It’s the start of Farm Safety week which is always the third week of September. It starts this week because it’s about the same time that farmers are heading out to their fields. Fall Harvest can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons for the Ag industry. This is when most of farm accidents happen that’s why it’s important to learn about Farm Safety!
Safety Information Below:
Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety- When farm vehicles are on the roads, it increases the rick of an accident. When equipment is moving on rural roads be sure to pay attention to the SMV sign (slow-moving vehicle), leave a reasonable amount of space between yourself and the farm equipment, and only pass when it’s safe. When passing farm equipment, you must be especially cautious when farmers are turning left into driveways or fields. The driver may first pull right for wide turns. This is when most accidents happen is when people think the driver is turning right instead of left and then they hit the tractor while it is turning. Therefore, it’s important to be patient and know when a safe time to pass is. A few other key safety tips on tractor safety are always use seat belts, be familiar with your terrain, never jump off a moving tractor or leave engine running, never start your engine in a closed shed, and don’t be in a hurry.
Overall Farmer Health- A farmer's health is at risk everyday on the farm. Farmers are exposed to chemicals, high levels of dust (mold, bacteria, etc.), ultraviolet rays from the sun, joint and ligament injuries, and loud noises. Farmers are also at risk of having heatstroke, frostbite, injury from operating equipment, and injuries while working with livestock. Stress is another big factor in health problems. Farmers not only keep the farm running but they do it with droughts, floods, diseases that can affect your crop and livestock, financial concerns, and working long hours. The overall farmer health is important! That is why it’s important to get plenty of sleep, take shifts, eat good meals and stay hydrated!
Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture- Give your child age-appropriate tasks to do on the farm but make sure they are supervised by an adult as well. By giving your child the right type of task, it allows them to help and keeps them safe from dangerous things happening around the farm. If you're the parent or sibling, you should always lead by example when you are on the farm. The younger kids are going to practice safety on the farm when they see everyone working in a safe way. Other ways that are important to keeping your youth safe around the farm are to make sure kids steers clear of work sites, keeping kids off equipment and tractors, assigning the appropriate tasks, creating a safe space on the farm, and training youth for the task at hand.
Agricultural Fertilizer & Chemical Safety- Important things you should follow when you are handling/storing fertilizer. Make sure you are following all the directions on the label, always store fertilizer in their original containers, immediately recover or reuse, mix and load your fertilizer when you get to the application place when possible, and do not store any fertilizer containers underground. Anhydrous ammonia (NH3) is an effective nitrogen crop fertilizer. This fertilizer is potentially dangerous, as it seeks water from the nearest source. It may go to the human body in some cases meaning the eyes, lungs, and skin because of the moisture content being higher.
Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture- Women on the farm are filling more rolls then ever before. In a given day, a woman may work on the farm, work at an off-farm job, do laundry, clean house, care for the children and put dinner on the table. Over the years, the woman’s role in agricultures continues to change as more women are involved in farm and ranch responsibilities. There are health risk as well for the women who work on the farm. A few risks include pesticide exposures, chronic bronchitis, pregnancy-related risks, livestock-related injuries and more. As the number of women in agriculture grows it’s important to be aware of the health and safety risks.