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Ag Safety: School is out, but safety is not

This post is the third in a series on agricultural safety that will educate readers about the risks associated with various farming and agribusiness jobs, and offer helpful tips for reducing and preventing hazards at your family or business operation.

Screen shot 2012-05-21 at 3.30.36 PMHere at Westfield, we care about the safety of your farm and your family, especially children. Summer will be here soon, and children will be ready to soak up the sun and enjoy the outdoors. We must remember, however, that safety comes first.

Children are at a greater risk for agricultural injuries due to their inexperience and inability to be continuously supervised, especially around a farm. Below is a list of farm safety guidelines directed specifically towards kids, including tips, tricks and recommended solutions.

Ways to Keep Children Safe on the Farm:

1. Do not allow children to wander alone on the farm. Try creating a fenced-in “fun and safe play area” for children to play in or near the house, and away from work activities.

2. Keep children away from objects and equipment they can climb, including windmills, electrical wires, augers, elevators, and grain bins and wagons.

3. Assign age-appropriate tasks to children if they are physically able to take part in farm work, ensuring they are properly trained and supervised at all times. Check out a list of age appropriate guidelines — North American Guidelines for Children’s Agriculture Tasks (NAGCAT) Guidelines.

You can also refer to our previous posts on grain bin safety and detasseling.

4. Never carry your children while operating tractors, ATVs and other farm equipment. For more information on tractor safety, refer to our previous post on tractor rollover protection structures and retrofitting.

Also, do not allow children to be in the equipment storage area, livestock barns, or grain bins. If a child is involved in an accident involving a piece of farming equipment:

  • Turn off the equipment right away (if it is safe to do so) and call for help.
  • Call 911 or your local emergency number to get assistance. Be ready to tell the person who answers what the problem is and where the accident happened.
  • Don’t move the person by yourself unless they are in danger and as long as you won’t get hurt doing so. The person might have a head or neck injury, and moving them can make these injuries worse.

5. Keep your children out of contact from poisons, chemicals, and fertilizers. If a child comes into contact with a harmful substance or chemical, call Poison Control or 9-1-1 immediately.

6. Teach children and visitors on the farm that farm animals are not domestic pets. If an injury with an animal occurs:

  • Don’t approach the angry animal.
  • Call out for help, or if serious injury is present dial 9-1-1 immediately.

By educating yourself, as well as the children present on your farms, you can reduce the chance of an injury and safely enjoy summertime.

How do you protect your family? We would love to hear your stories.

Additional Resources:

This post was written by Brittney Pistor, Marketing Communications Intern, who is currently attending Kent State University.