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Farm Safety  01/16/13 2:30:07 PM

Protect Against Slips, Trips, and Falls

Just as winter motoring requires defensive driving tactics, working outside this time of year demands “defensive walking” techniques to protect against slips, trips, and falls, according to farm safety experts.
Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of workplace accidents, according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Since farmers often work outdoors in adverse conditions including snow, ice, and mud, this increases their risk of these types of injuries. Fortunately, most of these incidents are preventable with basic precautions, agree safety experts.
It’s important to take these safety measures seriously, since falls can cause severe head injuries, broken bones, and even death, according to the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine & Health (NYCAMH). Trying to catch your balance when you slip or trip can also cause sprains and strains to muscles or joints and permanent back injuries, even if you don’t fall.

Spot potential hazards
Being aware of your surroundings is the most effective way to prevent slips, trips and falls, notes that NYCAMH. Start by assessing your workplace so you can identify and correct hazards that may cause injuries.

Then follow these simple safety steps:
  • Take your time and pay close attention to where you are going. Even when temperatures are above freezing, mud can be just as slippery as ice and slush.
  • Stay alert when carrying large or heavy objects that obstruct your vision.
  • Keep sand and salt handy, and use them regularly to help keep walkways clear of ice.
  • Clean ice off steps and platforms, and keep them clean and dry to avoid ice buildup.
  • Watch for slippery surfaces and walk slowly and carefully.
  • Use railings on steps and walkways.
  • Wear footwear with a good non-slip tread.
  • Be extra careful when working with animals that might slip and fall and injure you.
  • Use extra caution when climbing on and off of tractors and machinery.
  • Keep walkways and stairs free of clutter.
  • Ensure adequate lighting for outdoor areas.
The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine & Health contributed to this report.


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