5 Simple Steps to Prevent On-Farm Accidents

We’ve all heard these sayings:  She’s an accident waiting to happen.  He’s a walking heart attack.  Hopefully, no one has ever made one of these remarks about you!

At Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, we care about the health and wellbeing of farmers.  We want each of you to have a blessed, fun, safe and fruitful cropping season.  That’s why we’re taking a few minutes today to remind you to take the time to keep health and safety your number 1 priority.  It’s also important to slow down and exercise caution.

Here are five simple steps you can take this season to help prevent accidents:

  1. Always check your indicator lights before getting on the road.  I have seen more than one fatal traffic accident occur as a result of bad indicator lights on implements.  Be aware of inexperienced drivers, who may not understand tractors and equipment or the fact that you may be making a left-hand turn into field road.  Watch for motorists trying to pass as you’re about to turn.
  2. Make sure Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) signs are visible.  Ensure that all your equipment is safety compliant with your state’s specific agriculture road travel equipment safety requirements.  I’ve seen major accidents happen as a result of no sign or a faded SMV sign or burned out signal lights.
  3. Avoid traveling down roads at sunset and sunrise.  As a paramedic, I’ve seen firsthand some horrific fatal accidents with farm machinery that occurred especially at this time of day.  When the sun is in a driver’s eyes, they may be blinded and crash into you.
  4. If you have kids on the farm, know where they are.  We’ve heard too many tragic stories about small children who unknowingly follow Dad to the tractor.  Enough said.
  5. Wear Personal protective equipment (PPE) equipment around hazardous materials. Remember that today’s advanced seed treatments contain, insecticide.  As part of farm safety awareness, it would be good to include seed treatment awareness in your safety briefing for yourself and employees at beginning of planting.   Even dust from moving seed can aerosolize and can be inhaled.  I know an agronomist seed rep, who was vacuuming seed from planter boxes and became ill that night.  He ended up in hospital with multi-system organ failure as a result of exposure.  Please wear an approved safety breathing apparatus.  Safety equipment required for handling the substance is generally listed on the MSDS sheets.It’s a good idea to have the sheets available for employees, too.  If someone does face exposure, Emergency crews will need the MSDS sheets to help treat the patient.  When handling any substance, remember to protect your eyes, skin, lungs and mouth.   I remember transporting patients who mishandled anhydrous ammonia.  This can become a fatal exposure, and fast!  This will close your airway more quickly than a person can imagine.

Develop a safety plan for your farm – and follow it.  Bad things can happen during peak seasons because (1) we sleep less, (2) cut corners, (3) drive faster and (4) generally work faster.  Keep your cell phone charged, and keep it within reach at all times.

Remember to also be aware – and obey – signals your body is sending!  Be safe this spring and always!