Agriculture safety tips for families

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Children:

  • Don't ask to ride along in tractors. Even though it's fun, passengers on a tractor can interfere with safe operation of machinery.

  • Always get permission to visit a parent or adult while they are working on machinery, and remain in a visible area to ensure the adult sees you. Blind spots create dangerous conditions when machinery is in use.

  • Be cautious when handling or feeding animals, and only enter pens that have been approved by your parents. Livestock can be unpredictable.

    Teens:

  • Only use a cell phone when not working, but keep it close in case of emergency. Cell phones can be a lifesaver or a deadly distraction.

  • Be informed on child labor laws. Teens can only work in certain situations under legal guardians.

  • Be a role model and demonstrate safe behavior on the farm. Siblings and younger children look up to and take pride in older children and teenagers.

    Parents:

  • Keep the rollover protection structures (ROPS) in the upright position and always wear a seatbelt to prevent a tractor rollover injury or fatality. Tractor rollovers represented nearly half of all of Illinois fatalities last year, so the ROPS should only be folded down in low-clearance areas and when absolutely necessary.

  • Always wear hearing protection -- such as ear plugs or protective ear muffs -- to protect from hearing loss. It only takes 2 hours for an open cab tractor to become dangerous to the human ear without proper hearing protection.

  • Schedule enough time for sleep. Lack of sleep inhibits productivity and memory, and slows response time.

    Grandparents:

  • Think about your actions. Unsafe actions don't always result in harm, but the risk isn't worth it.

  • Recognize personal health and safety to avoid injury. Take caution when lifting heavy items or climbing in unsafe areas. If something looks dangerous or unpredictable, don't do it.

  • Keep a cell phone handy at all times in case of emergency. Cell phones allow for easy access when help is needed.