The importance of farmers and the work they do cannot be understated, especially in communities like the District of Kent and beyond. With that being said, it’s all the more important that they take care of themselves in their crucial professions.
National Farm Safety Week stretches from March 14 to 20. The Canada Safety Council takes this week to highlight safety procedures as farmers go about their day; the council particularly stressed the need to keep appendages clear of moving parts in machinery. Farmers have a higher exposure than the average worker to heavy machinery, making it especially critical to make safety a priority.
“The agricultural industry relies heavily on machinery to make jobs easier and to stay on schedule,” said Gareth Jones, president of the Canada Safety Council. “When there’s a jam, a blockage or a malfunction, there can also be a temptation to reach in and fix it without thinking. But this is where preventable injuries happen and where we need to ensure that safe operating practices remain front of mind.”
It’s never a good idea to perform any maintenance or repairs while the machine is running. Ensure the equipment is turned off before working on it. This takes away any concern that the machine might start moving while your limbs are still in contact with it, which can, of course, cause serious harm.
Canada Safety Council offers some additional preventative safety tips:
Identify pinch points where two or more objects move together in a circular motion and keep your limbs away from it
Do not wear rings while operating or repairing machinery. Machines can easily hook onto a ring and pull your finger off or severely damage the skin when moving at very high speeds.
Do not test temperatures of anything with your hands.
Sharp tools and blades in particular should be handled with extra caution.
Wear proper safety equipment when handling hazardous chemicals or around anything that can potentially cut or scrape you. However, if you’re working with reciprocating or rotating machinery, don’t use gloves as they could get caught in the moving parts.
“Everyone feels safe up until the point of an incident, which makes it critically important to get ahead of injuries waiting to happen,” the council said in a statement. “Don’t let
complacency or familiarity with the day-to-day operations of the farm affect your vigilance or awareness of your surroundings!”
Learn more about safety procedures at canadasafetycouncil.org.