It’s easy to get into a daily routine at work, what we do becomes second nature and we can lose sight of safety. According to OSHA, the agricultural injury rate is over 40% higher than the rate for all other workers, making on far safety even more important for farmers. Remembering to take some simple and easy precautions can help reduce accidents and help keep your farm safe and productive.
Here are some tips to always keep in mind:
Personal Farm Safety
- Never wear loose or baggy clothing around equipment.
- Use safety equipment whenever possible. Precautions like wearing the appropriate gloves, eye/ear protection, 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.
Buildings and Work Area
- 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 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 accidents. For a more complete safety review, Agri-Services Agency offers our customers many safety and loss control services. Risk management specialists are available to do a walkthrough of your farm and make suggestions on how to improve your farm’s safety. Often it is something small that you never think about that can cause accidents, a fresh set of eyes can help prevent accidents.
Farming is dangerous and even if you take every precaution, accidents can still happen. In the unfortunate situation that you do experience a serious accident, we are here for you. ASA offers our customers access to a claims management team whose goal is to keep costs down and resolve claims quickly. Additionally, we provide a medical bill review to ensure 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!