It doesn’t take much of an imagination to understand the potential peril lurking each winter on the farm. From simple slips and falls, to ruptured frozen pipes, to deadly carbon monoxide gas fumes coming from heaters and pressure water heaters, there’s no shortage of wintertime accidents waiting to happen.
Fortunately, farmers can take preventive measures to limit the chance of an accident occurring. According to Oregon State University, late summer is the best time to do farm safety inspections. But as the saying goes, “Better late than never.” Here are seven tips on preparing your farm for winter:
- Conduct an all-farm inspection, including machinery, equipment, buildings, walkways, gates, wiring and pesticides. Clean, service and/or repair items if needed.
- Remind workers not to use pressure washers indoors.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in shops and other buildings that use nonelectric heaters.
- Check hydraulic fluid and antifreeze, and replace as recommended.
- Clean and drain pesticide application equipment. Use lightweight oil to prepare for storage.
- Inventory your pesticides. Re-read labels to note any expiration dates or storage temperature recommendations. Store dry pesticides above liquid pesticides.
- Determine if you can store unused pesticides, or whether they need to be disposed.
For additional resources, including inspection checklists, information on proper farm equipment storage and more, visit http://www.ipmnet.org/tim/Farm_Safety/Farm_Safety_Tip_-_Winterize_Your_Farm.pdf.
To share your own ideas for winterizing the farm, visit the AgWeb discussion forums.