Wearing steel-toed boots with good treads that keep your feet warm and dry is a little thing that actually can have a big impact on safety. Feet that are too cold, sore, or wet make you more susceptible to slips, trips, and falls. Boots that have good treads can also help you keep your feet on the ground. Boots that come up above your ankle can help prevent ankle injuries if you do trip. Finally, sturdy boots with steel toes and a thick sole help protect your feet from objects and animals.
I think everyone in my family has experienced at least one injury because they didn’t take the time to put on proper footwear before going out to the barn. Over winter break 2 years ago I got a nasty bruise on my foot just from cleaning the shop because I was wearing regular tennis shoes. I was stacking scrap iron and a piece fell off the pile and landed on my foot. If it had been one of the bigger pieces, I probably would have wound up with broken bones! Even though I wasn’t going home often at the time, I tracked down a pair of steel toed boots to wear there because tennis shoes just weren’t going to work. Another time back in high school, I was very close to getting a nail in my foot because I had been wearing the same boots for several years and the soles weren’t thick enough any more to protect my feet. Luckily I pulled my foot back because I was moving slowly enough that I could feel the nail going through my boot but if I had been in more of a hurry it probably would have wound up in my foot.
So if your boots are getting old and worn, it might be a good time to invest in some new ones, and make sure that everyone is wearing their safety shoes if they’re going to be in the barn!
Here is part 2 of the respiratory protection video series. This one is about getting the right fit when you use respiratory protection. For cartridge masks in particular, it can be tricky to find one that fits your face correctly. You may need to try several brands to find a style and size that makes a good seal!
Here is the first of a 3 part video series on respiratory protection to go with today’s ag safety awareness week theme. It explains the different types of mask to use for different jobs. Depending on what you’re working with, those paper dust masks might provide little or no protection!
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.
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)
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).