Showing posts from tagged with: farm safety

3 Useful Tips to Boost Safety on Dairy Farms

Posted January 2, 2018 by Administrator

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.

Avoid Isolation

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.

ATVs Pose Safety Risks for Farmers

Posted October 18, 2017 by Administrator

ATVs are a popular method of transportation on farms. However, as their use increases, so do the number of related accidents and injuries. What is more, up to one-third of those incidents involve children. In 2014, ATV accidents represented almost 94,000 trips to the emergency room. These numbers have continued to rise in the intervening years. To reduce the likelihood of injury while using an ATV, farmers need to take several precautions.

ATV Precautions for Farm Safety

ATVs represent such a significant hazard for farmers for several reasons. For starters, family members tend to use them for recreation when the farmer does not need it for work. If a child wants to ride an ATV, the farmer needs to ensure the adolescent is on an appropriate sized ATV. When a child drives an adult-sized ATV, the risk of an accident skyrockets. In addition, any rider needs to equip the appropriate gear. This includes:

  • A helmet with a face shield OR appropriate goggles
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Long pants
  • A jacket or long-sleeved shirt

Farmers should also stress that ATVs should only have one rider at a time. Riding with more than one individual increases the likelihood of an accident. Another common source of accidents is riding ATVs on the road. ATV wheels are best suited to terrain, not pavement, gravel, or dirt.

ATVs and Liquid Tank Safety Precautions

Another issue to consider is if the ATV has a liquid tank. Many ATVs used for farming have such tanks to help with pesticide application. These tanks change the center of gravity for the ATV, making them easier to roll. The sloshing of liquids compounds this problem. Below are several recommendations to reduce risk while operating ATVs with liquid tanks:

  • Inform another farmhand or family member before using an ATV. Let the individual know how long you plan to be using the vehicle.
  • Equip the tank with internal baffles to diminish the likelihood of sloshing water.
  • Make slow turns to account for water movement inside the tank.
  • Survey the land beforehand to learn of any holes, large rocks, and other obstructions.

While ATVs have their uses on the farm, improper use can result in catastrophe. Farmers should familiarize themselves and anyone else operating an ATV on basic ATV safety to avoid accidents and injuries. To learn more about reducing risks and hazards on the farm, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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.

National Farm Safety and Health Week to Focus on Implementing Safety Practices

Posted September 13, 2017 by Administrator

Farming has always been a hazardous job with many risks not seen in other industries. Because of this, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a proclamation in 1944 to bring more attention to the plight of the everyday farmer. The goal of this proclamation was to reduce farming injuries as their steadily increasing numbers were hindering the war effort. That proclamation is now known as National Farm Safety Week. This year, National Farm Safety Week runs from September 17 through September 23.

In spite of this increased focus, agribusinesses represent one of the most dangerous industries in the country. For example, over 400 farmers and farmhands died from work-related accidents in 2015. While these numbers are grim, the farming industry is experiencing improvements in safety and decreases in injuries. To continue this trend, the National Farm and Safety Week theme is focusing on implementing safety best practices. Below is a summary of events for the week:

  • September 18: Tractor safety
  • September 19: Farmer health and wellbeing
  • September 20: Health and safety of children
  • September 21: Confined spaces
  • September 22: Rural thoroughfare safety

Below are some highlights of each segment to help farmers improve safety and reduce risks.

Tractor Safety

  • Tractors and transportation accidents are the most common cause of death on farms. Tractors rolling over represent a significant amount of these incidents. As such, farmers should make use of roll over protective structures (ROPS).
  • Relating to farm transportation, farmers should implement safety practices to reduce run over incidents and PTO entanglements as well.
  • Farmers should also avoid risky shortcuts. The potential time saved is not worth the risk. Maintain vehicles and fix mechanical issues to reduce the temptation to make use of a dangerous bypass.

Farmer Health

Many farmers experience health issues later in life. Some are hard of hearing while others may require oxygen. However, farmers can avoid many of these health concerns by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes:

  • Respirators
  • Eye protection
  • Hearing Protection

Farmers should also look after their mental wellbeing in addition to their physical health. Isolation is a leading factor in depression so farmers should take their mental health seriously.

Health and Safety of Children

Each year, around 110 children and teenagers die from farming incidents. Causes range from machinery incidents to ATVs to drowning and more. This particular day will focus on creating areas that are safe for children to play as well as educating farmers on how to make farms safer for kids.

Confined Spaces

Farmers encounter hazardous gas and entrapment dangers when entering manure or grain pits. This particular day will focus on how to store and access grain as well as how to enter manure pits safely.

Rural Thoroughfare Safety

When farm vehicles and passenger vehicles collide, there are grievances on both sides. Instead of focusing on who is at fault, this day will concentrate on ways farmers and passengers alike can reduce the risk of an accident.

Cline Wood is dedicated to improving farm safety. As the leading provider of agribusiness insurance, we can help farmers identify and reduce risks. To learn more, contact us.

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.

Safety Tips for Storing Fuel on the Farm

Posted August 18, 2017 by Administrator

Improper handling of gasoline or diesel fuel can result in explosions, fires, and injuries on farms. Farmers can reduce these risks by taking the proper safety precautions when storing and using fuel. Below are several simple safety measures farmers can follow.

  • Do not allow children near fuel.
  • Keep fuel storage containers far from buildings and structures on the farm.
  • Perform regular maintenance on fuel containers and address any corrosion or leaks.
  • Only store fuel in appropriate containers. Do not use containers meant for food or beverages.

Farmers and farmhands can avoid most fuel-related accidents by utilizing the above safety tips. However, there are other fuel-related hazards farmers need to address as well. These include the handling of flammable liquids, refueling equipment, and managing fuel storage.

Flammable Liquids

Gas, diesel fuel, and paint solvents are just some of the flammable liquids found on farms. Individuals need to take the following precautions when handling these kinds of liquids to avoid fire or explosions.

  • Store flammable liquids far away from uncontained fires or motors that spark.
  • Be cautious with empty containers that previously held a flammable liquid. Lingering vapors can still combust. Keep these containers away from fires and sparks as well.
  • Take pains to ensure all fuel containers have accurate labels and follow all directions for using the containers.

Refueling Tractors and Gas-Powered Equipment

Proper storage and transport of fuel are useless if there is a lapse in safety protocol when refueling. Farmers and farmhands need to exercise caution when refueling. Some safety recommendations for this process include:

  • Avoid spilling fuel on skin. It can cause irritation.
  • Avoid breathing in fumes as it can result in dizziness and headaches.
  • Turn off the engine and allow it to cool before refueling.
  • Dispense fuel slowly and avoid overfilling.
  • Refuel small equipment in the open. Refueling in a small enclosure can result in fume inhalation.

Fuel Storage

There are several safe storage solutions for farmers. For example, aboveground fuel tanks are cost effective, easy to relocate, and are unaffected by minor flooding. Below are some additional fuel storage safety suggestions.

  • Keep fuel storage containers and facilities out of direct sunlight. Farmers can either use canopies or make use of natural shade. If a farmer cannot avoid sun exposure, he or she can invest in a pressure-vacuum relief valve to minimize evaporation.
  • Keep fuel storage areas clear of trash and weeds to reduce the risk of fire.

While farms may present several hazards, farmers do not need to fall victim to them. Making use of the above safety tips will reduce the risk of explosions and fires. To learn more about protecting your farm, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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.

Hay and Straw Pose Major Fire Risks to Barns

Posted July 26, 2017 by Administrator

Most individuals look for water to put out a fire, but hay and straw are the exceptions to this rule. When hay and straw become too wet, they can increase in temperature and erupt into flames. While this is more common with hay than straw, the risk exists for both. This is because moisture causes the bacteria in hay and straw to release heat. If the bacteria dies, the bales will cool. However, if the bacteria gains a foothold, temperatures can soar over 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Store Wet Bales

Farmers should store their wet bales outdoors or in a large, open area. In addition, farmers should not stack wet bales as this prevents heat and moisture from leaving. It is important to note that hay often goes through a sweat period in the initial days after baling. Temperatures can increase up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit without causing concern.

Most Common Fire Risks

Several factors influence the combustibility of hay and straw. For example, hay is most like to catch on fire during the first six weeks after baling. Other factors include:

  • Fields with wet spots
  • Moisture levels exceeding 20%
  • Bales containing more than 20% of hay preservative

How to Monitor Wet Bales

Farmers with at-risk bales of hay or straw need to keep a close watch to avoid fires. They should check the bales two times per day for the first six weeks after baling or until temperatures return to stable levels. To obtain a proper temperature reading, farmers should probe the center of the bale or at least eight feet down into oversized bales.

Determining Critical Temperatures

Below is a list of temperatures and the necessary actions farmers should take to avoid a fire.

  • <125°–No immediate action
  • 150°–This is approaching the fire hazard zone. Monitor twice per day. Farmers can take bales apart to promote airflow.
  • 160°–This is the point of a fire hazard. Farmers should check bales every two hours and take bales apart. Farmers should recruit the fire department before unstacking additional bales.
  • 175°–Bales are likely to have hot pockets at this temperature. Farmers should inform the fire department of a potential incident. Farmers can also create a tight seal on barn doors to remove oxygen.
  • 190°–Farmers need the assistance of the fire department to remove overheated bales at these temperatures. Bales may burst into flame so farmers should wet down tractors.
  • >200°–A fire is likely at this temperature. In addition to the precautions above, farmers should have fire hose lines ready to go.

While taking preventative measures is key to avoiding barn fires, they can still happen. Farmers need to invest in insurance to protect their assets in the event of a barn fire. As a leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help farmers identify and manage fire risks as well as discuss their insurance needs. Contact us to learn more.

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.

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