Sow the seeds of farm safety

You understand that working safely with machinery, livestock and other farm hazards is not only good for business, it’s also necessary to prevent injuries to your family, employees and visitors. But given the busy farm environment, do you ever overlook safety measures?

Steer clear of machinery hazards

A healthy respect for powerful commercial equipment prevents accidents and injury. So, take all precautions and follow the manufacturers’ guidelines to keep everyone safe. We all know what can happen when workers take short cuts or try to make repairs without turning equipment off or locking moving parts: injuries or even loss of life.

Commercial machinery is powerful, which makes operating the equipment especially hazardous for both workers and bystanders. Despite manufacturers’ strict safety standards, many accidents still happen due to the nature of the work itself as well as human error.

Take the time to train your workers on safety precautions of all machinery, especially if they’re new to your operation. The Farm Safety Association has a large library of factsheets, posters, training manuals and other materials available, including:

  • safety precautions for specific machines such as tractors, mowers and ATVs
  • safety tips for harvesting, handling farm animals and dealing with manure and silo gases
  • tips on how to protect from respiratory hazards, falls, hearing loss, eye damage, and repetitive strain injuries
  • rescue procedures for dangers such as flowing grain entrapment
  • information about issues such as West Nile virus, avian flu and BSE.

Several fact sheets and training manuals are also available in French.

Respect your livestock and their environment

Farmers know that livestock and their environment are another major cause of injuries and sickness on the job, so it’s important to insist on caution, preparedness and respect.

Remind workers that every animal and environment has specific risks. Describe the risks, the proper equipment and handling techniques and what to do when dangerous situations occur. Ensure all workers use the proper safety equipment such as steel-toed boots, gloves, respirators and other protective gear.

Start a new safety tradition

While you may have been driving your dad’s tractor when you were thirteen, equipment today is bigger and more complicated, workers are busier, and children can get into dangerous situations faster. Make sure children have a safe place to play, away from the potential hazardous areas on your property. They need to understand the dangers and what to do in case of an emergency.

Your Co-operators Financial Advisor can help you find the coverage that’s right for both your family and farm. We protect over 37,000 farms in Canada, so we understand your needs and goals.