Last updated on May 2nd, 2022 at 03:43 pm
Farmers and ranchers risk injury from slips, trips, and falls every day due to the varied types of work and surfaces involved in their day. They work with hand tools, ladders, large equipment, concrete and wooden steps, rough and uneven walking surfaces that can also be wet, icy, oily, and slippery, and have multiple trips from outside light into darkened facility areas. Tripping hazards can cause same level but serious falls. Some of these may include cords, debris on shop floors, feed sacks, worn floor mats, and small object left on the floor or ground. Low level falls include various types of equipment, horses, fences, and many others. High level falls (over 10 feet) include roof tops, hay mows, large equipment. These can be mitigated by keeping walkways well lit, step rises in good repair, secure handrails, and ladders regularly check for safe handholds and step rungs.
Human factor safety measures include the following:
- Use handrails when they are available.
- Follow the 3 points of contact rule. Use 2 hands and one foot or two feet and one hand when mounting and dismounting ladders of all kinds. This includes free standing, those attached to bins, and tractor and combine ladders. Always face the ladder!
- When handling animals, be aware of the flight zones and use correct technique with lead ropes and lunge lines.
- Wear gloves that are the right size and appropriate for the job.
- Check footwear on a regular basis to make sure the grips and water channels have not worn down. With the exception of chemical use or heavy wet environments, leather work boots with sturdy, flat soles are a necessary part of farm work. An exception includes when working with horses where a heeled boot is needed or work in very wet areas such as milking parlors, power washing, and pesticide applications where a rubber or nitrile boot is the safe option.
- When moving from an outdoor light or well lit room to a darker area, remember to remove sunglasses or pause a few second before entering in case there is a step up or down.
- Avoid carrying loads that are so high or too bulky that they block your line of vision.
- Keep walkways picked and swept up.
- Avoid distracting conversations such as cell phone use when engaged in work areas that can be hazardous.
- Agricultural Safety and Health Program at Ohio State University Extension
- Plan. Provide. Train. from OSHA
- Wounds and Injuries from MedlinePlus
Page updated: April 2022