The third week of September has been known as National Farm Safety and Health week since 1944, thanks to Franklin D. Roosevelt. This week is devoted to educating agricultural producers nationwide on safe farming and ranching best practices, with the theme for 2013 being “Working Together for Safety in Agriculture”.
We should take this opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of agricultural workers and their need for safe facilities and working conditions. This also reminds us of the need for emergency response programs within our operations.
During harvest season especially, all of us at Long Vue Farms take the safety & health of everyone who works with us very serious. Even though this is a busy and stressful time for farming communities, it is crucial that agricultural workers take time to assess their environment and make any changes in their routines and on their equipment and farms that could help prevent injuries and save lives. We’d like to provide you with 10 safety tips, specifically when dealing with Farming Machinery Safety and Child Safety on Farms, that we feel are worth remembering:
- Read, and keep easily accessible, all owner’s manuals.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- Keep a first-aid kit and fire extinguisher on all Machinery and service vehicles.
- Always check for bystanders, especially children, before starting or moving equipment. We have implemented a policy of honking the horn before starting any heavy equipment to warn bystanders.
- When working in grain bins, always work in pairs.
- Some areas should be off limits to kids; grain bins, silos, manure lagoons, pesticide storage areas and even roadways where there is frequent equipment travel.
- Invest in safety signs for your farm driveway that remind drivers there may be children nearby.
- Children should not be allowed to play in or ride on grain trucks, wagons or bins. Children can suffocate in grain, and it takes only 34 seconds for a child to be completely submerged in flowing grain.
- Keep all chemicals and poisons in a locked storage area away from where children play.
These tips and best practices are meant to keep everyone safe that works or lives on your farm or ranch. While this particular week is designated as National Farm Safety and Health Week, we hope you will adopt these, as well as, other safe farming and ranching practices year round.
For more information on National Farm Safety and Health Week, please visit the website for the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety. Some safety tips were provided from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.