Hazards producers may overlook
Life on the farm poises hazardous situations daily. Fortunately, producers typically go through the day with no issues. However, there are some safety precautions to implement that may not always be at the forefront of a farmer’s mind.
Producers may forget the importance of applying sunscreen before working outside. The sun can cause serious damage and lead to skin problems. Prevention is key to combating the impact of the sun. So, slather up!
Caution Around Equipment
The Power Take-Off (PTO) shaft is the device that transfers power between tractors and implements. Use caution around PTOs, avoid wearing loose clothing around PTO drives and pay extra attention when working around the PTOs on the back of a tractor.
As hay season approaches use caution when operating balers and hay equipment. Follow the safety procedures outlined in the equipment manuals. This is a good practice for any product or equipment used on the farm. Be familiar with the labels and safety manuals of products and equipment, especially any new products or equipment that’s unfamiliar.
In addition, while baling hay there is an increased risk of fire. Having some means of fire suppression quickly at hand when in the hayfield is a good safety precaution to take. Experts recommend keeping a fire extinguisher or water in the tractor while working.
Lock it up
Make sure children do not have access to any pesticides or herbicides. Ensure these products are stored where children cannot get to them. Additionally, keep the herbicides and insecticides in their original containers. For example, do not transfer the product into a soda bottle or empty food container.
When utilizing and applying different products such as fertilizers or herbicides wear the personal protective equipment (PPE) indicated on the product label. Following the recommendations on the product will help to keep producers safe.
Many times, farmers overlook the importance of protecting their hearing. A lot of the machinery and tools used on farms generate excessive noise. “It doesn’t take a lot of exposure to those things to have hearing loss later in life,” Brad Runsick, Baxter County, Ark., extension agent, said.
Make Whereabouts Known
Before heading out to work around the farm, let someone know your plans. “Notify someone what you are doing for the day and where you are going to be,” Runsick said. “Something as simple as that may make a difference so someone can find you if you get hurt.”
Avoid Rising Water
Experts warn community members of the dangers of rising waters on roadways during flash flooding events. The same caution can be applied to farms. When heavy rains flood creeks running through pastures, avoid the swollen waterways. “There are places that you can cross certain times of the year on the farm that you shouldn’t try to cross other times of the year, because of the potential to have your vehicle or side-by-side swept away with you in it,” Runsick said.
Every day on the farm brings new and sometimes surprising obstacles. Keeping these general reminders in mind, should help producers have a safe and productive spring.