6 overlooked farm-safety areas

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Editor's note: This item appeared in the March 30 edition of Dairy Exec, a monthly e-newsletter published by Dairy Herd Management.

Farm safety is always a concern for dairy farmers. However, there can be certain areas that can get overlooked or situations where people get lax about some rules.

Liz Doornink, World Dairy Expo’s Dairy Woman of the Year in 2010, now in Dairy Business Development for Stewart-Peterson, Inc., has identified six areas that are often overlooked and should be addressed:

  1. The proper and safe way to move cattle. Remember to stay calm, speak softly and walk slowly.
  2. Animal handling in treatment chutes. Many injuries can occur here when not prepared or knowledgeable, such as kicks, bites, getting pinned, hand injuries, and workers being injured by needles.
  3. Dealing with chemicals on the farm. Make sure chemicals are stored properly in utilized containers, and that goggles and gloves are worn when necessary and an eye-wash station is available.
  4. Skid-steer training. Many times, employees are only given a quick coaching session on how to maneuver a skid-steer, and this leads to injuries as well as damage to the facilities. Also true for other equipment like tractors, trucks and power take-offs.
  5. Improper use or nonexistence of protective gear. Make sure workers have and use protective gear like eye wear, gloves, and masks when needed.
  6. Fire and weather plans. Post and review plans for what to do in case of fire, tornado, torrential rains and other disasters.

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Central PA  |  April, 16, 2012 at 08:43 AM

Good safety points, but the cover of the magazine showing the silage pile does not meet safety standards for slope of sides to prevent rollovers and if employees are not trained in safe silage removal practices and/or have the proper equipment the silage face can cave-in resulting in death. Even the person who may have to pull back the plastic cover from such a height may find the silage face giving way and fall a considerable distance. Slope of 3:1 are recommended along with silage defacers that can reach completely to the top of the silage mass. Removal of silage by machine for collection of silage samples for feed analysis is to be preferred versus sending a person into the face to collect the sample. Several examples of silage giving way and causing a fatality have been recorded.

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