The agricultural industry is one of Minnesota’s largest economic sectors. If you are one of the more than 431,000 state residents who work for a farm, you should be aware of workplace hazards specific to your industry.
Review these common dangers and safety measures to avoid injury at work on a farm.
Take care with heavy machinery
When using farm equipment, make sure you have the appropriate training and protective gear. Depending on the job, you should wear heavy boots, work gloves, and a face shield or goggles. Wear snug clothing and keep long hair tied back or under a hat. Avoid using machinery that needs repairs or lacks key safety features, as this increases the risk of serious injury.
Know what to do in an emergency
Keep a list of local emergency numbers handy so you can contact the appropriate responders immediately if an accident occurs. Know where to find first aid supplies, eyewash stations and other safety features throughout the farm. In high-risk areas such as the breeding pen and grain bin, work in pairs so that one person can make sure the other person stays safe and run for help quickly if necessary.
Follow tractor safety measures
Tractor rollover is one of the most dangerous types of farm accidents. While most tractors have rollover protective structures, never use a tractor that does not have this type of system installed. Always wear the safety belt when driving a ROPS-fitted tractor. Do not operate a tractor with extra riders.
If you experience a work-related injury, you can see your own doctor in Minnesota. Notify your employer right away to start the process of receiving workers’ compensation benefits.