Farming traditions run deep in the state of Wisconsin and farm safety is a priority for farmers. We also believe in protecting the families and children in our farming communities.
Here are out top tips for ensuring kid and teen safety on the farm:
1. Do not enter a flowing grain bin.
This is the number one rule, the king of all safety tips.
More than 200 people in the US have suffocated in grain bins over the last 30 years. Even more frightening is that nearly one third of those who become trapped in a grain bin are under the age of 18.
It’s easy to underestimate the enormous force behind the bin — it works like quicksand that can bury a person in seconds, according to Show-Me Farm Safety.
The best ways to prevent this deadly situation is to never enter bins while grains are being loaded or unloaded and always wait until the dust clears so you can clearly see your footing before entering.
Communicate this to children and teens. Make sure they firmly understand the consequences.
2. Know the PASS method.
Be sure to teach everyone in your family — even teens and children — how to use a fire extinguisher. Doing so can prevent devastating losses and tragedies.
The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences came up with the P.A.S.S. method, and we’ve found it resonates well with kids and teens.
- P is for pull the pin of the extinguisher;
- A is for aim low;
- S is for squeeze the handle; and
- S is for sweep from side to side.
3. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to avoid exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Communicate to your teen what he or she needs to wear to avoid exposure to hazardous chemicals, and also how to wear them properly.
Chemical-proof goggles, rubber gloves, respirators and heavy-duty clothing, for example, won’t work if they aren’t worn correctly.
4. Do not use equipment you haven’t been trained to use.
Between 60 and 70 teens die from job-related injuries each year. Often this is because they weren’t properly acquainted with machinery.
That’s why it’s important for everyone —especially younger farm workers — to review manuals and take proper trainings before and throughout farm season.
Here’s a checklist for parents to see if their preteen is ready to drive a tractor.
5. Be able to identify hazards in confined spaces.
Confined spaces on the farm can be a dangerous place for a child or teen.
And children and teens are at greater risk in confined spaces if they don’t know where the hazards are.
6. Handle animals safely.
Animals are cute, but cows and horses are very different from cats and dogs. And according to Farm Safety for Just Kids, animals can be a major source of injury for kids and teens on the farm.
Because farm animals sense their surroundings differently than humans, they are likely to become frightened, or “spooked.” When an animal is agitated, it is a threat to an unsuspecting child or teen.
7. Ride your ATV like a pro, where ever you go.
Did you know more than 60 percent of ATV-related youth deaths occurred when children and teens were riding on paved roads? Or that having multiple riders on an ATV causes 75 percent of child ATV-related deaths?
Following basic, inexpensive safety procedures can mean saving a life. For instance, always wear a DOT-approved helmet with face protection and protective gear. Doing so will decrease your fatality risk by 50 percent and a non-fatal head injury by 80 percent.
For further information on any of these topics and more, visit our Farm Safety Page.
Protecting the next generation of farmers
Together we can keep Wisconsin strong and safe
Farming traditions run deep in the state of Wisconsin and farm safety is a priority for farmers. Rural Mutual has been protecting farms across the state for over 80 years. We also believe in protecting the families and children in our farming communities.
Learn more about our safety initiatives by reading our farm safety articles, visiting the websites of our safety partners, or contact us. Request more information to support your safety programs or schedule a training seminar today.