Yield Safe Results This National Farm Safety and Health Week

The 2019 data for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the agricultural sector is still one of the most dangerous in America with 577 fatalities. Since fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year for the agriculture industry, the third week of September has been recognized asNational Farm Safety and Health Week.

This year's National Farm Safety and Health Week theme is "Farm Safety Yields Real Results". In preparation for next week, CareerSafe wants to highlight some important topics in farm safety and education to help you know what to look for, how to be prepared, and how to respond to agricultural workplace hazards.

Some important best practices for staying safe on the farm are: 

  • Wear PPE.Proper PPE is often one of the best and easiest-to-employ safety precautions to take, and the farm is no exception. When working in agriculture, be sure to use appropriate, well-fitting PPE when operating machinery or handling chemicals.
  • Install Rollover Protection Structures (ROPS).Tractor rollover incidents account for approximately half of all tractor-related fatalities across the country, and ROPS help minimize these by protecting the operator in the event of a rollover.
  • Get equipment training.Educate yourself about farm equipment by reading and following all instructions according to the equipment's operation manual. Most importantly, don't use equipment you haven't been trained to use.
  • Inspect and maintain your equipment. Regular equipment inspection and maintenance can prevent farm-related injuries by identifying problems and hazards early.
  • Use equipment guards and shields.Machine guards and shields help protect agricultural workers from hazards associated with moving parts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has even issued a Machine Guarding Standard for Agriculture.
  • Be able to identify hazards in confined spaces.Confined spaces—like grain bins, silos, and storage tanks—can be dangerous, and they pose unique hazards to workers.Four major dangers for working in confined spaces are:
    • Chemicals or gases may displace or consume oxygen.
    • Fires and explosions can happen more easily.
    • Toxins in the air can damage the respiratory and nervous systems.
    • Physical dangers from moving parts or falls can suffocate or crush workers.
  • Handle animal safety.Farm animals are different from pets and can be a major source of injury, especially when spooked. In general:
    • Be calm, move slowly, and avoid loud noises.
    • Avoid the hind legs of an animal, and approach large animals at the shoulder.
    • Use special caution when handling animals with babies and intact male livestock.
    • Always have an escape route when working with animals in close quarters.

CareerSafe offers anOSHA 10-Hour General Industry (Agriculture) coursethat teaches both OSHA basics and industry-specific hazards.This National Farm Safety and Health Week, yield safe results in your workplace with an industry-recognized federal OSHA credential.

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