Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Farm Safety First!

Jesse Fulbright, MSU Liberty County Extension

Last week was National Farm Safety and Health Week.  While I might have missed the boat on highlighting farm safety last week, the importance of farm safety leads me to continue to promote it this week.  With so many of our neighbors, friends and family are involved in this industry, doesn’t it warrant repeating some precautions to keep them safe?

Farm safety covers so many things, moving equipment down public or private roads, safety with pesticides and fertilizers, servicing farm equipment, the list goes on and on.
Slow down and watch carefully on roadways for slow moving farm machines and implements.  Arrive at your destination alive and be cautious and aware of your surroundings as you pass farm equipment, only doing so when you have a clear line of vision.  If you are moving farm equipment on the roadways, make sure all lighting and marking are up to current state law requirements and are clearly visible and functional. 
Spend a few dollars to invest in the appropriate array of personal protective equipment or PPE including safety glasses, hearing protection and gloves.  The right safety gear is important to every size of farm as well as people with small parcels of land and homeowners doing routine yard work.  This includes those smaller pieces of equipment such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers. 
As you service your farm equipment, try and perform maintenance on a regular schedule.  Record the dates of maintenance for each piece of equipment for future reference.  Follow the maintenance recommendations in your user manuals and routinely adjust brakes, clutches, and drives.  Keep all parts of your equipment—especially steering, ignition, exhaust system, and brakes—in top condition.  This not only keeps things safer for you, but increases the life of your equipment.  Turn the engine off and make sure it is stopped before refueling, servicing, or greasing.  Allow the engine to cool before refueling.  The time you may save trying to service equipment when it is hot will disappear in an instant if an accident occurs. 

Once again, there are a myriad of ways that you enhance farm safety on your farm or small acreages.  Please take the time to identify how you can work and stay safe, for yourself and your family.

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