Welcome to the Safety Corner. Every day, more than 240 agricultural workers and farm employees suffer a serious lost-work-time injury. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment, with the fatality rate for agricultural workers seven times higher than all workers in private industry. The statistics are alarming. It’s important we all do our part to make safety a priority on the farm.
The Center for Dairy Excellence, Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and Penn State Extension Dairy Team are partnering to share a “Safety Share” each month to remind producers and others in agriculture of how closely we have all come to tragic accidents on the farm. Share these with those you work with and encourage them to stop and think before they do something that could risk injury or, even worse, their life.
FEBRUARY: Ladders on Soft Ground
Ladders are a tool that is often connected with accidents. Charlie Gardner, Center consultant, witnessed a near-miss ladder accident recently while helping to put a new roof on a home. Mike, a friend, was starting the first row of shingles, working off a ladder that was leaned against the edge of the roof. He needed another shingle, and called down to Mark, another friend who was on the ground. Mark started up the ladder to hand Mike a few shingles. The weight of the second person on the ladder caused it to sink further into the ground, sliding off the edge of the roof and falling against the house startling both men on the ladder. Mike started to fall backwards while Mark, half way up the ladder, caught Miked and they both fell backward to the ground. Fortunately, neither man was hurt. Charlie advises, “Make sure your ladder is on a stable foundation. Also, a ladder is intended to have only one person on it at a time.” As spring arrives and warmer weather softens the ground, find a solid platform for ladders and other equipment to avoid accidents.