Farmers and farmhands expose themselves to several risks on a regular basis. Some of the top threats include heat-related illnesses, vehicle hazards, fall hazards, and more. By familiarizing themselves with these risks, farmers and their workers can ward off injuries.
Heat illnesses can prove lethal; however, they are 100% avoidable. Many farms are hot and humid, which puts workers at risk for heat exposure. Heavy lifting or wearing heavy protective gear can compound this risk so it is important that workers take the proper precautions to protect themselves from heat illnesses. Farmers and workers need to ensure they stay hydrated and rest often in the shade. Dehydration happens faster than many realize, so workers should try to drink water every 15 minutes even if they do not feel thirsty.
Vehicle injuries account for a significant portion of farming accidents every year. Farm tractors, harvesters, and ATVs all cause accidents on farms. Rollovers are one of the most lethal farming accidents. Equipping vehicles with roll bars or roll cages whenever possible can help save lives. Other safety measures include wearing a seatbelt, prohibiting passengers from riding in farming equipment, and only operating vehicles on the appropriate terrain (e.g. do not operate ATVs on streets or paved roads).
Fall hazards are not unique to farming. However, compared to other industries, farming experiences a much higher rate of fall-related injuries. To mitigate this risk, farmers need to take three steps. Identify fall hazards, assess the likelihood of an injury occurring from each hazard, and implement control measures to eliminate or minimize the risks. Examples of control measures include eliminating the risk, substituting the risk with a less hazardous option, isolating the risk to minimize the number of employees that must interact with it, utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize the effects of the risk, and more.
Grain Bins and Silos
Compared to the above, grain bins and silos may not seem so threatening. However, these structures can combust, cause engulfment, or dust exposure. Of those three, engulfment is most likely to prove lethal. Moving grain acts like quicksand and can engulf workers, sometimes resulting in suffocation. Establishing procedures such as never walking across moving grain can eliminate this threat.
Farmers and workers that familiarize themselves with common hazards can take steps to reduce the likelihood of those risks occurring. Cline Wood can help farmers identify the risks that are unique to their operation as well as what steps to take to mitigate them. To learn more about farming safety, 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 risk, agribusiness risk management, agribusiness safety practices, farm risk, farm risk management