Top 10 Farm Safety Tips

woman standing by a milking system

Photo by Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock.com

Farming ranks as one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S. Stress, long hours and fatigue contribute to injury risk. When we confront several stressors at once, we may become distracted, and this distraction can cause errors that lead to serious or fatal incidents, such as tractor rollovers or entanglement in a fast-moving machine. Thus, proper safety precautions are essential for preventing such incidents.

  1. Buy a rollover protective structure (ROPS) for older tractors. If an approved ROPS is not available, avoid using that tractor or consider trading or selling it through a local dealer.
  2. Replace all missing power take-off and rotating equipment shields. Shut off power equipment before leaving the operator’s station.
  3. Check that lights, flashers and reflectors on machines work properly. Always use them when traveling on roadways.
  4. Replace “slow moving vehicle” emblems that aren’t clean and bright.
  5. Inspect and repair farm machinery before the busy season. A well-maintained machine will operate more efficiently and reduce the chance of an injury.
  6. Use proper equipment and procedures when hitching and unhitching implements.
  7. Never enter a manure pit, grain bin or silo without following confined space entry procedures. The gases and materials in these structures kill farmers every year.
  8. Ensure that all workers receive specific instructions on their tasks and the machines they are operating. Be sure they read and understand all operational procedures in the owner’s manual.
  9. Take time to learn basic first aid, CPR and emergency response.
  10. Do not assign jobs to children unless they are physically, mentally and legally ready to perform the job safely, follow directions and can respond to unexpected situations. This may mean waiting until kids are at least 16 years of age.