The first thing my neighbor does when he buys a new power tool is remove every safety guard. He says they slow him down. Unfortunately, he’s not alone in that decision. Modifying safety equipment is one of the leading causes of farm accidents involving chain saws, circular saws, drills and related tools and equipment. It’s simply not worth it.
Grains of Knowledge
In today’s agricultural scene, farmers have become creative in finding new ways to earn income in addition to the traditional farming practices of growing crops or raising livestock. One of those supplemental avenues is called agritainment, which is also known as agritourism.
Grain engulfment, or entrapment, kills dozens of American farm workers each year. And perhaps the ultimate tragedy is how easily this hazard can be avoided.
Because harvest season is a busy time for agricultural workers who are usually working longer hours with heavier workloads, it is an ideal time to remind your staff about the risks of common farm accidents such as bin-related falls.
From corn mazes to hayrides, opening your farm to the public for fall-themed activities can add a new revenue stream to your business. But doing so also presents risks if you fail to take measures to keep people safe.
The ingredients for grain dust explosion are common in a farm environment: fuel (the dust), oxygen — which suspends the dust in the air — and an ignition source. All three ingredients can be found in grain elevators or feed mills. But the ignition source of most explosive fires is material handling equipment, such as legs and conveyors.
If you made a list of what keeps agribusiness plant operators awake at night, the threat of a Listeria outbreak would be near the top. Listeria is the bacteria that causes listeriosis, a potentially life-threatening infection that can cause sepsis and meningitis, among other serious inflammatory conditions. Complicating matters, Listeria is hardier than many other forms of bacteria, able to grow in temperatures between 39 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
Entrepreneurial farmers across the country have discovered that seasonal events — particularly Halloween — can be opportunities to earn significant extra income. Corn mazes, hayrides, bonfires, pumpkin patches, produce markets and haunted houses and barns mark the season. This profit center even has a name: agritainment.
Farming is one of the top 10 most dangerous occupations in America, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Farm-related injuries are often a result of long hours and close, consistent contact with heavy machinery and equipment.
Many of the farm tractors manufactured today are equipped with seatbelts and a completely enclosed cab, providing critical protection from the leading cause of death on farms, tractor rollovers. As a result, Rollover Protective on Structures, or ROPS, has been a standard safety feature of virtually all farm tractors for many years.