May 13, 2021

Find hazards on the farm: Farm safety inspections are important

ARLINGTON, Va. — It’s critical to find hazards on the farm before an accident happens.

The National Grain and Feed Association shared ways to put safety first during Grain Safety Week.

A three-step process can help put safety first on your farm: inspect, evaluate and review.

1. Inspect. Take time to inspect your farmstead, farm buildings, tractors, farm machinery, animal housing, manure storage, chemical storage, electrical hazards, shop area, grain handling and storage, and personal protective equipment.

2. Evaluate the hazards. Divide them into one of three categories.

• High priority — Problems presenting immediate danger.

• Seasonal priority — Concerns to address prior to the start of a specific farming season.

• Financially limited priority — Items that require extensive budgeting and planning to complete.

3. Review.

• Invite the local fire department to the farm property for a walk-through.

• Schedule employee safety training.

• Consult your insurance provider for recommendations.

Farms should have an emergency action plan in place to help prevent accidents.

The plan should be written down and kept in the workplace where employees have access to it. Farms with 10 or less employees do not have to have an EAP, but it’s still a good idea.

To meet OSHA requirements, the EAP must include procedures for:

• Reporting a fire or other emergency.

• Emergency evacuation, including types of evacuations and exit route assignments.

• Designated employees who are to remain to perform critical plant operations before evacuating.

• Accounting of all employees, customers and visitors.

• Employees performing rescue and medical duties.

More resources are available at ngfa.org/safety.

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor