Safety on our farms for our children and farm visitors is an important point to discuss with family members. Everyone should be aware of the dangers on a farm and families should have discussions on what is acceptable practices for farm operators and workers. Statistics clearly show that young people are killed or seriously injured more often than any other age group and the number one reason is lack of supervision and inadequate training. Take a minute to talk to your family about some of the hazards on the farm. Here is a checklist that can help you get started. Turn this into a fun exercise and see if the children can come up with additional safety hazards. It will be an awareness campaign that could save an injury or a life.
-- No riders
-- Before moving equipment especially when backing up, make sure children are at a safe distance
-- Don't allow children to play with idle machinery
-- Always leave hydraulic equipment such as front end loaders, 3 point implements, combine headers in the down position
-- When tractors and self propelled machines are parked, brakes should be locked and keys removed from the ignition
-- Always leave a tractor PTO lever in the neutral position
-- Keep machinery in good repair. Pay particular attention to protective shielding, roll over protection shields and seat belts.
-- Safety training must be completed before children are allowed to operate machinery. -- A degree of supervision will continue to be needed until teens become experienced operators.
-- Farm ponds and manure storage structures should be surrounded by child proofing fencing.
-- Place fixed ladders out of reach or fit them with a special barrier. Store portable ladders away from danger areas.
-- Practice good housekeeping. Don't leave items lying around to create a tripping hazard. Heavy objects shouldn't be left leaning against walls or fences.
-- Livestock facilities and operating machinery should be off limits to young children.
--Adult supervision is required at all times.
-- Shield dangerous machinery components, electrical boxes and wiring. Place out of reach of small children or fit with locking devices.
-- Store pesticides and other dangerous chemicals in locked facilities.
-- Place warning decals on all grain bins, silos, wagons and trucks.
-- Don't start unloading grain from wagons or bins until you have double-checked that no one is inside.
-- At regular intervals, set aside time for family safety instruction.
Take a minute and keep your family safe during this fall's busy harvest season.