Farms are the backbone of modern economies and societies. Without the efficient production of food, large cities and urban environments wouldn’t be able to function. However, many people don’t realize the risks of working on a farm. There are tasks performed every day that could lead to potential accidents. As farmers must hire many workers, it is important to take extra efforts to safeguard against injury.
Fortunately, the National AG Safety Database put forth some tips to ensure worker and family safety. As farmers often live on the land in which they work, families are near these dangers as well. These tips will help keep everyone on the farms safe from potential hazards.
Here are eight ways to keep farms safer.
1. Install handrails on all of the stairways and ensure that all ladders are sturdy and in working condition. Replace any older ladders that may break from overuse.
2. Ensure that all frequented areas are clear of any obstructions such as tools, feed, or other common farming objects. Avoid the habit of creating piles that could cause someone to fall. This could be dangerous, especially if the individual is holding a sharp tool or object.
3. Farm buildings are exposed to the weather more than houses or apartments. The floorboards should be inspected routinely to ensure that there are no weak, rotten or moldy spots. These areas should be repaired immediately.
3. Dust the farmhouse thoroughly and clean up all of the small pieces of trash. This debris can cause problems with the electrical system.
4. Light areas throughout the farm to ensure proper visibility. This makes it safer for farmers to work during overcast conditions and during the night or early mornings. Make sure to cover the light bulbs with a plastic enclosure or something more substantial to help reduce the potential for fire or breakage.
5. Consider using alternative sources of energy. Renewable forms of power such as solar power panels and wind turbines can help keep a farm safe from the overuse of harmful energy sources. Jared Lowe from Century Rain says that a solar powered pump is the most cost-effective and efficient way to pump water uphill.
6. Chemicals should be stored properly and with tight seals. Empty containers that once held toxic chemicals need to be properly removed as soon as possible. Normal farms handle a host of toxic products including pesticides, solvents, gas, and more. Many of these products are harmful to smell, breathe, and are flammable.
7. Keep electrical supply boxes and breakers closed and sealed. This ensures that someone doesn’t accidentally open the boxes and get electrocuted.
8. Install carbon monoxide alarms that can help warn of a leak from combustion engines. It is also important to keep buildings properly ventilated when this sort of equipment is being used. These alarms are crucial because carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless.
Farms are naturally more dangerous than other places of work. However, farms can be much safer when the necessary safety precautions are exercised. These tips can help farmers ensure that their family and workers are safer.