Safer Times: The Good Day's Work Blog


Posted by Good Day's Work on Jun 30, 2016
Find me on:

It's easy to take everyday safety measures for granted when you've got years of farm experience. You get used to going through the motions and repeating many of the same duties day in, day out.

safety hazards

Unfortunately, that's when hazards become the most dangerous. It's when they are overlooked that the most mundane hazards quickly become the difference between a productive day and a trip to the hospital.

So, no matter how many seasons you've spent on the farm, make it a routine to watch out for these three "duh"-moment, ag-safety hazards.

1. Thank You for Not Smoking

Smoking is a big no-no on the farm outside of well-marked designated areas. The dry, chemical-laden atmosphere on farms provides too many opportunities for not just quick ignition, but fast-moving and widespread flames.

Think about some of the "fuels" commonly found on your own farm:

  • Gasoline
  • Oils
  • Stored chemicals
  • Exhaust
  • Sawdust
  • Fuel cans or totes
  • Chemicals
  • Gases
  • Dry crops and residue
  • Hay, straw, and roughage

These all can quickly ignite, resulting in fire or explosion. So before you light up, think about where you are and what's nearby. Keep your eyes peeled for warning signs and labels around the farm and on equipment. Otherwise, you could light up the property ... or yourself.

2. “Hang Loose,” Except on the Farm

Remember when your mom told you to pull your pants up and tuck in your shirt? While she was likely thinking more about your appearance and less about ag safety, her demands were spot-on.

We tend to quickly walk out the door without checking to make sure all of our clothing is secure. But a loose sleeve, baggy pant leg, unhinged overall strap or hoodie rope can easily get caught on rapidly moving equipment parts.

Use extra caution when around dangerous equipment as augers or combines; while connecting, operating and repairing PTOs; and while operating smaller tools such as chainsaws. Anything that moves or rotates is a potential hazard that can result in loss of limb or even death should a loose article of clothing get caught.

3. Take the Scenic Route

Speaking of PTOs, one of the most common common-sense slip ups on the farm is also one of the most dangerous.

No matter what your schedule, your situation or your on-farm experience, NEVER step over a PTO shaft when your tractor is idle and the shaft is still running. The potential for injury is way too high to justify such a risky move, as the power and RPMs of that spinning shaft are absolutely mericless.

We’re talking about losing limbs in the blink of an eye.

It’s tempting—especially when you’re racing the sun to get all your work done—but when the PTO is running, take the long way around to reach the other side of your tractor or farm implement.

A Little Common Sense Goes a Long Way

No matter how much time you've spent on the farm, it's important to keep your wits about you. Avoid these three commonplace ag-safety hazards to help ensure a safe workday.

For more ag-safety tips, check out our OSHA-compliant farm safety training classes!

 *Wu et al. Injury Epidemiology 2014, 1:8. 


Beginners guide free download

Topics: machine guarding (PTOs/augers), agriculture, hazard communication

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all

Follow Me