Top Safety Tips For The Vineyard Harvest

Harvest 2014 Cutting GrapesPicking grapes may seem as easy as 123, unfortunately there are some essential picker protocols that should be followed in order to ensure a safe, not to mention fun working environment. As a vineyard manger you should first announce these rules to the entire picking team.

  • The first safety rule is about the way you use cutting utensils. If you are picking when it is dark out then do not clip any where you feel something but you cannot see what you are cutting. Because most probably it will be your finger. No matter how sure you are if you love your fingers it is not worth risking.
  • If any of the pickers need a band aid tell them to let you know immediately.
  • As a vineyard manager it is your job to make sure that the pickers are doing their job right. This can be ensured for instance if you show them the right condition of the fruit that should be picked. You don’t want any green berries picked. Your pickers will probably be people who are first timers at this and volunteered for some vineyard education. Tel them the difference between what they should avoid picking and the ones that are ready to be harvested.
  • There are instances when pickers start to overload their buckets with fruit. Before you start working tell all your pickers where to carry the bucket and leave the fruit once it is loaded. This will make both your and the volunteers life much easier.
  • Notice how you tend to pick from the way others do it. If the berries drop from the clusters than you are yanking too hard. In fact do not yank at all.
  • A handy tip is if you push and pull on the canes to get a better angle at cutting out the fruit in bunches.
  • When picking clusters remember that you should throw the bad parts off from the clusters then and there and bucket the good ones.
  • Never place your snips or anything else that is not supposed to make wine in the bucket, even if you think you are doing it for just a moment do not do it because everything in the bucket goes in to an expensive piece of machinery and a distracted picker may forget to retrieve these things from eth basket.
  • Watch out for bees at the back of clusters as they usually are present there if you harvest in the early morning.
  • In the similar way make sure you tell your pickers that it is not appropriate to push down on the clusters that they have harvested in the basket/ bucket to make more room. The process is meant for the crusher machine which only accepts what fruit you present to it in fine condition.
  • Part of having a successful harvest is that you have the right equipment at hand. Start by looking at Cameron & Cameron for the best and reliable Vineyard supplies.