We are headed into a busy spring. When we get going hard, the potential for accidents increase. Being tired and busy is a dangerous combination that requires special attention by all involved. Being constantly aware of potential dangers will help everyone around the farm have a safe spring. In this article, I am going to list some of the danger spots around the farm as I see it.
With family farms, children are a part of the operation. With young children, be aware of where they are at all times. Young children move fast and can get to danger zones quickly. It is the responsibility of everyone on the farm to know where the kids are. Keeping children away from the big equipment is the best safety solution. Make sure proper supervision is in place.
Augers are used extensively in the spring. Augers have moving parts that can be dangerous. Make sure that all the guards are on the equipment. When moving augers, be aware of power lines. Making contact with power lines when the auger is in its upright position can be deadly to the operator. Stay away from power lines when using augers. Always move them in the lowest position. If you have to work around power lines, practice extreme caution when handling augers.
With the wet fields that we have this spring, equipment is going to get stuck. When equipment gets stuck there is always danger. Before you go to the field, check to see that all the towing ropes and chains are in good shape. This is critical because of all the power that we have to pull equipment with. More horsepower means that the ropes or chains can break. When attaching the towing ropes, be sure that they are secure. Most equipment has toe hooks or instructions in the manual where to attach towing cables. Know these points of attachment for all your equipment.
Be aware of unsafe conditions when you are operating your equipment. I talked about power lines already. Potential areas that could cause equipment to roll over need to be identified. When dealing with extreme slopes, have a plan before you go into a dangerous area.
AtV’s have become common tools around the farm. They are very useful but are also very dangerous. Make sure everyone that is operating these pieces of equipment are instructed in safe operating practices. Young children operating this equipment are dangerous. Wearing a helmet should be a requirement. The machines can go fast, but speed brings danger.
Livestock always must be treated with respect. When livestock are agitated, they are more dangerous to handle. Be aware of the risks with handling livestock and deal with it accordingly.
Having a safe farm environment is critical to having a safe spring season. Look at what is required to make your work-place safe and put the procedures in place to keep it that way. Safety is a mindset that takes effort. Put the effort into making your workplace safe and the spring should be accident free.
By Dave Cubbon, P Ag