Safety on the Farm, or Any Workplace, Requires Continued Effort

Woman wearing safety gloves while putting tomatoes in a box
Safety on the Farm, or Any Workplace, Requires Continued Effort
Woman wearing safety gloves while putting tomatoes in a box

Farm Safety and Health Week was September 17-23, 2017. In this post, we revisit some of the key issues brought up during this week that promote farm safety and general workplace safety throughout Wisconsin. 

Training initiatives are only helpful when people apply the lessons learned in these programs

There are many initiatives to help Wisconsinites with various aspects of safety on the farm or in other workplaces. From safety education programs to tools and equipment intended to protect workers, a shortage of resources is not the problem facing Wisconsin workers.

However, any training program or piece of safety equipment can only be valuable if it is utilized. Far too often - in farming and in other industries - people fail to implement the tools and education they have received to keep themselves and their workers safe.

National Farm Safety and Health Week: Putting Farm Safety into Practice

As reported in a recent article by Wisconsin State Farmer online, farmers across Wisconsin participated in National Farm Safety and Health Week. In its 74th year, the theme this year was "Putting Farm Safety into Practice."

This is an important theme for farmers and other workers throughout the state. All the education programs and safety equipment won't help anyone stay safe if these resources are not utilized regularly.

How Workers Can Stay Safe?

Some of the important safety methods that increase agricultural safety (and are equally effective in other fields) include:

  • Education: It is critical to make sure all workers have the proper training, licensure and knowledge regarding proper safety methods for operating machinery and performing other potentially dangerous tasks. Any type of co-operative efforts for educating workers across an entire industry can be particularly helpful. Even something as simple as making certain that you or your coworkers actually understand all details of operating a particular machine can make a big difference. For example, taking a moment to ask "Do I really understand all aspects of operating this combine/tractor/skid-loader?" and then asking for any information or guidance for anything you don't understand, could save a life or prevent a serious injury.
  • Slowing down: Although it is difficult to slow down in many fast-paced industries, any worker should only work as fast as they can work safely. Whether your job requires driving or operating machinery, make sure you are not working at dangerous speeds, and that you have taken time to make sure that all obstacles and other people are clear from the path of the machinery.
  • Safety gear: Almost every industry involves various types of safety equipment like gloves, facemasks, fire-retardant gear and other such tools. Farming is no exception, and gloves and facemasks are often needed when dealing with agricultural fertilizer, agitating sewage ponds, or handling a variety of noxious chemicals. The most serious injuries occur when workers fail to use this type of gear, so make sure you are always utilizing all the safety equipment available to you while on the job.

Regardless of what type of industry you work in, if there are any significant dangers, take care and always use the resources available to you. If your employer does not provide required safety equipment or other safety resources, speak up!