Farm accidents happen more often than you might realize. Every day, about 100 agricultural workers suffer an injury that causes them to miss time on the job, which is far higher than in many other industries. Heavy equipment such as tractors and plows are the leading cause of these accidents, as they require lots of skill and training to operate safely and correctly.
Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent these incidents, from regular machine maintenance to reading the farm equipment safety manual. Read on to learn some vital safety measures in farm operations.
What Causes Farm Accidents and Injuries?
Like any other profession that involves operating heavy machinery, farming can be hazardous. Typical causes of accidents and injuries are defects and incorrect use of farming equipment.
For example, a tractor rollover can occur when the operator turns too fast on a curve or drives too close to an incline or ditch. Additionally, farmers can easily get hurt when the equipment is faulty. Defects can result from unreliable design or a failure to properly maintain and care for the machinery.
For these reasons, it’s critical to follow farm equipment safety principles on the job and invest in functional and reliable machinery.
Importance of Farm Equipment Safety Principles
Farm equipment and tool safety are critical to reducing injury risk, keeping yourself and other operators safe and protecting your equipment from damage. Additionally, it promotes a more productive business — you won’t spend extra time repairing machines or tending to injuries.
Following farm safety tips also prevents hefty government fines due to noncompliance. When operating farm machinery and equipment, remember the seven tips below.
1. Get Familiar With and Follow the Law
State and federal laws are in place to ensure proper farm equipment usage, reduce injury risk and keep operators safe. To operate your equipment correctly and avoid getting fined, brush up on these laws.
Standard regulations include lighting and marking requirements for agricultural equipment on public roads, air emission standards, oil storage and more. You can refer to resources such as the National Ag Safety Database and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for guidance.
2. Perform Regular Equipment Maintenance
Preventive farm equipment maintenance is essential for operator safety, productive workflow and longer machinery lifespan. Three common issues that affect farm machinery are lack of maintenance, improper use and wear and tear. You’ll want to take proper measures to prevent these things whenever possible.
Here are some crucial farm machine maintenance tips to keep in mind.
- Use machines properly: Using the equipment only as instructed in the owner’s manual is vital to steer clear of machine misuse and avoidable problems. Following the instructions can extend your machine’s life, so you’ll get the best possible use from it.
- Clean your equipment: Because dirty equipment is more likely to malfunction, regularly cleaning equipment is essential for proper maintenance and more longevity. To avoid the buildup of mud, dirt, dust and contaminants, perform regular cleaning tasks. These include checking and replacing filters, pressure washing, inspecting seals and oiling gears.
- Address signs of wear and tear: By watching carefully for signs of wear and tear and addressing these issues early on, you can extend your equipment’s lifespan. Some examples are making sure your bearings run firmly, replacing any loose or cracked belts, tightening drooped chains and ensuring shafts are straight.
3. Read the Manual
Before working with a new machine, carefully read the safety manual and follow the instructions to operate it properly. Even if you’re familiar with a specific machine, like a combine or tractor, you should still review the manual for any new piece of equipment you add to your fleet. A new tractor will likely have some notable differences from your old one, so you’ll need to ensure you can operate it safely.
4. Do Not Work Under the Influence
Even a single alcoholic beverage can impair your ability to safely operate farm equipment. For this reason, it’s best to avoid alcohol and drugs of any kind when handling a piece of machinery. To stay as alert as possible, maintain good judgment and prevent a potentially fatal accident, ensure you’re completely sober before using farm equipment.
5. Wear the Right Clothing
Dressing in proper clothing can help prevent the risk of a farm equipment injury. When you’re operating machinery, try to refrain from wearing loose-fitting shirts and pants. These can get caught in rotating machine parts and result in injury.
Opt for form-fitting jackets, shirts and pants that are free of tears and loose threads. Additionally, safety experts recommend buttoning cuffs on long-sleeved shirts, as machinery can easily catch rolled sleeves.
6. Train Your Team
Any team member who will be operating the machinery should know how to handle it safely to prevent employee injury and farm equipment damage. Make sure you provide a full tutorial on how to use the machine and other essential things like:
- Properly cleaning and maintaining farm machinery
- Being familiar with the farmland
- Dressing in the proper attire
- Staying up to date with federal and state farm equipment laws
7. Use High-Quality Equipment
Finally, you’ll want to invest in durable, high-quality and reliable farm equipment. Top-notch agricultural machinery makes all the difference in your farm’s operations. If you’re looking for built-to-last equipment that saves you money and promotes an efficient work environment, Pequea is your solution.
We’ve carefully designed our quality product selection with the professional input of farmers and engineers. As the leading farm machinery manufacturer in Lancaster County, we can provide everything you need to keep your operations running smoothly — all while ensuring top-notch safety, productivity and getting the best use from your equipment.
Invest in Safe Farm Equipment From Pequea
At Pequea, we understand the importance of farm equipment safety principles. That’s why we specialize in superior agriculture tools and equipment to ensure optimal safety, productivity and machine life.
Your farm’s success is as meaningful to us as it is to you, so we’ve carefully refined our products with new innovations and upgrades to give your land the care it deserves. Whether you’re looking for hay tedder equipment, fertilizer spreaders, hay rakes or bale wrappers, you’ll find the best agricultural machinery with us.
Let us help you select safe, quality and long-lasting farm equipment to assist your operations. Find a Pequea dealer near you today!