Put Farm Safety First This Spring With These Tips
Spring is the season when farms come to life. The weather gets warmer, workdays get longer, crops are planted and livestock is born. With all that activity, measures that could protect you from a loss can slip through the cracks. At Red River Mutual we want to help pick up the slack.
We’re sharing some Loss Prevention Tips to help keep you and your property safe this spring.
Livestock Handling Safety
When you handle livestock there are a lot of variables. You have to consider both your animals and your equipment. While you can’t completely remove the element of unpredictability that comes with working with living creatures, you can take steps to make sure your equipment is there for you when you need it.
- Make sure your chutes and alleys are wide enough for free passage of the animal but not wide enough for the animal to turn around in.
- Use catwalks on the outside of the alley or chute so you can keep separation between you and your livestock.
- Make sure your walls and chutes are solid.
- Place turns in the alley to reduce chances of the animal being frightened from the outside.
- Floors should be designed for easy cleaning and to guard against slipping.
- Always provide yourself with an escape route when working with an animal in close quarters.
- Use safety footwear with appropriate soles, leather gloves and clothing that is not overly loose.
- Wear adequate respiratory protection to reduce the potential of inhalation of organic dust particles such as animal dander, molds, spores and plant particles.
- Carefully follow administration directions for veterinary medicines and take great care to avoid needle sticks or direct personal contact with the drugs or animal body fluids.
- Avoid rough handling.
- Create a facility that puts their safety first (non-slip floors, avoidance of bright lights)
- Avoid loud shouts or noises that could startle an animal.
Taking precautions now could save you from veterinary bills, trips to the hospital, broken equipment and loss of livestock. For more information about safe handling of livestock, check out the full Loss Prevention Tip on Livestock Handling.
When you work with fertilizer, there’s potential for major accidents. From environmental contamination to explosions.
Hazard reduction and prevention starts with good design and construction, and risk to tanks already in service can be reduced through tank maintenance and inspection.
- Avoid purchasing used tanks. Relocation and installation can compromise the structural integrity of the storage unit
- Ensure that employees are aware of the hazards. If they know the risks, they’ll take safety measures seriously
- Avoid overfilling tanks. This increases your likelihood of damage and accidents.
- Perform regular inspections. Look for all possible risks and include a close external inspection for leaks, corrosion, poor welds or any anomalies in the surface of the tank
- Check vents for any blockages by. Plugged vents could cause your tank to collapse inward.
For more on Fertilizer safety and tank maintenance, check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.
Spring is also an opportunity to dust off your ATV. Whether for work or recreation, it’s important to maintain the condition of your ATV and make sure it’s in tip top shape before you hit the road. Here’s some tips to help you prevent breakages and put your safety first.
- Check the tires or tracks for wear, and rims and for damage.
- Look over your controls and make sure connections and cables are intact.
- Check the chain for worn links and sprockets for broken teeth and ensure there’s enough lubrication.
Ride ORVs in appropriate settings
Avoid roads and streets, since ORVs are not designed nor intended to be driven on concrete or asphalt with larger cars and trucks. Also, avoid improper terrain that may encourage the ORV to roll over due to instability in the ground.
You can find the full Loss Prevention Tip here.
A Safe Farm is a Productive Farm
We know that no two farms look exactly the same – which means the planning required to prevent a loss won’t look the same either. These tips might not be one size fits all, but we hope they help. Putting safety first can prevent big losses down the line, so you can return your focus to what really matters – your farm.
To find more Red River Mutual Loss Prevention Tips, please visit our Loss Prevention Tips Archive.