Farm Safety

From the Coon Rapids (MN)Herald:

Keeping kids safe on the farm

Accidents happen. They can happen anywhere—in the home, on the road, on the job, in the schools and—on the farm.

Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. According to the National Safety Council, in 2002, agriculture came in second in the number of work-related deaths—second only to the mining/quarrying industry. As reported that year, agriculture in the United States had 21 fatalities per 100,000 workers, or approximately 730 deaths.

Some suggestions to keep everyone safe on the farm include:

• Children, especially visiting children, should not be allowed to roam freely around the farm. Instead, designate a safe play area;

• Equip all barns, shops, storage areas, livestock pens, etc. with latches that can be locked or secured so that children cannot enter;

• Always turn equipment off, lower hydraulic and remove the key before leaving equipment unattended;

• Inspect all equipment and correct any hazards before operating;

• Make certain a 20 lb. fire extinguisher is handy;

• When around farm animals, be calm, move slowly, avoid making sudden jerks or movements and always approach them from the front so they can see what is going on; and

• Never permit young children to work with poisons, chemicals or fertilizers.

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