you’re eager to prove yourself.

Harvesting fruit can be a dangerous job to begin with, but you wouldn’t take the job if it didn’t seem worth it. Now, there’s a whole list of demands and quotas that you’re not sure you can make, and any shortcut to get there, seems like it might be a good option.

Here are a few reminders as fruit-picking season gets underway.

Climbing to safe heights

There are only so many hours in the day, and there are quotas to fulfill, so you want to get the most out of every trip up the ladder. It’s tempting to try to go one more rung up on the ladder to try to grab just one or two more pieces. But it’s not worth it. Climbing too high on the ladder (especially with a full bag of fruit) can cause the ladder to tip.

“Walking” a ladder is never a good idea

There’s one more piece of fruit just out of reach. It’s only a couple inches, and you’d hate to waste time climbing down to move the ladder. But trying to “walk” the ladder, or move it while you’re still on it, is a risk you should never take.


Inspect your ladder

This seems like an easy thing to skip to save time, but that may not be a good idea. While getting up in the ladder faster might mean you’re able to pick more fruit, if that ladder needs repair, you don’t want to find out while you’re using it. Report broken equipment right away so you can get a ladder that is safe and in good repair.

Putting it in perspective

In 2011, over 15,000 people fell from ladders at work and ended up missing a day or more of work as a result.  That was time that they couldn’t get back.  

There are a lot of things to keep in mind as you’re working in the orchard, and ladder safety is an important part of that.