As one of the longest running professions, agriculture in the United States has a rich history. Agriculture and modern day farming has turned into one of the most hazardous industries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As an example, “every day, about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury.” - Citation
Here are a few recommendations to reduce an employee’s injury risk:
Aside from making sure employees are trained and fully able to handle heavy machinery (i.e. not impaired in any way or too tired), it is recommended that employers follow these general awareness safety tips:
- Allow machinery to shut down fully prior to inspecting or performing repairs.
- Do not remove or modify safety features.
- Read and follow manufacturer instructions for operation.
- Supervise inexperienced workers at all times.
Dress the Part
To avoid injuries, ask employees to wear tight-fitting clothing, tuck shirt into pants, and button long-sleeved shirts at the cuff. In an instance where gloves are necessary, verify they are task appropriate. Jewelry should not be worn. If a medical alert bracelet is necessary, secure it with an adhesive band.
Create a farm safety emergency plan, if you don’t have one already. The plan should contain information on the location of the nearest first aid kit, routes to the nearest hospital, and a list of emergency phone numbers and addresses. This plan should be reviewed regularly with family and employees to ensure familiarity with the plan’s location and contents.
Harbor America supports employer safety practices, including those mentioned here. Learn more about safety and risk management solutions including accident prevention, OSHA compliance, and unique safety plans.