Continuing with the theme of reducing time outside and preventing water tank problems over the winter, here is a video by Our Wyoming Life showing an informal experiment using different equipment and methods to keep tanks thawed. The experiment includes minimizing cost and maximizing thawing so you might find some helpful hints to save money. Having do deal with frozen tanks can be a major hazard in winter. You have to deal with cold exposure, trying to break ice while standing on ice, and trying to fix electrical equipment when your mobility is limited due to the cold and extra clothing. The less tank maintenance you need to do over the winter, the better. I also appreciate all of the safety equipment you can see in the background of the video; ATV helmets in the truck, cargo straps, fenced off electrical equipment, and overall cleanliness and organization. They seem to have a lot of neat videos so I’m going to binge watch a bunch of them and see what else I can pick out that would help with safety and prevention.
I saw this on Facebook the other day and thought it was hilarious. It’s a 1980 safety video produced by caterpillar. The safety recommendations they make are correct and relevant for heavy equipment operators and farm mechanics. The 30+ year old special effects and the music make it a fun one to watch. Enjoy the video, and don’t shake hands with danger!
Sharing a video by SAIF corporation that briefly addresses seven problem areas in the farm shop. There have already been several reports of eye injuries from grinding and from cutting metal wire. Wearing eye protection that completely encloses your eyes is important. The glasses-style ones are better than nothing, but pieces of metal can still sneak in around the edges when grinding. It’s important to wear your goggles even for small, quick jobs. Another trend I’ve noticed in the shop and elsewhere on the farm is that clutter and mess is a major contributing factor to injuries. For many of the reports in the database, manure, mud, caked on grime, debris from feed, and tools laying out cause slips, trips, and falls. When you’re in a hurry, it can be easy to forget to put things away or to put on your safety goggles, but the few seconds it takes can make the difference between being able to get on with your day and having to make a trip to the doctor.
Here is a link to a list of winter safety tips from the University of Maine extension office. A lot of these are good advice for anyone going out in winter weather, not just farmers. Be sure to stay warm and hydrated, make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you expect to be back, and watch out for slippery spots!
For me, keeping surfaces clear of ice and well sanded/salted is my number one winter safety tip. So many things that my family and neighbors encounter this time of year basically boil down to slipping and hitting something on the way down. Keeping up with shoveling and salting can be annoying, but it seems like almost every year there are multiple injuries just in the group of people I know that would have been prevented by putting down some sand.