Swine Farm Hazards

It’s been a while since I posted an article on hogs, so here is a nice summary of some of the hazards found on hog farms published by the North Carolina Swine Veterinary Group. I think most people who work on hog farms are familiar with most of these hazards, but it was an interesting read for me because it gave enough information to see how hazards on hog farms are similar and different from the hazards on beef farms. In particular, hog farmers are at higher risk for contracting a zoonotic infections since there is a bigger overlap between diseases hogs can get and diseases pigs can get. The manure gas hazard and respiratory hazards in general seem to be more of a problem in hog farming too, due to the higher concentration of animals and enclosed buildings. On the other hand, the risk of being injured while handling hogs is lower. Otherwise, many of the risks seem similar: ergonomic issues, noise, heavy machinery, needlestick injuries, and working alone. Here is the link to the original article if you’d like to check it out!

https://projects.ncsu.edu/project/swine_extension/healthyhogs/book1995/langley.htm

Image result for pig farmer safety

Preventing Animal/Human Disease Transfer

Today I’m sharing a recent release from the Washington extension office about preventing disease transfer from animals to humans and vice versa. The information sheet was designed with dairy farmers in mind, but these tips would work for any type of animal. There have been a couple of studies lately linking livestock farming, especially hog farming, with MRSA (
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria that has become resistant to common antibiotics) so consider making a disease prevention plan if you don’t already have one. It’s especially important to wash your hands frequently, and to not eat near the animals. Taking time off every time you have a cold might not be possible, but if you have to work while sick wearing an antimicrobial mask can help prevent you from infecting anyone else.

Click on the link below to see the article by the Washington extension:

https://deohs.washington.edu/pnash/sites/deohs.washington.edu.pnash/files/documents/Rabinowitz_DairyHygiene_flierJUN16%28ENG%29_0.pdf?platform=hootsuite

Click here to see an example of antimicrobial masks:

https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/curad-antiviral-facemasks-10-masks/ID=prod6068615-product

Video: preventing needlestick injuries

I came across this video on preventing needlestick injuries and thought I would share it. A lot of people I know have had one or more needlestick injuries, and they can be pretty serious depending on what was being injected and what after-care is received.  One thing that the video doesn’t mention is that the packaging for injectable medications has instructions on what to do in case of a needlestick injury.  Knowing what actions need to be taken for each medication you’re using before an injury happens is another step to add to your prevention checklist!  I’ve also seen people use needle cap holders to prevent sticking them selves when re-capping (click here to see an example of a commercially available product). I don’t think you would necessarily need to buy something to use this type of system.  Any tube the right size to hold the cap that is weighted enough on the bottom to not fall over would work.  The same goes for sharps containers.  You don’t have to buy anything fancy or custom-made.  A tuperware container with the end of the lid cut off and re-attached with tape lets you open the lid just enough to put sharps inside, and can then be re-sealed. Just be sure to label it!  I also like the belt system they were using in the video.  Probably about half of the needlestick cases that have happened to people I know were due to keeping the syringe in their pocket.