Farm Safety Facts

IMG_6074[2]Health and Safety Hazards on Farms

Farm workers, including farm families and migrant workers, are exposed to the following hazards:

  • Chemicals & Pesticides
  • Cold
  • Dust
  • Electricity
  • Grain bins
  • Hand tools
  • Highway traffic
  • Lifting


Other hazards include livestock handling, machinery and equipment, manure pits- the list goes on.

The following factors may increase risk of injury or illness for farm workers:

  • Age: injury rates are highest among children age 15 and under and adults over 65.
  • Equipment and Machinery: Most farm accidents and fatalities involve machinery. Proper machine guarding and doing equipment maintenance according to manufacturers’ recommendations can help prevent accidents.
  • Protective Equipment: Using protective equipment, such as seat belts on tractors, and personal protective equipment (such as gloves, coveralls, boots, hats, aprons, goggles, face shields) could significantly reduce farming injuries.
  • Medical care: Hospitals and emergency medical care are typically not readily accessible in rural areas near farms.

How you can improve farm safety

  • Read and follow instructions in equipment operator’s manuals and on product labels.
  • Inspect equipment routinely for problems that may cause accidents.
  • Discuss safety hazards and emergency procedures with your workers.
  • Install approved rollover protective structures, protective enclosures, or protective frames on tractors.
  • Make sure that guards on farm equipment are replaced after maintenance.
  • Review and follow instructions in material safety data sheets and on labels that come with chemical products and communicate information on these hazards to your workers.
  • Take precautions to prevent entrapment and suffocation caused by unstable surfaces of grain storage bins, silos, or hoppers. Never “walk the grain.”
  • Be aware that methane gas, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide can form in unventilated grain silos and manure pits and can suffocate or poison workers or explode.
  • Take advantage of safety equipment, such as bypass starter covers, power take-off master shields, and slow-moving vehicle emblems.

*Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

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