Do you have a safety policy for your farm? The incentives for creating a safety policy and thinking proactively go beyond having a safe workplace, notes Dick Wittman, an Idaho farmer and farm consultant. For every dollar in insurance claims, an employer spends $4 to $5.
Wittman encourages farmers to develop a safety protocol and review safety rules with all employees once a month. Online, it is easy to find Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) books, state safety guidebooks and even information from your state’s Department of Transportation for trucking safety. For starters, visit OSHA’s farm safety website at www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/FarmFactS2.pdf.
It’s also important that the fi rst line supervisor on the farm communicate on near misses and close calls, Wittman says. "Is your farm a playground or a worksite?" he asks. "There needs to be zero tolerance on worksites for violations of safety rules."
- February 2013