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If you think farm safety is someone else’s problem, you’re right. It was Paddy’s and Kitty’s problem when the tractor they were driving crushed them. It was Tommy’s problem when he got wrapped around a PTO shaft. These are just a few examples of problems related to farm safety. It isn’t that we are careless, most of these accidents occur during everyday activities. The fact is, farming and farms are dangerous. There are hazards literally everywhere you look. The ploughing championships is the perfect opportunity for everybody to be mindful of health and safety on the farm.
Keep your farm a safer place, and you will thrive on it! Here are some farm safety tips for you to think about. Enjoy…
• Perform a safety check of buildings and grounds for obvious fire hazards and hazardous materials.
• Establish a safety boundary around gas and diesel fuel tanks and other flammable substances.
• Maintain clean and neat work areas with tools stored out of the way.
• Store farm chemical’s securely where kids and animals can’t access them. Then make a list of the chemicals for firefighters in the event of a fire on your property.
• Keep weeds and grasses trimmed so tractors and ATV drivers won’t run into hidden obstacles and holes that can cause the vehicle to overturn.
• Don’t wear loose clothing around equipment and work areas.
• Farm safety for children is extremely important, always discuss safety concerns with children, explaining safe handling and any hazards. Practice what you preach, and they will follow.
• It is important to use safety equipment the correct way. That means hearing protection, gloves, eye protection, not forgetting face masks when working in dusty conditions.
• If possible have a helper nearby when entering breeding pens or other high-risk areas.
• Ensure that all tractors and farm trucks are fitted with fire extinguishers and first aid kits.
• Never leave running power equipment unattended.
• Safeguard all PTO-powered equipment drive shafts, and keep children at a distance from them.
• Never exit a tractor or truck without ensuring it is in park mode or engaging the emergency brakes.
• Never run or start gas or diesel engines in an enclosed area without being assured of good ventilation.
• Maintain and check equipment, especially hydraulic hoses and electrical cables showing cracks or other signs of wear and tear.
• Treat farm animals with respect. If you understand their behavior, then you will be ready for their actions.
• Keep animals in good health. Animals in pain and discomfort can react aggressively.
• Take extra care with farm animals during birthing and breeding times.