First Aid Tips for Everyone

Farming continues to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the death rate is seven times higher than the national average. Basic first aid knowledge can go a long way in helping yourself and others while working. Kyle Kriegl, Executive Director for the Southwest Wisconsin Chapter of the Red Cross, discusses common incidents that can happen while working and how to address them.

How to Treat Common First Aid Injuries

Heat Emergencies


  • Dizziness/fainting
  • Nausea
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Heat cramps
  • Weakness


  • Go to the shade or cooler environment
  • Loosen clothing
  • Spray with cool water or apply wet cloths to the skin
  • Drink fluids, such as water or a sports drink


  • Remove the stinger quickly
  • Wash the area with soap and water
  • Add a small amount of disinfectant/cream/gel to the wound
  • Cover the cut or apply a cold pack to the sting

CPR (Compression Only)


  • Person is not breathing
  • Person does not have a pulse

CPR Compression Steps

  1. Ensure person is on a firm, flat surface
  2. Kneel beside the person
  3. Place to hands in center of chest: fingers interlaced and off the chest, shoulders directly over hands, elbows locked
  4. Push hard and fast without stopping: rate at 100-120 per minute, depth at least 2 inches
  5. Allow chest to return to normal position after each compression
  6. Continue giving chest compressions until they show an obvious sign of life or the EMS arrives

Take A Course

You can spend 15-20 minutes learning basic CPR through the American Red Cross. You can further this education by getting a certification. The Red Cross offers several other training courses focused on first aid.

First Aid App

Kriegl recommends downloading the Red Cross’ First Aid smartphone app. Search “First Aid: American Red Cross” in your Apple or Google Play Store, and it’s one of the first apps to come up. This mobile app gives quick guidance on simple, important actions to take in an emergency.

There is also a sister app by the Red Cross that covers first aid for your pets.

What To Keep In Your First Aid Kit

The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety recommends keeping the following in a first aid kit:

  • Large scissors/trauma shears to cut through heavy clothing
  • Large bandages and knuckle bandages for when cuts and scrapes require more than a small adhesive bandage
  • Thermal blanket to protect from the elements
  • Eye wash
  • Instant cold compresses

Other considerations

  • Alcohol wipes
  • Gauze
  • Hand wipes
  • Sugar packets (in case of dangerous drops in glucose levels if diabetic)
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen

Keep your First Aid Kit in a protected area where you’ll be able to access it quickly, such as in the tractor, combine, UTV, farm shop, dairy barn or truck.

Rural Mutual believes in keeping Wisconsin farms, families and children safe. Reach out to a local Rural Mutual agent to make sure you’re protected.