Preventing Riding Injuries

Today I’m sharing a couple of articles about the most common causes of riding injuries and riding injury prevention.  The first article by Equimed (Click here for full article) identifies 5 causes that contribute to riding injuries. These are:

  1. Lack of proper training of rider and/or horse,
  2. Rider’s lack of understanding of horse psyche and behavior,
  3. Lack of proper equipment and attire for horse and rider,
  4. Inattention on part of rider or others around horses,
  5. Lack of preparation for unusual situations.

The article then describes in detail how training for horse and rider, proper equipment, and keeping your attention on the task at hand can help reduce risk of injury.

The second article comes from (Click here for full article). It provides details on the most common types of riding injuries, injury rates, and prevention.  A lot of the injury prevention advice is the same as in the Equimed article, but it also has a section on planning emergency procedures.

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Video: Animal Handling from the Dairy Safety Video Series

I came across a great series of videos on the US Agricultural Safety and Health Centers Youtube channel. The series is called Dairy Safety Training and the first video is on animal handling. They do a great job explaining where a cow’s blind spot is and how to get animals to move with the least amount of stress to you and them. I could see this series being a good tool to introduce new employees to animal handling too.


Safety Tech: Harness for outside of grain bin/silo

I found a harness system by Northern Strands designed for the outside of grain bins. A lot of grain bin safety programs focus on safety inside the bin, but safety outside is important as well.  A coworker of one of my classmates in the ag safety program was severely injured because he was electrocuted while repairing part of a bin’s electrical system then fell. A harness like this would have prevented some his worst injuries!  The system costs between $300-$400 dollars, which is cheaper than installing a cage around the ladder or switching to a stair system, and in some ways is safer because it’s guaranteed to stop you from falling more than a few feet.  I’d imagine that this system would work well for silo ladders too.  If you’re interested in learning more, click here to visit their website.

Grain Safety for Kids

Today I’m sharing some kid’s grain safety materials from the National Agricultural Safety Database. The materials include a background section for adults describing the risks of grain handling, a series of demos that can be used to show the dangers of grain handling, and puzzle activity pages that can be printed out.  (click here to see NASD’s grain safety for kids page).  Tragically up to 20% of farm fatalities are children (source).  While the most common sources of fatal injuries are falls/runnovers from tractors and ATVS and drowning, every year several children are killed due to grain entrapment, and many more have near-misses.  Kids are more likely to become entrapped in grain wagons than grain bins, and children visiting farms are at higher risk than children who live on farms.  If there are children living on or visiting your farm, make sure that they don’t have access to grain handling areas and equipment, and that they know it’s not safe to play in the grain.  The demo with the toy grain wagon listed on the website is really good at showing just how quickly you can become trapped. I found a video of the demo too, but it is definitely more impressive in person!

Video: Overview of Grain Bin Safety

Today I’m sharing a video that provides a detailed overview of grain bin safety.  It’s a longer video (almost 40 minutes) but it covers pretty much everything about grain bin safety, including advice for employers.


Grain Bin Safety Week: Nationwide Grain Safety Site and Upcoming Events

Hi everyone! It’s grain safety week,  so I’m going to be covering a variety of topics related to grain handling and storage over the next few days.  To start I’d like to share Nationwide’s grain safety website (.click here to see website)  This site is a one-stop resource for grain safety. It includes articles, risk management tools, promotional tools, and grain safety activities.  There are also a few grain safety online events that are happening in the next few days.  On Tuesday the 20th there will be a live chat about grain safety on twitter as part of Nationwide’s #AgChat series (Click here for info) and on the 21st at 1:00 central time there will be a webinar on grain bin entry (click here to register and to watch videos of past webinars).  To participate in the webinar, fill out the registration form. It looks like you’ll either be able to call in using the phone number and conference call number on the registration page or click the button that currently says “Meeting has not started” to connect on your computer.

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Riding Helmet and Motorcycle/ATV Helmet Reviews

Here is an article I found on riding helmets. It’s produced by a group called Risky Head, which specializes in reviewing all kinds of helmets.  The article has reviews of their top 10 picks for riding helmets along with a buying guide. Wearing a helmet designed for riding reduces the risk of dying as a result of a fall by 70%-80% !!(Source)

Click here for riding helmet guide

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They also have a top 10 guide for motorcycle helmets, which can also be used with ATVs. Wearing a motorcycle, motocross, or ATV helmet with a face guard reduces the risk for head injury by 64% (Source).

Click here for motorcycle helmet guide

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Signs for barns and stables

Here is a link to a website that sells a variety of signs, some of them  for barns and stables.  Signs can be particularly helpful if your farm has a lot of visitors,  if you often hire new employees, or if you give riding lessons.  Most people who visit the farm aren’t aware of hazards, and even people who are more experienced can use a reminder sometimes.  When posting signs, make sure that they are put where they will be seen before someone encounters the hazard and if they are in an area where they are likely to get dirty make sure to clean them off every so often.

Click here for sign store

Image result for electric fence signDanger Keep Out Bull On Premises Sign

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Slow moving vehicle signs are particularly important since 41 states require them for farm vehicles.  The law varies from state to state, so make sure to double check what the slow moving vehicle laws are in your area. It’s also important to replace any slow moving vehicle signs that are broken or faded, and consider upgrading to reflective signs if you haven’t already. Drivers are more likely to be able to see the signs if they are bright and reflective, especially at night.

Click here for slow moving vehicle signs

Slow Moving Vehicle, Fluorescent Steel Sign, 16"x14"

Safety Tech: The Safety Zone Calf Catcher and Wisconsin Extension DIY Calf Catcher

Came across this video today and thought I’d share.  The name of this device is the Safety Zone calf catcher.  It’s designed to attach to an ATV. It helps make it easier to catch calves for vaccinating and to keep you safe from mom in the process.  My dad actually improvised a similar device years ago by curving a wire panel fence into a circle so he could carry it with him and put it over the calf.  This device is a big improvement though because it reduces the risk of falling while catching the calf, has a much sturdier design, and has the inner gate to help hold the calf still. Costing around $2,000, it is more expensive than a foot hook or a wire panel fence, but it’s a huge improvement in safety and convenience.

Click here to see the Safety Zone website.

When I did a quick search to look for alternate products, I also came across a website from the Wisconsin extension that shows a similar homemade device that can mount to the back of a small tractor. The website includes a set of plans for building your own. The plans don’t include the inner gate that the Safety Zone version has, but it would be easy enough to add one if you want.  They didn’t mention how much it cost to build their prototype, but if you have the time to build your own, you might be able to save some money.

Click here to see the Wisconsin extension’s calf catcher

Click here to see plans for the Wisconsin extension calf catcher.