When it comes to occupational injuries, agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. The injury rate is the highest for children age 15 or younger and adults age 65 and older.
Types of farm injuries
- Fractured bones
- Burns, including chemical burns, fire and sunburns
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Common causes of farm injuries
- Contact with machinery
- Falling objects
- Fall from high places
- Chemical exposure
- Equipment rollover
- Grain entrapment
- Sun and heat
- Communicate frequently and clearly with coworkers when operating equipment.
- Do not multitask while operating equipment.
- Have a coworker follow you while you transport farm machinery on public roads.
- Always replace protective coverings when operating equipment.
- Always use the safety belts provided on tractors.
- Plan ahead. Always wear the proper personal protective equipment, such as earplugs, safety goggles and boots.
- Wear appropriate clothing and dress for the weather conditions.
- Maintain equipment and make sure machines are in good working order.
- When working with livestock, make sure you avoid each animal’s “blind spot” by approaching only from the front or side where they can clearly see you.
- Make sure you always have options to get away from an animal in a confined area.
- Use good hand hygiene around animals. They get infections, too.
- Avoid being too loud near animals as they are easily startled.
- Make sure that all chemicals and pesticides are labeled, locked up and out of reach from children.
- Use caution when working in grain storage areas and silos.
- Do not let children or inexperienced people around heavy equipment.
- Wear sunscreen every day.
- Keep a phone nearby.
Sources: AgrAbility, Farm Safety for Just Kids, KidsHealth, MedlinePlus, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Occupational Safety and Health Administration