Farm Safety for the Growing Season


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A powerpoint given first as a webinar on farm safety. Slides include some presentation notes

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  • Welcome to the Webinar. I will be presenting a guide in the form of a checklist to where safety issues may be on your farm. The areas presented are general and a more complete listing can be found at the the end of the presentation. There will also be some photos that show real safety issues and you will be asked if you can spot the issue. Some are easier then others to spot. There are also some photos that show safe ways around issues.
  • Here is the general overview of the areas we will be focusing on. To begin, lets start at where you work.
  • The focus will move to environmental Factors such as weather, wind, sun and season.
  • This area is about disease, poisons, bugs, pesticides and medications
  • Some of you might have farm stands or have farm a few words about that.
  • The topic to cover, and perhaps most important, is children on the farm. So you have all been looking at the tractor photo. Can anyone spot the safety issue here? Multiple choice coming up.
  • The Roll over protection structure has been modified, perhaps so that the tractor can fit in the barn. The problem is that the driver can only be as tall as the dog for the ROPS to protect him/her… and the driver should be wearing a seatbelt
  • Different types of farms and different sizes of farms have some variation of this list. Would you note the numbers that corresponds to the type of areas that are on your farm.
  • Here is a farm house that is in the process of being re-furbished. They are getting rid of all of the junk by putting it in a dumpster instead of burning or just leaving it as a junk pile.
  • The dangers lurking in this pile include poisons, rat habitat, combustibles (oil, grease and paints) old batteries to name a few. The safety issues here are pretty clear cut, but the farmer didn’t want to get rid of anything due to a theory that there might be something useful in the pile. The issue is actually hoarding, which can be a symptom of mental illness.
  • Depending on your operation, you may or may not have visitors or customers come to your farm.
  • This type of barn has a second story entrance for hay.
  • This is the same barn after the tractor pulling a load of hay collapsed the bridge.
  • This farmer was bringing in a load of hay and managed to survive this accident. He had driven the tractor up the ramp many times before, but knowing the possible dangers, he forbid his family from doing it. He was pinned under the tractor and suffered only minor injuries. He thought the structure was pretty safe, and just wanted to get that last load in before the end of the day. The lesson here is that sometimes we know that a structure might not be in the best shape.
  • There seems to be more tasks then time on a farm, this wiring was a project that farmer knew was an issue, but had it on the “ I’ll get around to it tomorrow list” . After a farm safety visit, the project was put on the “doing it today list” and was completed.
  • Corrosives: anything that causes oxidation.. Acids and alkaloids such as battery acids or lye or quick lime used to break down animal tissue… salt is another corrosive… if it can rust something, then it is corrosive to one degree or another. Explosives: gasses, welding tanks, fuels Combustibles: papers, sawdust, anything that can ignite. greasy rags should be kept in a metal container with a lid.
  • This storage area is used for a variety of items. Mostly tack for horses, however what does not belong in storage is the blue ROPS by the window. It should be on the tractor. The farmer has since put the ROPS on. You can also see the middle bar, which is the point where some farmers modify the Roll Over Protection Structure.
  • This is a shop/storage space that has all sorts of hazards. How many can you spot? Would you want visitors to your farm here?
  • A link to a complete guide on these type of hazards will be available at the end of the presentation and is available on the UVM Extension webpage.
  • Organic Oats kept in a sealed container.
  • Cats are great for keeping the bird and rodent populations down, but they also can carry Toxoplasmosis which can be transferred to livestock and humans. Toxoplasmosis is a disease that is dangerous to pregnant women, folks with poor immune systems and can cause abortions in sheep and goats.
  • Claremont police said Wheeler was on the farm with a relative who works there when the accident happened. Wheeler was seen riding his bike near a silage crib on the working dairy farm before the accident.
  • Expectant mothers and older lambs in the middle, new mothers and new lambs penned on the sides, a creep for the lambs (that is and area where lambs can get in to feed and mothers are on the outs. And notice the black angus in the back. Good ventilation and light.
  • The tin was from the temporary shelter that the farmers had constructed and was blown off over the winter and then buried under the snow. There were boards with nails and the tin has sharp edges.
  • As the grass gets greener on the other side of the fence, most ruminants will find the way out.
  • Good light, good ventilation, round roosts, above ground entrance that can be closed… Happy Chickens make good eggs.
  • This farm parks equipment in one spot. It is open for good visibility. Note the tractor without a ROPS.
  • Carson lives on a dairy farm and he loves to help out, but knows the rules around tractors. Work out clear hand signals for when someone can approach you on the tractor. If you have both hands straight out, like you are flying, that signals that it is safe to come near. If both of your hands are off the levers, it is hard to drop the bucket. Carson knows the stop sign used by his family to tell him to stay put. But what if Dad does not see him? Can you count on your five year old for knowing what to do? Children are never to ride in the bucket, on the fender, or allowed near a working tractor. You can’t see them if you are busy moving bales for cutting hay.
  • Old hoses, cracked hoses, loose hoses may develop a leak. If the leak is under pressure, then the fluid will shoot out and can easily penetrate skin. The only way to get hydraulic fluid out is to cut it out. Much easier to replace the hose before it blows.
  • Power train take offs or PTO’s generally have a box that covers the moving part on the tractor. The shaft that connects the machinery to the tractor commonly rotates at 540 RPM or rotations per minute. Too fast to pull away if your clothes get caught. Having a PTO cover is the only safe way to work.
  • Sun, wind, rain, storms.
  • Wearing the right clothes for the job is as important as any other safety step.
  • Air contaminants can come from grains and feeds as well as from chemicals like pesticides or even something as simple as dust from the field or lime. Notice that he has a Slow Moving Vehicle sign on his tractor, but no ROPS.
  • Beautiful to watch, deadly to be in if there is lightning. Be prepared by checking out the forecast before you head out May 10, 2010  National Weather Service Confirms Tornado Touched Down In Vermont A tornado leaves a half-mile path of destruction in Washington, snapping and uprooting trees, pulling a flag pole out of the ground. WASHINGTON, Vt. -- A tornado with winds reaching 100 mph ripped an apartment house's roof off, snapped large trees and destroyed a barn in Washington on Saturday
  • Yes deer ticks have been found in Vermont and as far north as Cambridge Vermont just a month back. The Vermont Department of Health has a handy link for more information or you can link to a Tick Fact sheet on the UVM Extension web site. There are many insects that can cause trouble, from bees, black flies to paper wasps. Cluster flies are real nuisance to humans as well and livestock. And dealing with them sometimes the pesticides are just as dangerous if not used correctly.
  • Also, consider the impact on the water shed Never spray pesticides outdoors on a windy day. Store pesticides under lock in original containers with proper labels. Never transfer a pesticide to another container (e.g., soft drink bottle).
  • Cute or black, it does not matter, as long as they are rubber. Boot scrub will ruin leather boots. Keep your farm boots on your farm. Many diseases are spread from farm to farm by contaminated boots. ORF or soar mouth is one of them. There are scrubs that are antibacterial as well as anti fungal and anti viral. I use Virkon S. and get it from Gemplers. Easy to google. Other folks use bleach. It depends on what you are comfortable with.
  • “ Sharps” is the term used for the needle. Sharps disposal should be in a designated container and labeled. Most Vets will take the used sharps and will have them disposed of properly. Never throw sharps in the trash. The medication residue needs to stay out of our watersheds. Some medications are deadly for humans because of the dosage. So just because you give your livestock an antibiotic, does not mean that you can take it too. Animal vaccinations and medications are geared specifically for the weight of the animal it is intended for.
  • Should she be here? This would go under the “unsupervised visitors can get into trouble”. On the other hand, a lesson about your livestock will increase interest in your farm and could increase profits. People like to see where their food and fiber is coming from.
  • These cows are circling around a new calf as a protection. A mother animal may charge to protect their young. Visitors like seeing new babies, but this situation is unpredictable, and if the visitor does not know animal behavior, then you have an unsafe situation.
  • If you sell product directly from the farm, or have frequent farm visitors, you need to be mindful if you have dogs. These these guys were on the roof, which is a good spot for them since they don’t like runners or folks on bikes. Some folks have working dogs and they are an integral part of farming. But if you choose to have Meramas, which are great for keeping coyotes out of your sheep pasture, they might also be aggressive towards farm visitors. Or they might simply bark, a lot, which might upset the neighbors. Many dogs are fine around people, but not all people are fine around dogs.
  • Know what your liability is by talking with your insurance agent. Know where your visitors can be and know where they should not be.
  • Carson is fourth generation sugar maker. Learning how to sugar with Dad and Grandpa. He will learn from what he sees them doing.
  • Carson is practicing sawing because he is not allowed in the area around the fire. Carson is eager to help, but he is 5 and much too young to be unsupervised in the sugarhouse.
  • Here, the focus was on Dad and tractor safety. The kids were all tuned in and then went home and checked out their own tractors’ ROPS, PTO shaft covers and hydraulic hoses. The kids became the monitors for tractor safety on their own farms. They figured that if it was important enough for me to tell the grown-up, it must have been pretty important.
  • Farm Safety for the Growing Season

    1. 1. Farm Safety for the Growing Season With Alexandra Jump Farm Safety Educator, UVM Extension Vt. AgrAbility Project
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Where you work </li></ul>
    3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Where you work </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Factors </li></ul>
    4. 4. Overview <ul><li>Where you work </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Pests and other Nastiness </li></ul>
    5. 5. Overview <ul><li>Where you work </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Pests and other Nastiness </li></ul><ul><li>Farm visitors </li></ul>
    6. 6. Overview <ul><li>Where you work </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Pests and other Nastiness </li></ul><ul><li>Farm visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Children on the farm </li></ul>
    7. 7. What is the issue? <ul><li>A. Dog is driving the tractor, he has not taken a tractor safety course. </li></ul><ul><li>B. The Dog is not wearing a seatbelt. </li></ul><ul><li>C. The ROPS has been modified… </li></ul>
    8. 9. Where you work 1. General farmstead 2. Farm buildings 3. Shop 4. Crop and Feed Storage Areas 5. Livestock Facilities 6. Tractors and Machinery Areas 7. Greenhouses 8. Farm Stand 9. Sugar House
    9. 10. Farm House
    10. 11. Instead of this….
    11. 12. General farmstead <ul><li>Fenced in play areas for children </li></ul><ul><li>Designated places to park tractors and equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Buildings and outdoor work areas well lit </li></ul><ul><li>Ponds, lagoons or manure pits fenced off </li></ul><ul><li>Junk piles are cleaned up </li></ul><ul><li>Limited access signs posted (if you choose to have farm visitors) </li></ul>
    12. 13. Farm Buildings
    13. 14. The same barn after…
    14. 15. The accident
    15. 16. This is a “round-to-it” problem
    16. 17. Farm Buildings <ul><li>Are there telephones, cell phone reception or walkie-talkies located in each farm building? </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency contact numbers posted? </li></ul><ul><li>Fire extinguishers and first aid boxes? </li></ul><ul><li>Electrical wiring in good condition? </li></ul><ul><li>Structurally Sound? </li></ul>
    17. 18. Shops and Storage Corrosives Explosives Combustibles
    18. 19. Pretty neat… but
    19. 20. Dangerous
    20. 21. Shop and Storage <ul><li>Clean? </li></ul><ul><li>Good ventilation </li></ul><ul><li>Can the shop be locked to prevent children and unauthorized people from entering? </li></ul><ul><li>Corrosive, Explosive and Combustibles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>keep battery acid, fuels, oily rags or papers away from welding areas and heaters. </li></ul></ul>
    21. 22. Crop and Feed Storage
    22. 23. Barn Cats love Feed Bags
    23. 24. Andrew Wheeler Age 11 Wheeler, who was a student at Maple Avenue Elementary School, died Friday afternoon, said a spokesman from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He had been in critical condition at the medical center since the accident Tuesday, when he was buried beneath silage grain at MacGlaflin Farm at 35 Case Hill Road. By MELANIE PLENDA Union Leader Correspondent Monday, April 26, 2010
    24. 25. Crop and Storage Areas <ul><li>Can the entrances to feed or grain storage be locked? </li></ul><ul><li>Are children prohibited from playing in grain bins and silage bunkers? </li></ul><ul><li>Are storage and drying areas free of trash and other fire hazards? </li></ul><ul><li>Are permanent ladders attached securely and in good condition? </li></ul>
    25. 26. Livestock facilities
    26. 27. Are areas picked up?
    27. 28. Sturdy pasture gates?
    28. 29. Chicken friendly coop
    29. 30. Livestock Facilities <ul><li>Are fences sturdy and well maintained? </li></ul><ul><li>Are children prohibited from playing in barns or pens? </li></ul><ul><li>Are vents and fans in good repair? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the shelter appropriate for the animals? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have a designated petting area for certain animals? </li></ul>
    30. 31. Tractors and Machinery
    31. 32. Teach them young
    32. 33. Hydraulic fluid under pressure can penetrate skin easily. If an accident occurs see a doctor immediately. Any fluid injected into the skin must be surgically removed within a few hours or gangrene may result. Doctors unfamiliar with this type of injury should reference a knowledgeable medical source.
    33. 34. PTO- power take off
    34. 35. Tractors and Machinery <ul><li>Have operators been trained on the equipment? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a “no extra rider” policy on the farm </li></ul><ul><li>Do tractors have ROPS and PTO cover shields? </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct a walk around inspection prior to working machinery. </li></ul>
    35. 36. Environmental Factors
    36. 37. Personal Protection Equipment Gloves Headphones or Ear buds Masks Safety suits Work boots
    37. 38. Air Contaminants
    38. 39. Water and Summer Storms
    39. 40. Environmental Factors <ul><li>Personal Protective Equipment </li></ul><ul><li>eyes, ears, gloves, masks, shoes, clothing </li></ul><ul><li>Sun exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Air contaminants </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul><ul><li>Summer storms </li></ul>
    40. 41. Pests and other Nastiest Blacklegged (or deer )Ticks transmit Lyme disease and have been found in Shelburne and Cambridge Vermont this year.
    41. 42. Pesticide safety tips <ul><li>Always read the label before buying and/or using pesticides. Use pesticides only for the purpose(s) listed and in the manner directed. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep children and pets away from pesticides and areas where pesticides have been applied. </li></ul>
    42. 43. Boot scrub Look for a disinfectant and virucide. This makes it effective against viruses, bacteria and fungi. I use Virkon S. it comes in a powder and you can premix. Gempler’s carries it.
    43. 44. Picks and pokes This one not this one
    44. 45. Pests and other Nastiest <ul><li>Diseases </li></ul><ul><li>Poisons </li></ul><ul><li>Insects </li></ul><ul><li>Chemicals and Medications </li></ul>
    45. 46. Farm Visitors Teachable moments
    46. 47. New babies are cute, but
    47. 48. Dogs.
    48. 49. Farm Visitors <ul><li>Where are they authorized to be? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there clear signs? </li></ul><ul><li>Posted rules around the animals? </li></ul><ul><li>Posted rules around the farmstead? </li></ul><ul><li>No-unsupervised visitor policy? </li></ul>
    49. 50. Children on the Farm Children take pride in what they do
    50. 51. Is it age appropriate?
    51. 52. Teach the adult and the child will reinforce the lesson
    52. 53. Children on the Farm <ul><li>Children will learn mimic what you do on the farm. </li></ul><ul><li>Age appropriate Tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Time appropriate lessons </li></ul><ul><li>Child restricted areas </li></ul>