Agriculture is vital to the survival of humanity. Providing the basis for food security, farming has been, and always will be, a viable occupation. Farming provides large quantities of food and materials at relatively low costs and ensures the meat dispersed throughout the country is harvested by healthy animals. Modern farming began around the 18th century and continues to be a highly profitable business for many people. Like any occupation, farming comes with its own set of challenges.
Despite its contributions to the stability of the food chain, farming can be extremely dangerous. In fact, farming ranks as one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Due to this, farms and ranches must follow strict safety guidelines when it comes to handling animals and equipment. This will protect owners and their employees from unexpected mishaps. Here are a few helpful tips for farm and ranch workers.
Never Enter a Manure Pit Without Following Proper Entry Protocol.
The gases given off by these structures can be fatal to farmers. In 1992 four Minnesota farm workers were killed after entering manure waste pits. These pits held hydrogen sulfide gas, a highly poisonous element that can result in the inability to breathe, rapid unconsciousness, and death. Every farm should implement a farm waste management plan that includes a protocol for biological waste disposal.
Invest in Supplemental Insurance
Farmworkers perform strenuous labor and are prone to back pain and sickness due to the constant exposure to chemicals. As a result, everyone working on a farm needs disability insurance coverage.
Disability insurance gives farm workers and ranchers peace of mind when they are unable to work due to illness or accidents. As a farmer or rancher, becoming sick and being unable to work can lead to financial complications. In today’s world, many people depend on the contributions of their partner’s income. As a farmer, losing that income due to long periods of illness can be detrimental to the sustainability of the business. The inability to even work side jobs for years at a time can put an increased amount of financial pressure on the family. Disability insurance diminishes this pressure and provides a security blanket in the case of sudden work-related mishaps.
Ensure Familiarity With Tasks and Operating Equipment.
Farming is nothing like working with computers where you can hit the wrong button and delete the mistake. The heavy equipment used on farms can be dangerous if not used properly. Ensuring workers know their tasks and how to safely operate farming equipment will prevent accidents caused by inexperience. When workers are unprepared, they put themselves and those around them at risk. Every piece of equipment should come with handling instructions and safety guidelines. Knowing how to operate equipment is only half the battle, knowing how to operate equipment safely is the other half.
Take a Basic First Aid Course
Basic occupational first aid techniques can save the life of anyone in the event of an accident. No matter how many safety tips a farmworker follows, accidents and illnesses can still occur. For example, working out in the heat can cause heat exhaustion or dehydration. Furthermore, exposure to certain chemicals can result in adverse effects. Knowing what to do will not only save lives but increase the recovery rate of the person who is ill, and decrease the chances of long-term disability.
Inspect and Ensure Machinery is Functioning Properly
Damaged machinery can lead to unprecedented accidents. Equipment that is well-maintained will function efficiently and decrease the risk of serious injury. Furthermore, holding off on repairs is not ideal, as improperly functioning farm equipment can be extremely dangerous. Furthermore, continuing to use equipment without making necessary repairs can result in greater damage.
Overall, working on a farm or ranch can be extremely rewarding. However, it can also be extremely dangerous. Following vital safety guidelines and techniques will ensure every worker is safe, and decrease the risk of unforeseen accidents. Performing safety checks, wearing safety equipment, drinking plenty of fluids, and ensuring the proper use of farm equipment, are all vital safety tips. These simple pointers will ensure the safety of farm employees and prevent long-term illness and disability.