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Staying Safe in an Agriculture Workplace

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Presentation on theme: "Staying Safe in an Agriculture Workplace"— Presentation transcript:

1 Staying Safe in an Agriculture Workplace
David W. Smith Farm Safety Programs Texas Cooperative Extension Texas A&M University System

2 What makes agriculture work dangerous?
Environment Personal factors Work activities Social, economic and political factors

3 Environmental Factors
Weather Work sites overlap with residence, office Delayed response of emergency service Isolation from others Difficult to maintain good personal hygiene Hazards and exposures not monitored (noise, vibration, lighting, dusts, etc.)

4 Personal Factors Young children frequently exposed to hazards beyond their understanding Senior workers continue working despite physical limitations Work sometimes pushes physical limitations Routine medical surveillance uncommon

5 Work Activity Factors Long work hours Erratic work pace
Irregular work routine Trade learned by observation and experience Work activities dependent on uncertainty of weather

6 Social, Political, and Economic Factors
Day care often not an option Absence of health and safety regulations Long-held cultural belief that little can be done to improve safety Safety attitude stems from culture and outcome of experience performing dangerous activities

7 Who is at risk of injury? Co-workers Visitors Family members
Subcontractors Farm animals and wildlife

8 What are the dangers? Tractors Machinery and implements Livestock
Electricity Chemicals Fires Ponds and open water bodies Sun exposure Material storage facilities Manure pits ATVs

9 Tractor Hazards Overturns Runover incidents Highway accidents Falls
Contact with other objects

10 Tractor Overturns Accounts for over half of all tractor fatalities
Occurs when the tractor’s center of gravity falls outside of it’s base of stability Includes both side and rear rollovers

11 Physics of Tractor Stability

12 Side Overturn

13 Rear Overturn

14 Preventing Tractor Overturn Injury
Drive at appropriate speeds Lock brake pedals together when on highway Set wheel tread as wide as possible Stay away from steep slopes Don’t drive on soft shoulders Keep front-end loader loads low to the ground Drive forward down hills and back up hills Equip tractor with rollover protection and wear seatbelt

15 Tractor Runovers Major Causes of Runover Accidents
Bypassing the ignition switch to start tractor Failure to set parking brake on slope Falling or jumping off of tractor Failure to acknowledge bystanders

16 Preventing Runover Accidents
Only start tractor while sitting in the seat Don’t disable safety switches Place guard on starter terminals to prohibit bypassing Always set parking brake before dismounting Look for bystanders before starting tractor

17 Tractor Highway Accidents
Most tractor accidents occur: During planting and harvesting seasons Between 3 pm and 6 pm Where posted speed limits are greater than 50 mph Most caused because of excessive speed of other vehicles

18 Safe Operation on Highways
Make sure the tractor is safe to drive (steering, brakes, etc.) Make tractor visible to other drivers (SMV emblem, flashers, lights) Drive at controllable speeds Stay off of soft shoulders

19 Machinery and Implement Hazards
PTO and drive shaft entanglement Contact with rotating parts Pull-in injuries Crushing injuries Electrocution

20 PTO Entanglements Usually occurs when clothing, hair or jewelry gets caught on bolt of drive shaft Results in multiple, severe injury, loss of limb, strangulation, and/or death PTO’s turn from 540 to 1000 revolutions per minute

21 PTO Safety Replace all damaged or missing PTO shields and drive shaft covers Wear tight-fitted clothing Put up hair Remove all jewelry Don’t climb over or under drive shafts

22 Other Machinery Hazards
Shear and cut points Pinch points Wrap points Crush points Free-wheeling points Pull-in points Springs and chains Hydraulic systems

23 Machinery Safety Don’t wear loose clothing around moving parts
Never reach over or work near rotating parts Turn off machinery before performing maintenance Never rely solely upon a machine’s hydraulic system to keep equipment suspended Replace all missing and damage shields Never place yourself between a tractor and implements when hitching Never crawl under a machine or implement without first chocking or blocking Never allow anyone near a chain when it is under stress

24 Livestock Hazards Crushing injuries Property damage Diseases Parasites

25 Livestock Considerations
Vision Cattle have near-360-degree panoramic vision Horses and swine have near-300-degree field of vision Hearing More sensitive than humans Loud noises frightening High-frequency sounds painful.

26 Livestock Considerations
Temperament Each animal has its own personality Become uncomfortable when personal space is threatened Routine is calming Instinct Females become aggressive when offspring are threatened Males aggressive when herd threatened and during mating period

27 Livestock Diseases and Parasites
Brucellosis Tetanus Ringworm Salmonella Leptospirosis Rabies Trichinosis Lyme Disease Keep vaccinations current Wear boot coverings when on other farms Isolate sick animals from the herd Keep children and visitors away from sick animals

28 Livestock Safety Maintain a non-threatening distance
Use a calm voice and deliberate movement Don’t startle the animal Never prod an animal that has nowhere to go Don’t be abusive Stay away from newborns

29 Electricity Hazards Contact with overhead transmission lines
Absence of proper grounding Overloaded circuits Damaged wiring Missing safety shields Center pivot irrigation systems Pond pumps

30 Contact with Power Lines
Many workers have been electrocuted when moving irrigation pipe (20 feet sections) and contact overhead power lines Workers also electrocuted when moving grain augers and when contacting power lines with front end loaders

31 Electrical System Maintenance
Can you identify any problems? Metal + electricity – water protection – grounding = an accident waiting to happen

32 Extension Cords Don’t use extension cords in wet areas
Don’t try to repair them, replace them Don’t use them to tie or secure objects Never run over cords with vehicles Unplug cords from outlets when not in use

33 Chemical Hazards Pesticides/herbicides Anhydrous ammonia
Water well contamination Fertilizers Animal medicines

34 Spraying Chemicals Read and follow chemical material safety data sheets (MSDS) Wear appropriate personal protective equipment Follow label instructions for mixing and cleanup Warn others of your intent to spray Have an emergency plan in place

35 Anhydrous Ammonia Used as a fertilizer in agriculture and a coolant in food processing Stored as a liquid under pressure Will freeze-burn skin upon contact Vapors will burn skin, eyes, and can be fatal at high concentrations

36 Anhydrous Ammonia Theft
Key component in production of methamphetamines Often stolen from temporary storage tanks located on farms and dealerships Usually stolen in small quantities, multiple times, to avoid detection

37 Fire Hazards Fueling and fuel storage Electrical problems Heaters
Dry, dusty confinement areas Hay storage Machinery Welders and torches

38 Fueling and Fuel Storage
Store fuel tanks at least 40 feet from buildings and barns Ground storage tanks in case of direct lightning strikes Never fuel a hot tractor or vehicle Post no-smoking signs that are clearly visible Erect barriers around tanks to prevent vehicles from running into them

39 Hay Baling and Stacking
Allow cut hay to dry sufficiently before baling Uncured hay will increase cause temperature to increase in bales or hay stacks resulting in spontaneous combustion Provide adequate ventilation around hay stacks to avoid overheating Keep hay stacks at least 100 feet from buildings and don’t park tractors near stacks

40 Tractor Fires Oil, grease, dirty rags, and trash on machinery can result in devastation. Be sure to grease and oil machinery on a regular basis.

41 Material Storage Hazards
Engulfment Asphyxiation Suffocation Falls from elevated surfaces Contact with conveyance machinery

42 Grain Bin Engulfment Grain inside a bin can form a crust on top, that when broken can engulf a person in a matter of seconds Never enter a grain bin without proper lifeline support Always let coworkers know when you must enter a grain bin

43 Asphyxiation Stored silage will release toxic gases during the drying process Opening the top of a silo from the top could result in asphyxiation and cause you to fall Always wear proper respiratory equipment

44 Other Dangers ATVs Ponds Irrigation canals Uncapped wells Sun exposure
Heat Snakes, spiders, bees, etc.

45 ATV Safety Never carry extra riders on an ATV not designed for passengers Attend an ATV rider safety course Know the limitation of the ATV Always wear a helmet, long pants, gloves, and riding boots

46 Ponds and Open Water Never swim in an irrigation canal or unfamiliar pond Post no-swimming signs Install a safety post with rope and flotation device at the edge of ponds

47 Sun Protection Wear a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeve shirt
Wear sunscreen Drink plenty of water Perform difficult tasks in the morning or evening

48 Things that bite, sting, and cause rashes
Rattlesnake Yellow jacket Black widow Mosquito

49 For more information on these topics visit the Agricultural Safety and Health web site @

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