This kit includes materials for an amputation kit and to splint fractures as these are the common types of farm injuries.
In addition to the standard emergency and first-aid kits, additional components may be needed if pesticides or other hazardous chemicals are stored or in use. Include the following items:
- Emergency and/or poison control center telephone number
- Syrup of Ipecac (use only if advised by doctor or Poison Center)
- 2 one-quart containers of clean water
- Tongue depressors (to stir with)
- 2 small, plastic empty jars with tight-fitting lids
- Can of evaporated milk (attach opener to can with rubber band)
- Blanket (for treating shock)
- Plastic bandages and tape (to cover contaminated areas)
- Disposable rubber gloves and goggles
A kit housed in the farm shop may also contain components for treating burns or components for an eye-wash station.
Another important component of increasing a farm’s capacity for addressing injuries and health emergencies is a first-aid/CPR skillset. Objectively, there is no reason that every farm operation should not have one or more persons with current training and certification for CPR and first aid. But, when some general demographics and facts are considered, the need becomes clearer. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the average age of the principle farm operator in the U.S. is 57.1 years of age and the number of farm operators over the age of 75 has increased by 20 percent from the 2002 Census. At the same time, the risk of heart attack in men increases significantly after the age of 45 ( Age 55 in women). Together, these facts clearly place a large group of agricultural workers in the zone for increased risk of heart attack.
While correlation does not always equal causation, it is easy to see that having first-aid and CPR skills available to farm operations can only have a beneficial effect in the long term. Both first-aid and CPR classes are readily available through local Red Cross Chapters and other sources. Scheduling or participation in first-aid and/or CPR training can be utilized as a team or morale-building activity for farm staff. And, at the same time, it can be used as a tool to signify the need for an increased culture of safety on the farm and the commitment of management to the safety of their employees.
Dean Ross is an agrosecurity and dairy farm management consultant based in Michigan. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org