Top 7 Ag-Related Safety Tips

We have all heard the safety guy say it, “safety first, safety last, safety always”. But why is it that that preventable accidents are on the rise? Here are 7 things to think about as you work in a physically demanding job.

  1. Grain is like quicksand. It takes about 5 seconds for an adult to sink knee deep and need help to get out. In 20 seconds, you can be engulfed in grain. The force needed to pull out a person can exceed 2000 pounds. “Oh, that will never happen to me” said by literally the last person to be engulfed in grain. Have an emergency plan. Turn off any grain handling equipment. Turn on aerators. Where a respirator.
  2. Working around power equipment. Loose clothing or hair can get bound up in machinery in seconds, putting you where you don’t want to be. Tuck pants into boots and avoid hoodies with drawstrings. Make sure your sleeves fit. Tie back loose hair.
  3. Slips and falls. Machinery takes a lot of lubrication which can often end up on the shop floor. Wear skid resistant footwear. With colder months look into getting Stabil-icers or similar boot covers when working outdoors. You can almost tap dance on glare ice with the right gear.
  4. Electrical equipment. Always lock out, tag out circuits that you work on. Assume that a circuit may be live when you are working on it. It’s no fun to be known as “Sparky” at work.
  5. Long hours/fatigue. When you work in acres instead of hours, make sure to rest when you need it. It is to easy to take a shortcut or do something you shouldn’t if you are too exhausted to do it right. Take a caffeine nap. Drink a cup of coffee and then sleep for 20 minutes. The caffeine will have more receptors to work on when you are sleeping. It can make all the difference.
  6. Working in high places. Make sure you are wearing a harness and it is tied in properly. Always follow safety guidelines when working high up. Make sure someone knows where you are and when you will be back.
  7. Choking. I am always dreaming of turkey this time of year. Eat slowly and savor all of that good cooking. Chew thoroughly as you watch the game. And if your team scores a touchdown, try not to have food in your mouth. Watch a YouTube on the Heimlich maneuver, you can apply it to yourself if need be.
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