Planting: Farm Safety

As many of you know, farmers are busy preparing their fields for planting. As planting season gets in full swing, it's important to remember farm safety. According to the National Safety Council, agriculture is the most hazardous industry in the nation and has been compared to working at a construction site. Every year, hundreds of people are injured or killed in farm related accidents.

With so much activity on the farm, there are variety of hazards for farmers to consider. Here are some tips on staying safe this planting season and beyond.

First off, if you have children you like to help on the farm, there are some important things to consider:

Consider the child's age, ability, training and supervision. Be realistic about what your child's abilities are in helping. For example, a 4 year old cannot help out like a 15 year old can. It's also important to train any children on anything they can help with, just as you would with a hired employee. Be a role model for your kids by training them well and following the rules yourself. Finally, be sure to check on your children often and supervise as you see fit.

Secondly, it's also important to remember that communication is key on a farm. While having a cell phone is helpful, there are many other precautions you can take to stay safe:

Always keep emergency numbers near every phone, in every farm building and in any vehicles.

Always carry a cell phone or Walkie Talkie, whether you are going to be out on the farm all day or just running out for a minute.

Have at least one person trained and certified in basic first aid skills and CPR on site at all times.

Have a first aid kit and emergency preparedness kit on hand with items such as a flashlight, and battery-powered radio. And always keep extra batteries around just in case.

Keep fire extinguishers should be in each building.

Be sure to wear proper protective equipment at all times. This includes steel toe boots, respirators, gloves, helmets, hats, sunblock, etc.).

Finally, make smart decisions. If you are tired or have trouble concentrating, do not operate equipment. Eat well, stay hydrated and get a sufficient amount of sleep!

 

For more information on spring planting safety, visit Farm Safety For Just Kids.

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Farm Safety For Just Kids is devoted to the safety and health of rural youth by preventing injuries and fatalities. For over 25 years the organization, chapters across the country, and outreach coordinators have provided farm safety education to youth and their families. For more information visit the website or check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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