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Balance is the key to effectively dealing with stress and we all need to find our own balance.

PPE Only works if You Use It!

The best way to correct a hazard is by replacing, repairing or removing the deficiency.  When there is no other way to remove the hazard, the worker may be protected by using PPE such as earmuffs, respirators, goggles, gloves, etc.

PPE should not be seen as an expense, but as an insurance policy against preventable injuries.  Choose the right personal protective equipment for the job, and teach your children and workers by your example.

Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is one element in a complete safety plan that uses a variety of strategies to maintain a safe and healthy farm environment.  The following information includes various parts that need protection, but don’t limit your PPE to the items addressed in this information sheet.

Hearing Protection is a Sound Investment

Sound is measured in decibels (dB).  A normal conversation takes place at about 60 dB, whereas a gun shot is above 130 dB and will cause ear pain.  Most power tools operate at between 90 and 120 decibels, chickens inside a building are about 105 dB and a pig’s squeal can reach up to 130 dB.  Hearing protection should be worn if noise levels exceed 85 dB.

If you need to raise your voice to talk to someone who is only three feet away, it is loud enough to cause hearing damage and you need to wear protection.

For more information on hearing protection, refer to the Network hearing resource What Did You Say?

Safety Glasses:  Making Foresight 20/20

There are three key actions to help prevent an eye injury:

  • Know the eye safety dangers at work by completing an eye hazard assessment
  • Eliminate hazards by using machine guarding, work screens, or other engineering controls
  • Use proper eye protection

Flying or falling objects or sparks striking the eye cause almost 70 percent of eye injuries.  Another 20 per cent of eye injuries are from contact with chemicals, which in agriculture could include anything from cleaning solutions to pesticides to anhydrous ammonia fertilizer. ~says an OHSA study

Safety is in the Air

The list of potential air-born hazards on a farm is endless. Farmer’s Lung and Organic Dust Toxicity Syndrome (ODTS) are just two of many reactions to farm-related respiratory hazards and can result in costly medical treatment, permanent lung damage or death.  Try to reduce or eliminate the source of the hazard by using adequate ventilation before resorting to a respirator.  If you are still at risk, use appropriate respiratory protection for the type of hazard.  For more information on respiratory protection contact the Network (contact information below).

Our Hands are Valuable Assets

These amazing parts of our bodies are also the most susceptible to injuries that happen all too often on farms and ranches.
Avoid hand and arm injuries by:

  • Making sure all machinery has the proper shields and guards in place
  • Establish and follow lockout/tagout procedures
  • Ensure proper PPE is available at all times

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Proper footwear not only protects your feet from injuries, but prevents the pain and fatigue that can lead to injuries due to distraction, slower reactions and unsafe shortcuts.  Job and workplace designs also have the potential to increase foot safety:

  • Keep mobile equipment away from areas usually used for foot traffic
  • Ensure guards are installed properly on all machinery
  • Keep walkways and work areas tidy including stairs and ramps to reduce slips trips and falls