While those of us who run ag operations in colder climates are happy about the warmer temperatures that Spring brings, it’s a fact that the mud and rainfall of the season will make our working conditions more treacherous. The risk of slip, trip, and fall injuries increases significantly with the warmer weather – and not just because we can finally get back outside again.
Contact! The Three Point Rule
The single biggest cause of injury from falls from vehicles on the farm is a result of failing to adhere to the “Three Point Rule.” Many knee, ankle, and back injuries occur because someone jumped from a trailer or truck bed onto uneven ground, or slipped off a muddy step or ladder when exiting the cab. The “Three Point Rule” requires that three out of four points of contact be maintained at all times when dismounting a vehicle. That means moving only one limb at a time. Following this rule greatly reduces the risk of injury.
Be Aware of Your Environment
It’s also good practice to exercise caution when working in inclement conditions.
- Keep steps, ladders, and standing surfaces free of snow, mud, and debris.
- Exit and enter facing the cab.
- Maintain a firm grip on handles and rails.
- Never jump from a vehicle or trailer. Landing on uneven surfaces is a common cause of preventable injuries.
We know how good it feels to be back outside after a long season cooped up indoors. Even so, this is exactly the time when we need to use common sense. Injuries incurred now, at the beginning of the season, can have a significant impact on your operation all season long.