Many accidents and injury can be prevented as long as you know the basic safety guidelines when working on farms. There are various work safety measures that are applicable on farms. These include safety when working on farm machinery, safety with livestock, safety of children, safety on dangerous pits, health safety, and electrical safety.
When it comes to work safety guidelines on farm machinery, you should consider the following:
- Ensure that all safety frames and cabs on tractors are still of good standard and quality through regular maintenance. Cabs should always be locked when not in use and the hand brakes of tractors should always be on when parked.
- Chain saws should work correctly and fitted appropriately with chain catcher, safety chain, chain breakage guard, safety throttle, and safety chain.
- Ensure that shafts with power take-off are guarded safely.
- Ensure that all trailers and other farm vehicles are equipped with indicators, mirrors, and lights.
- When working with pressurized hydraulic oils, make sure you have adequate knowledge and skills on using them.
The safety of your livestock is also important when working on farms. You should consider the following:
- Ensure that farm fields that are high-risk for animals are fenced properly.
- It is important to have regular maintenance of holding pints, cattle crushes, and cattle handling units for easy use and safety of livestock.
- If you have bulls on your farm, make sure they are ringed. Moreover, the rings should be checked regularly.
If you have children in your farm’s vicinity, it is also important to consider their safety by taking note of the following guidelines:
- Store all pesticides and other hazardous chemicals properly where children could not have access to.
- Children should not be carried as passengers on trailers or attachments.
- Slurry pits should always be covered.
- Children should be educated about their safety while on the farm.
Some common accidents occur on farms that have dangerous pits. As such, the following safety guidelines should be followed:
- When in agitation, proper ventilation should be considered.
- As much as possible, agitation should be done in two’s.
- All people working in the farm should be conscious of dangerous pits and areas including those that have poisonous gasses such as ammonia and hydrogen sulphide.
- Naked flames should not be anywhere near pits.
Safety guidelines are always coupled with health hazards especially when working on farms. Thus, you should consider the following health measures:
- Precautions should be carried out when working with infected animals as some breakouts may occur such as Brucellosis.
- Cover yourself with proper farming gear as diseases such as Lyme disease can be acquired through tick bites. Take note of itchiness, bites, or irritations and deal with them accordingly.
- When working near areas with moulds, organic dusts, or spores, you are prone to “farmers’ lung” or asthmas. As such, you should wear dusk mask.
- Always take precautions when working on areas with water especially stagnant water, which may contain urine from rats. Rats’ urine can cause Leptospirosis.
You should also ensure electrical safety when working on farms. Make sure you consider the following guidelines:
- Temporary or permanent electrical repairs should always be done by trained individuals.
- Wires and other electrical installations should always comply with regulations set by the government.
- Overhead cables should always be set with proper clearance distances.
Plug tops, cables, fuses and other electrical equipment should always be installed correctly and maintained regularly.