As time goes on, it is easy to get into a routine and just go through the motions when it comes to farm safety. If you’re careful, accidents may not happen often, but farming is dangerous! According to OSHA, in 2011 the agricultural injury rate was over 40% higher than the rate for all workers. The injury rate for all workers was 3.8 per 100 workers while animal production agricultural workers injury rate was 6.7 per 100 workers and crop agricultural workers were injured at a rate of 5.5 per 100 workers. Even when you are doing everything you can do to make farming safer it is still possible to have an accident. However, being mindful of safety and making it a part of everything you do is critical to your success. A safe farm is a productive farm!
Here are some tips to always keep in mind.
Personal Farm Safety
Buildings and Work Area
- Never wear loose or baggy clothing around equipment.
- Use safety equipment whenever possible. Precautions like wearing the appropriate gloves, hearing protection, safety eyewear, and facemasks/respirators are simple solutions to many safety concerns.
- Always have someone to help you whenever entering high-risk areas such as grain bins or breeding pens.
- Teach safety procedures to any children that may ever be on the premises. Start them young and set a good example for them.
- Perform frequent safety checks of equipment, buildings, and the grounds themselves for obvious fire hazards and other hazardous materials.
- Keep farm chemicals locked up where neither children nor animals can get to them. Then make a list of all chemicals and where they are kept for firefighters in case of a fire.
- Keep any areas where you may be driving any vehicles clear of tall weeds, grasses, or any other obstructions to keep a clear line of sight and prevent an accident.
- Always maintain a clean and neat work space. Make sure any tools you are not actively using are stored out of the way.
- Always keep tractor roll-over protection structures in place. If your tractor does not have one, get one installed as soon as possible.
- Prohibit riders on tractor fenders, hitches, attachments, or implements.
- Shield all PTO-powered equipment drive shafts.
- Keep fire extinguishers and first aid kits on tractors at all times.
- Keep your animals healthy. An animal that is sick or in pain can act aggressively.
- Avoid the animal’s “blind spot”. Approach the animal from the front or side.
- Avoid loud noises and do not yell around the animals.
- Many injuries occur when a startled animal pins their handler against something. When working with livestock, always know how you’re going to get out, especially while working in close quarters.
This list only scratches the surface on farm safety, but these basic tips can certainly prevent a lot of unnecessary problems from happening. For a more complete look at your safety, Agri-Services Agency offers many safety and loss control services. Risk management specialists are available to do a walk through of your farm and make suggestions on how to improve your farm’s safety. Often times it is something small that you never think about that can cause accidents. A fresh set of eyes can be critical to preventing accidents.
Farming is dangerous and even if you take every precaution imaginable, accidents can still happen. In the unfortunate situation that you do experience a serious accident, we are here for you. In the case of a trauma, Agri-Services will help assure that the injured employee receives the best possible treatment and care for their injuries. We also have a claims management team that specializes in agriculture and directly oversees the handling and resolution of all claims. Further, all medical bills go through an extensive review to assure that the state fee schedule has been properly applied, duplicate bills are identified and any additional preferred provider savings are secured. This results in lower claim costs, which works to keep your workers’ compensation insurance costs lower as well.
If you are interested in learning more about any of these services, call Agri-Services Agency at 877-466-9089 and talk to one of our safety specialists today!