farm safety

How to Avoid Agricultural Related Injuries this Spring

Monday, March 9, 2020

by WHMS Trauma Coordinators: Betsy Raymer, RN and Talya Shutt, RN

ATKINSON, NE — As warmer weather approaches, farmers and ranchers are in the fields and caring for their livestock. That’s why the Trauma Coordinators at West Holt Medical Services are sharing helpful strategies to avoid agricultural related injuries, and a trip to the hospital.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 416 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury in 2017. This resulted in a fatality rate of 20.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. Every day, approximately 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury.

In an article written by Rural Mutual Insurance Company, the top three causes of fatal agricultural related injuries include: machinery, motor vehicles (includes ATVs) and drowning.

Follow these helpful strategies to avoid an injury on the farm or ranch:

  • Make sure your children are old enough for the work they are doing. Know where your children are located, as more than half of young children injured on the farm (ages 10 and under) are bystanders or playing in or near an agricultural work site.
  • Make safety your business. Be sure the work environment is as safe as possible by having employees properly trained in equipment they will run.
  • Always anticipate a way out if your livestock becomes unruly. Animals are unpredictable. Don’t rely on being able to outrun them.
  • Carry a cellphone with you when working with livestock or machinery, especially if you plan to work alone. Having a cellphone will be useful if you need to call for help.

Farms and ranches are wonderful places to live, work and play. However, agriculture can also be dangerous. Protect yourself, your workers and your family by practicing safety and awareness.