Your farm is your livelihood, which is why farm safety shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your employees at all times. Here are some guidelines you can follow to help keep your farm and employees safe when working on the farm.
Safety Tips for Spring Planting Season
- Wear eye protection.
- Use air-purifying respirators to filter molds and dust.
- Use chemical cartridge respirators to filter toxic gas and vapor.
- Use gloves with the correct protective liners for the chemicals being handled.
Safety Tips for Fall Harvesting
- Ventilating silo headspace 30 minutes before entering.
- Always disengage the power take-off before getting off a tractor.
- Never step across a rotating power shaft.
- Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing near moving parts.
- When grain carts or wagons are to be unhitched from tractors, make sure wheel chocks are available to prevent rollaway accidents.
- Keep the ground around loading or unloading areas free of debris and grain.
- Bystanders should stay clear of operating equipment.
- Be aware of pinch points on machinery and avoid getting too close.
Protecting Your Land and Animals
- A good fence can protect your land and animals against vehicles, crime and injuries.
- One of the best fences to protect your farm or ranch is legal barbed wire cattle fence that contains no less than three wires.
- The top wire of your fence should be no less than four feet from the ground, but five feet is recommended.
- The bottom wire of your fence should be no less than one-and-a-half feet or more than two feet from the ground.
- All wires should be stretched and securely fastened to posts.
- Posts should be no more than one rod apart.
- Posts should be set to a minimum depth of two-and-a-half feet in the ground and four feet above ground.
- Your local agriculture extension can help you obtain a copy of the fence laws that apply in your area.
Keeping Kids Protected
- Make sure kids are given age-appropriate tasks and properly supervised.
- Children ages three to nine should be closely monitored. They are not at an age where it is safe to give farming tasks as they are more likely to fall from farm equipment, drink or eat dangerous substances or wander away without an adult.
- School-aged and adolescent children may show interest in helping out around the farm or ranch and can be given chores with strict guidelines and rules. They should be educated on proper use of equipment and understand the dangers of working on a farm or ranch.
- Once a child approaches adulthood they are able to handle many more tasks and chores. With involved in agriculture-related activities, such as 4-H, they can better understand the functionality and operations of a farm and can be given more chores, tasks and responsibilities.
Farm Vehicle Safety
- Make sure to use a Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem on all vehicles that are traveling at less than 25 miles per hour on public roadways, including farm tractors, self-propelled machinery, ATVs and horse-drawn buggies.
- Mount SMV emblems point up, at the rear of the vehicle near its centerline.
- Position the emblem between two and six feet above the ground.
- You can buy a SMV mounting bracket for all vehicles and transfer the emblem from each vehicle as needed.
Following these tips can help you take the right steps to proactively protect your farm and employees. Here are some more farm safety tips to make sure you’re in the know on how to keep your farm safe and running smoothly.