In high school, Laura Siegle’s most vivid farm safety lesson related to power take-off (PTO) shafts, according to her article in the Virginia Cooperative Extension Dairy Pipeline July/August 2019 edition. Now, as an Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Virginia, she wants to warn others of dangers associated with farm chores.
“As a young person, I simply had never thought about the possibility of getting a piece of clothing caught in a PTO until I was warned,” Siegle says. “So, consider this a reminder to alert children and workers about accidents that can occur.”
PTO shafts are only the beginning of dangers on the farm. There are grain bins, toxic gasses, pesticides, and insect pests such as ticks. Have we scared you yet? Add to this list youth ATV accidents, digging near gas lines (call 811 “before you dig!”) and driving on the road with other drivers.
“There are certainly plenty of ways to get hurt on the farm, and accidents happen even to the most careful people,” Siegle says. “Now is a good time to develop an emergency preparedness plan to help your household stay safe in a crisis.”
As you prepare that plan, be sure to reach out to your local county Extension agent. They can connect you with many resources. Here are a few resources to get you started.
- Pipeline Operators for Ag Safety
- Preparing for an Emergency: The Smart Thing to Do
- Ticks (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Grain Handling (U.S. Department of Labor)
Additionally, here are more Dairy Herd articles on farm safety this harvest season.