After a long, cold and dreary winter, spring has finally arrived. The days are longer, calving season begins and planting season is approaching. Spring is a busy season for many FFA members, and there is no better time to keep safety in mind. Between chapter banquets and evening chores, follow these five farm safety tips to ensure a successful transition to summer break.
1. Avoid driving tractors and ATVs on the road at dawn and dusk.
This is the peak time for drivers commuting to and from work. If you must be on the road, make sure your equipment has plenty of reflective material, use your headlights, wear your seatbelt and carry your license and insurance cards. When possible, have a friend or family member act as an escort vehicle.
2. Watch where you step.
It’s not just the cow pies in the field you should watch out for. When working in potential risky spaces like manure pits, grain bins or logging areas, pay extra attention to your surroundings to avoid dangerous gases, loose footing or falling hazards.
3. Follow the label.
Whether you are working with pesticides, vaccinations or fertilizers, always follow the label exactly. Be sure to wear the proper personal protective equipment, handle and store materials appropriately, and keep all supplies away from young children.
4. Create a Farm Aid Kit.
While many farmers keep duct tape and baling twine handy during the spring, adding a few other materials can create an essential Farm Aid Kit. Grab a travel bag and add a fire extinguisher, bottles of water and basic first aid materials. Keep an information card on hand that includes emergency contact numbers as well as written directions on how to get to the farm, field and other work areas.
5. Take care of yourself.
Long hours in the field can lead many farmers to neglect basic self-care. Make eating regular meals and getting an adequate amount of sleep priorities this spring to prevent careless accidents. As the temperatures rise, remember to stay hydrated both in and out of the field.