Tom Drendel, agricultural safety specialist, National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, asks farmers to put on their “safety” hat and walk through their farm, focusing on hazards without regard to how much money or time it will take to fix them.
“You can prioritize that after your walk,” he says. “When you review your farm, imagine you are a new employee who is unaware of the little work-arounds that you and current employees might use with existing hazards. Not only are such hazards dangerous to a newcomer, but a band-aid approach increases the odds that even you or someone familiar with the hazards will eventually trip up when you’re distracted or in a hurry.”
Drendel urges farmers to look at all areas on the farm: general farmstead, children personal protective equipment, farm buildings and shop, machinery, livestock facilities and crop and feed storage areas.
Here’s his list intended to provoke safety-thinking regarding general farmstead:
- Are there designated areas for parking tractors and equipment that does not reduce visibility or restrict safe traffic flow?
- Are ponds, lagoons and manure pits fenced off and posted with warning signs?
- Is there a stop so that vehicles such as skid-steers cannot inadvertently slide into the manure pond?
- Are fuel tanks maintained in good condition and securely located?
Source: Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin