Keeping Safe on the FarmFarm Tender Jun 30, 2017
Whether you are a seasoned farmer or just starting out, one of the things you will always need to keep in mind during your day to day farming duties is safety. Here are a just a few things to keep in mind.
Farming safety is going to influence every aspect of your life on the farm, right down to getting dressed in the morning. If you are planning on operating equipment, loose clothing should be avoided. More than this, you should always wear protective gear when it is required. This means eyewear, hearing protection and the appropriate gloves.
One of the biggest dangers on any farm will be the equipment. More than just improper use, problems with the equipment itself can quickly turn into a disaster. Make sure and conduct regular inspections of your equipment so any problems are identified quickly.
While we not only have to worry about our own actions on the farm, whether handling equipment or animals, we also need to pay extra special attention to our kids. Unfortunately, around 10 children die on Australian farms each year and around one quarter of those children were visitors to the farm.
As farms can be both a home and a workplace, children can be more at risk of injury because of the environment – whether they’re playing or helping adults with duties. The biggest risks are dependent on age, with the biggest risk for toddlers being drowning and the greatest risk for older children being injuries resulting from use of quad bikes, farm vehicles or machinery, and horses.
While it is impossible to eliminate every single hazard from a farm, there are steps you can take to minimise the chance of injury and death in children. Block entry to particularly hazardous areas whenever possible, educate children on the potential dangers throughout the farm and provide adequate supervision at all times.
If the worst does happen and an injury occurs, you’ll want to be sure you have the knowledge and items to react and prevent death. Everyone who is old enough should be trained in First Aid if they are planning to live or work on your farm. You should also keep a fully stocked first aid kit in an easily accessible place.
The points listed above are essential for maintaining a safe farm. However, as a whole, the thing that is going to protect you most is education. Do research at regular intervals to see if there are extra steps you could be taking or products you could be using to further increase safety. Education is not only important for yourself, but also anyone who steps foot on your property – whether worker, family member or visitor.
Document near misses and learn from them to improve processes, brainstorm with others to see how you can improve further and write a safety plan that you share with others.
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