During busy seasons, farm safety can take a backseat to other business priorities critical to success. However, safety needs to be part of your critical success factor. Just one accident could affect your ag operation personally and financially, especially if it could have been prevented. Plan your pre-harvest training and safety meeting now to set tone for how your agribusiness will operate for the remainder of the year.
Small to medium Ag producers across the United States are realizing the need to start incorporating safety into their business culture & framework. This need is due to many factors, some of the top being increasingly heightened consequences of an accident: larger medical bills, higher risk of lawsuit, and increased fines from OSHA. Even just a single accident is much more risky and expensive today. Not to mention the emotional impact to your business and community around you.
National Farm and Safety Health Week is September 17 to 23, 2017. This year's theme is "Putting Farm Safety Into Practice." According to National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) this theme hits home and reminds us that it is everyone's responsibility for safety both on the farm and the rural roadways of America.
On the farm, we use our hearing to do our jobs better. The problem is, when it comes to hearing safety, most threats are long term. We don’t sense any immediate harm. This week's farm safety tips address why it’s important to train your employees on hearing protection.
“Nobody likes getting older, but it’s better than the alternative…” is a phrase that we hear often in regards to aging. When it comes to safety on the farm, we need to respect the fact that as we age we don’t have the same reflexes, strength, flexibility or agility that we had in years past. This progresses faster in some people, and slower in others. We must learn to gauge our own abilities and be realistic in the activities we choose to do—and how we choose to do them.
A dairyman was in a hurry to get some heifers treated and when going over a gate, accidentally stuck a syringe filled with a powerful cattle treatment drug in his leg, just above the knee. He was unconscious before he hit the ground and laid in snow and mud for around four hours before waking up just enough to call for help. A quick-thinking family member called their veterinarian so he could contact the EMT’s to be sure they used the right treatment. If they had used their standard procedure for this type of reaction, they would have killed him instantly. Still, he had to be revived three times on the way to the hospital.
I caught up with a friend last week who owned a large dairy farm and now works for a farm co-op in his “retirement.” When I mentioned ag-safety programs and OSHA compliance, he quickly rolled his eyes and sarcastically said, “Ugh,” with a chuckle.
Employees and seasonal workers come from many sources to be employed in the agricutural industry. Many agricultural workers have had no exposure to the agricultural workplace. Regardless of how workers come to work for you, all workers need to know how to do their jobs safely.
Slips, trips, and falls in the workplace are no laughing matter. In fact, they account for more than 225,000 injuries a year. And 70% of these incidents occur on level surfaces with falls from less than four feet above ground!