General Farm Safety Tips

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      When farming please follow these precautions in order to keep yourself, your family and your workers safe:
      • Before beginning any task, always take the time to do a quick hazard assessment so you can reduce the risk of injuries.
      • Decrease your risk of being crushed by using lockout procedures before beginning any maintenance or repair work. Lockout means to physically neutralize all energies in a piece of equipment. Machines, devices or power transmission lines can be de-energized by applying blocks to all parts under tension or pressure, bleeding the hydraulic pressure from the lines or by releasing pressure from a coil or spring.
      • When moving large machinery, be sure to check the location of power lines. Make arrangements with your service provider to ensure a safe route along a route you will travel between fields with large implements in travel mode.
      • When working with livestock always ensure you have an escape route planned and that you are wearing the appropriate gear for the job. For example – wear a helmet and appropriate footwear when riding a horse.
      • Provide a safe, fenced play area for all children and supervise closely. The working area of the farm is not a playground any more than a construction site or other industrial area would be a play area. Review the safety rules on your farm with your family often. Fence off all manure, retaining ponds and dugouts, and lock buildings containing hazardous goods.
      • Maintain all farm machinery in good working order and ensure all safety devices are in place and working properly. Guards and shields on PTOs, augers and belts are imperative to avoid entanglements. Wear form-fitting clothing such as overalls and avoid wearing any items that could easily become entangled such as long coats, scarves or clothing that is ripped.
      • Never perform maintenance on a machine or attempt to clear an obstruction while the machine is still running. Ensure the equipment is completely shut down and the key is in your pocket.
      • Commit to providing appropriate personal protective gear for all hazardous tasks on the farm. Set an example by wearing the gear in all situations.
      • Communication is key. Always tell coworkers or family where you will be working and make a commitment that all workers will be checked on every few hours. Provide cell phones or radio for emergency communication. For young, inexperienced or elderly workers, check more often.
      • There are many ways to ensure the safety of your family and workers. Start with the development of a safety plan for your operation and a commitment to lead by example. Develop a farm safety plan that outlines the possible hazards for all areas of the farm. Eliminate all possible hazards and decide how to manage others such as providing personal protective gear or fencing off hazardous areas.

      Alberta Farm Safety Program
      or toll-free: 310-FARM (3276)

      Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Farm Safety Staff:
      Janice Donkers, Youth Coordinator:
      Kenda Lubeck, Awareness Coordinator:
      Raelyn Peterson, Coordinator:
      Sharon Stollery, Manager:
      Blair Takahashi, Specialist:
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    For more information about the content of this document, contact Kenda Lubeck.
    This information published to the web on March 9, 2011.
    Last Reviewed/Revised on November 6, 2018.