Farming is one of the oldest and noblest professions, but it is also one of the most dangerous. The injury rate among agricultural workers is 40% higher than that of all other workers, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). With all the duties that go with running a farm, it can be easy to forget about hazards that can cause accidents, injuries or even death. National Farm Safety Week is a great opportunity to focus on farm safety, help reduce accidents and keep you, your family and employees safe and productive.
8 Safety tips for around your farm
These helpful tips offer guidance on how to safely operate your farm.
1. Take a look around. Review and inspect your farm for hazards and dangers that are present.
Do all tools and equipment have guards and shields in place?
Are all power cords in good working order with a proper ground?
Are “No Smoking" signs displayed near fuel storage areas?
Are fire extinguishers accessible in all buildings?
Are fire extinguishers inspected annually and in working order?
2. Tractor safety. Do an annual safety inspection of all tractors and machinery.
Do all tractors have rollover protective structure (ROPS) installed?
Are seatbelts always used when available?
Are all headlights, flashers and warning lights in good working order?
Are all guards and shields in place?
Does every tractor and vehicle have a fire extinguisher?
3. Dress for success. Always wear proper attire when working on the farm.
Are all farm workers required to wear gloves and non-slip footwear while doing farming activities?
Are helmets, safety harnesses, masks/respirators and ear protection accessible for family members and employees?
Is all farm personal protective equipment (PPE) properly maintained?
Are farm laborers prohibited from wearing loose or baggy clothes when working around equipment?
4. Kid proof the farm. Always be mindful when children are present on the farm.
Are there specific areas for children to play in and not to play in?
Never allow children to ride on tractors or machinery.
Do you keep children away from hazardous areas such as grain bins, chemical storage areas and livestock housing?
Are children taught farm safety practices from an early age?
5. A kernel of truth. Never enter a grain bin alone.
Are all shields and guards in place on grain handling equipment?
Are all ladders and platforms properly secured and free of debris?
Is a lifeline and harness available when working inside a grain bin?
Is there a process to ensure that all equipment has been shut off or secured prior to entering grain bin?
Is a dust mask or respirator available to use when entering a grain bin?
Do the grain bins have “Do Not Enter” signs posted on them?
Are there rescue resources available if a person becomes entrapped?
6. And the cow jumped over the moon. Always be careful around large animals; their size can make them potentially dangerous for children and adults.
Are fences used to contain livestock regularly checked and maintained?
Are all gates in proper working order and well maintained?
Are immunizations current for all animals, including pets?
Is newly stored hay monitored for possible overheating?
7. Accidents still happen, being prepared to respond if necessary.
Do local first responders have a copy of the farm’s emergency plan?
Is anyone on the farm trained in first aid and CPR?
Are there well maintained first aid kits located in buildings and vehicles?
8. Keep yourself safe. The most crucial step to farm safety is to keep yourself safe.
Get adequate rest
Take breaks if necessary
Avoid distractions, especially cell phones, when operating equipment
Eat balanced, regular meals
Ask for help if you need it
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance supports National Farm Safety Week and believes farm safety is important to all types and sizes of farms across Indiana. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance knows the importance of farm safety; your farm and its safety are important to us. We will partner with you to provide education, resources and expertise to identify and reduce farm hazards. You can also receive guidance on how to improve overall farm safety and risk management. Please contact your local Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance agent to learn more.
Risks are still present even if you practice farm safety. To help address these risks, along with farm safety, our farm and crop insurance is a great tool to help protect your farm, family and livelihood. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance has farm insurance options that can provide coverage for your liability, farm structures, home, livestock, machinery and farm vehicles. Along with providing coverage for your property, our crop insurance can provide protection for your farm’s income against the effects of crop loss. Our crop insurance policies can assist in covering most losses due to hail, fire, lightning, vandalism and some transporting accidents.
Find your local insurance agent
For more information regarding farm and crop insurance, contact a local Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance agent today. They can help answer any questions you may have about the type of coverages you need and how much coverage you should consider to protect your property and crops. Start ensuring that your farm and crops are covered from the unexpected today, by getting a free quote.
*The information in this article was compiled from a variety of sources and is intended to provide helpful tips only.