Farming is one of the staple industries of the American economy. Whether growing avocados and grapes in California or oranges and peaches in Florida, hiring domestic labor or persons on an h2a visa program, farm safety should be as high a priority as production. There are many laws in place to enforce regular safety standards across the country. These are expansive and cover everything from hiring standards to chemical use and can seem daunting to many. Here are a few important things you need to know about keeping things safe on a farm.
It is vital that a farmer makes sure their employees are not only physically up to the jobs they are assigned but that they are intellectually prepared as well. Make sure water is constantly available to any employee working outside or in areas where they can overheat. It is also important that employees are well-trained before they are allowed to operate any equipment. This will lower the risk of injury to the employee and also prevent costly medical and production issues.
Make sure that all equipment is inspected regularly. Identifying possible issues before they become hazards can prevent many of the injuries seen on farms. Though most newer tractors come pre-equipped with them, be sure to install rollover protection structures on older tractors to protect the operator in case of an accident. You can also require that all employees use protective gear while running the farm’s equipment and if any chemicals are used, be sure the protective gear is up to safety standards for those chemicals.
Protecting your employees and equipment will go a long way to having healthy workers and higher production times. Establishing these basic safety guidelines on your farm and having employees well-versed in safety standards for both their personal health and equipment use can ensure a good season with laborers who will be able to return the next season.