Unlike other agribusinesses, employees on dairy farms spend a significant amount of time in contact with animals. If they do not take care when handling livestock, the risk of an injury skyrockets. Dairy farming is a high-risk job, so employees need to make themselves aware of their surrounding at all times. Because they work with large animals, dairy farmers are more likely to be crushed, kicked, stepped on, or fallen on by cows. By heeding the following safety reminders, dairy farmers and employees can reduce their risk of injury.
Visual and Aural Cues
Dairy cattle have binocular vision, meaning they can see almost all the way around themselves. The exceptions are a blind spot at their nose and at their rear. As such, it is best to approach dairy cattle from the side. Cattle are also sensitive to loud and high-pitched noises. Farmers and employees should approach the cattle making soft sounds to avoid scaring the animal. Unexpected loud noises can also spook animals, so avoid banging gates or making other abrupt noises.
Cattle are herd animals so they prefer to be near other cattle. Separating them can make them nervous or stressed. This includes working with an individual animal. If a farmer or employee needs to tend to a specific cow, they should be sure to bring another one along to keep the cow calm.
Remember Past Experiences
Cattle are intelligent creatures with a long memory. If a cow had a painful experience in the barn, it may be unwilling or uncooperative when a farmer tries to bring it back to that same place. There are several warning signs to tell if a cow is agitated. It may raise its head, tail, or the hair on its back. It may also pull its ears back, show its teeth, paw at the ground, or snort.
By following the above precautions and staying aware of the cattle at all times, farmers and employees can avoid injuries. However, no amount of safety prevention can supplement a high-quality insurance policy in the event of an injury. As the leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help your farming operation determine its risk level and how much coverage it needs. To learn more about protecting yourself and your farm, contact us today.
This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.agribusiness blog, agribusiness news, agribusiness safety, farm safety