Compared to other industries, farm work is the most dangerous of all. Every year, more than 480 people in the US are killed performing ag-related jobs. Hundreds more are seriously injured. According to OSHA, it is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the workplace and ensure a risk-free environment.
To accomplish this, audits of your operation should be conducted at regular intervals throughout the year to identify – and correct – potential hazards. Developing a checklist of potential hazards in your operation is a great way to get started.
Line ‘em Up and Check ‘em Off
Below are some sample questions to help you develop a hazard assessment checklist for your operation:
- Are your tractors equipped with a Roll Over Protection Structures (ROPS)?
- Is hearing protection provided to employees who operate loud machinery?
- Are proper confined spaces procedures followed when entering and working in grain storage facilities?
- Are Safety Data Sheets (SDS) available throughout your operation for employees using hazardous chemicals?
- Have augers, conveyers, and PTOs been properly shielded to prevent limbs, hair, and clothing from getting snagged in the machinery?
Building a comprehensive checklist for your operation and reviewing it regularly will put you well on your way toward creating a safer working environment for your employees.