Safety Matters – Agriculture
Don’t Slip Up on the Farm
Helpful tips for reducing your risk of injury at work
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the most common accident suffered by agricultural workers. Many times, these accidents result in major injuries or death, as falls from as little as 12 feet can be fatal.
To avoid trip and fall hazards, consider these safety recommendations:
- Wear shoes and boots with slip-resistant soles and heels.
- Remove tools or other items from walkways that might cause a tripping hazard.
- Keep platforms, foot-plates and steps clear of mud, snow, manure and other debris.
- Do not get out of tractors or other equipment before they’ve been completely stopped and the brakes are set. Step down using the handholds or rails. Never jump off a tractor unless it comes in contact with energized power lines.
- Examine ladders to ensure that they are in good working condition before each use. Never paint wooden ladders, because this can disguise flaws or weak areas in the wood.
- Use the “four-to-one” rule when using straight ladders. This means that you should set up the ladder base one foot from a wall or building for each four feet of height.
- Other considerations for ladders:
- Lock a leg around the ladder if you need to use both hands.
- Never overreach.
- Keep your belt buckle between the ladder rungs while working.
- Do not place one foot on the ladder and the other on an adjacent surface or object.
- Never jump off a ladder.
- Avoid using a ladder in wet or icy conditions.
- Avoid power lines when using ladders, especially those made of metal.
- Do not work on a ladder when it is windy, stormy or if you are fatigued.
- Clean dust and debris away from steps and platforms.
- Keep entrances to buildings clear and make sure that steps are free of mud, ice and snow build-up.
- Allow for extra time to feed livestock and hitch equipment in muddy or wet conditions.
For more information and safety tips visit AGRICULTURE or contact a SW Risk Insurance Specialist today at 1-866-924-7976 (SWRM).