Farm Safety and Health
The arrival of the spring usually marks one of the busiest times of the year in the farms due to the various activities that are to be carried out. The activities are usually numerous and involves the use of various machines that range from simple to very powerful ones. It is at this moment that everyone is so pre-occupied with the activities that safety and health is not given any priority.
Farm safety and health is basically an aspect of work safety and health in the farm workplace. It is designed to address the safety and health of the individuals working the farm against hazards or injuries resulting from farm related activities. These individuals include farmers, farm workers and their families.
Farm safety and health is very important to all the individuals concerned in the farm and it should thus be given the priority it deserves. This is because on the nature of the farm work activities which posses high risks when it comes to safety and health of the individuals working the farm. Statistically agricultural industry is one of the most dangerous job to work because of the work related injuries that have caused deaths and permanent damage. The fatality rate for workers in the private sector is thought to be 7 times lower than that of workers in the agriculture industry with the tractor overturn being the leading cause of death.
Also, farmers are affected by lost-work-time injury whereby some lead to a permanent damage. When it come s to non-fatal injuries, farmers are faced with other various problems that are high risk such as skin diseases, hearing loss, lung problems, exposure to harmful chemicals prolonged exposure to the sun. Youths who are as young as 15 years are also involved in the farm work activities and unfortunately they are among the casualties.
Laws and Regulations
The agricultural industries posses unique challenges such as huge labor force, different environmental conditions and diverse production which make it difficult to address and implement labor laws on job safety and health in the workplace, unlike other industries.
Improving the Farms Safety and Health
It is important for every individual doing any farm activities are well safeguarded and that their safety and health is given first priority over everything. This means carrying out various measures to improving the safety and health standards in the farm. Below are some of the ways that you can do to improve safety in the farm;
- Train Workers
You can embark on training the farm workers on that basic safety and health rules before spring break. The training may involve the use of the proper attire and emergency protocol to observe incase of any eventuality.
- Hiring Youth
Many farm work activities are considered to be dangerous to the youths especially for the youths under the age of 16 years. There are some exceptions on the activities that the youths can do in the farm. Consult with the relevant authority to know the tasks that youths are legally required to do.
- Pre-Operational Checks
Conducting pre-operational checks early will be important in identifying any faults that may arise later and cause injury or costly repairs and downtime repairs.
- PTO Shielding
The power take off shaft is widely used machine in the farm in conducting numerous activities. It usually transfers power from the tractor to the machine and it basically presents potential risk of entanglement that can cause great injury or even death. It is important to keep all PTO parts shielded and you can buy the shields from any authorized farm shop. You can also clean and repair the components on a regular basis.
- Use of Public Roads
Though most farm machine travel at 25mph, there are some that can travel even faster and the driver can underestimate braking time needed to avoid collision. There are special markings and lighting that are specifically designed for farm machines using public roads.
The farm owner and all other workers play a huge role in providing food security and driving the economy forward. It is therefore important that their well being is given first priority and make farming more safe and healthy for any person to work in.