Although it may not appear so at first glance, agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 476 farmers die each year from work related industries, which is at a rate of 26 deaths per 100, 000 farmers. There a number of hazards of which a farmer should be mindful from tractor rollovers to zoonotic conditions. Below are several health and safety protocols provided by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to assist farmers in prevention of injury.
Typical Agriculture Safety Hazards
Heat Related Illness
Fall Injuries: OSHA describes how to prevent falls in the agricultural workplace
Fall Injuries Prevention in the Workplace: OSHA’s general guide to fall prevention in the workplaces
Ergonomic Risk Factors: Repetitive motions and heavy lifting often put workers at risk for injury often causing sprains and muscle fatigue known as work related musculoskeletal disorders.
Simple Solutions- Ergonomics and Farm Workers: The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidebook to helping farmworkers minimize muscoloskeletal disorders
Hazardous Equipment and Machinery: According to OSHA, power tools pose some of the greatest risks to safety
Hazardous Grain Bins and Silos: OSHA offers safety tips for working near grain bins which often work like quicksand
Unsanitary Conditions: Infectious diseases can occur from unsanitary conditions especially those areas with bacteria or parasites.
Pesticides and Chemicals: Frequent interaction with pesticides and chemicals can cause neurological disorders as well as other ailments. The Environmental Protection Agency provides a guide for working near pesticides.
Respiratory Distress: Inhalation is another method for workers in come in contact with harmful chemicals.
Zoonotic Infections: Diseases that are common between humans and animals, usually because they were transferred from animal to human; this includes west nile and avian flu.
Noise: Many workers suffer from hearing loss due to constantly working near loud equipment. OSHA offers a guide for preventing hearing loss.
Vehicle Hazards: OSHA, Occupational Safety & Health Administration,lists a number of vehicle safety hazards such as rollovers, Power Take-Over Shafts (PTO)
Tractor Overturn Hazards: A handout from Penn State University on tractor overturn hazards
The National Agriculture Safety Initiative : Organization committed to the safety and health of farm workers
Safety Procedures/Fact Sheets
Animal Handling Tips
Agricultural Hand Signals
Insulation Fire Hazards on the Farm
Guarding Against Corn Harvesting Accidents
Farm Respiratory Hazards
Farm Pond Safety
Personal Protection from Pesticides
Farm Respiratory Protection
Heat Illness and Farm Work
Farm Dump Truck and Trailer Safety
Confined Space Manure Storage Hazards
Confined Space Manure Gas Monitoring
Confined Space Manure Storage Ventilation Systems
Confined Space Manure Storage Emergencies
Prevention of Heat Related Illness