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Stay Safe This Fall around the Farm and Farm Equipment

Safety tips from our Trauma Committee

From our Trauma Comittee:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the agricultural industry is one of the most dangerous in America. Fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year. For this reason, the third week of September is National Farm Safety and Health Week.  In an effort to keep farmers and their family safe this harvest season, we bring you a few safety tips. 

  • Dress for Success.  Wear appropriate clothing and safety gear including gloves, masks, and eye protection.  Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing around moving machinery.  Know which chemical you are using and the proper safety precautions required to handle it appropriately.    
  • Drive with Caution.  Avoid driving tractors or moving equipment before dawn or after dusk.  Be sure that your equipment is clearly marked with slow moving vehicle signs.  Make sure all your lights are working correctly.  Consider having a vehicle escort when possible
  • Keep the Kids Safe.  Always go over the rules of the farm with the children.  Do not let them climb on equipment, even while not in use.  Be sure to turn off the farm machinery and take the keys with you.  Lock all silos and grain bins.  Block off all ladders or move them out of the reach of the children.  Fence off all manure pits and areas with water and lock the gate.  Cap off all abandoned wells and tanks.  Lock away all chemicals.  Never allow children to play on or around grain bins.  Do not assign jobs to children that they are not physically, mentally, or legally able to perform.
  • Be Safe around Tractors.  Tractors related accidents are the most common cause of farm fatalities. Be sure when using the tractor to avoid allowing it to run in an enclosed building to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.  Avoid re-fueling while the engine is hot.  In addition, do not allow extra riders unless they are manufactured with a second seat and seat belt. 
  • Respect the PTO.  Never attempt to step over a PTO.  When working on the PTO always disengage the PTO, turn off the engine, and remove the keys.  Do not remove the PTO shield and replace the shield if it is broken.
  • Take Time to Care for Yourself.  Avoid operating equipment or machinery while tired.  Review safety rules with family and employees.  Record near accidents to track places and events that are potentially dangerous.  Take your time and avoid costly shortcuts.
  • Take Along a Second Person.  Grain bins and manure pits are very dangerous.  Avoid entering bins, silos and pits if possible.  If not possible, be aware of the potential for deadly gases that can be poisonous, cause suffocation, or even explode. Always take an extra person to monitor you while you are working (have someone on the outside at all times).  NEVER ENTER ALONE! When entering a grain in always use a harness and anchored lifeline.  Always ventilate silo headspace for at least 30 minutes.  Always use confined space entry procedures.
  • Avoid electrical accidents.  Always be aware on and the lookout for overhead power lines.  Electrical current can arch up to 10 feet away.  Avoid any wires hanging on the ground and report it immediately.  Do not touch someone or something that has come into contact with an energized wire until the power has been shut off.
  • Educate Everyone.   It is important to stay up to date on the latest safety tips.  Prevention is key!  Learn basic first aid and CPR as it may take time for Emergency Services to arrive.
The third week of September is National Farm Safety and Health Week