Concussion Prevention on the Farm
From managing the books to seeding winter wheat, every job on the farm has an important role to play in order for your farm to prosper. But along with the rewards of a bustling farm, there are also risks to be aware of.
One big risk farm workers face are head injuries. When a worker falls or suffers an injury to the head, it’s important to be on the lookout for symptoms of a concussion and also to understand what led to the injury so that everyone on the farm learns from it. Take a look at our tips for preventing concussions on the farm — so you and your employees can take proactive steps to stay safe.
What Is a Concussion?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can occur from a blow to the head, or if the head moves rapidly without a physical “hit” to it. Either way, that sudden movement causes the brain to shift or twist within, or bump into, the interior of the skull. This shock can change the normal chemical makeup of the brain. In more severe cases, brain cells can be injured or stretched as well — furthering the damage.
Children growing up on the farm need to know how to protect themselves from head injuries. Among all farm workers, kids under age 17 stand the highest likelihood of getting a concussion, so take extra time to about teach children on the farm how to protect themselves from head injuries. Learn about other ways to help keep them safe with these helpful tips on child safety on the farm.
The Symptoms and Signs of a Concussion
After a concussion, you may notice the victim disoriented and confused. In some cases, their personality may change in the after. Be sure to call 911 as soon as possible after a head injury and look for the following symptoms a concussion victim may have:
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Mood changes
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Loss of consciousness
How to Prevent Concussions by Working Safely
Concussions on the farm happen in many ways. Falling from heights, car accidents and handling animals all carry a risk of injury and the real possibility of a concussion. But here’s the good news: most concussions can be prevented by teaching safe work habits with a little on-site training. Find out other ways you can keep your staff safe with our loss and risk control and resource center.
Here are a few key points to discuss with farm staff when training them:
Wear a hard hat. When in doubt, wear a hard hat. Be sure that the hard hat fits tightly around your head. Remove hats, bananas or other head coverings when possible.
Be careful on ladders. Verify that the feet are positioned correctly and request a spotter to foot the ladder when working at heights. Explore more to stay safe at heights with these tips on ladder safety.
Use the three points of contact rule. When working on ladders or at heights, be sure to always have three points of contact supporting your weight: two legs on the ladder and one hand gripping a rung or the side of the ladder, leaving the other hand free to get the job done.
Wear a harness. Be sure to tie off and have spotters on site when entering grain bins or other areas where a harness is required.
Stay aside of suspended items. Never work directly underneath large items or loose equipment. Take time to look at the ways things could go wrong before you begin work and have a plan to stay safe if they do.
The Lasting Impact of Concussions
One of the problems with concussions is that they take a long time to heal. Victims may feel better but they can remain at risk for re-injury if they should hit their head again in the weeks afterward. That’s when post-concussion syndrome may surface. This lasting damage to the brain is one more reason to be sure family, employees and all other workers on the farm know how to protect themselves from head injury and work safely — and prevent concussions from occurring in the first place.
After you’ve taken the time to review safety measures with your employees to prevent concussions, invest a few moments and contact your American Family Insurance agent to be sure your farm and ranch insurance is tuned to your exact business needs.