Waht are your thoughts on farm safety?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Silvercreek Farmer, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    I have seen a lot on this lately and I thought it would be cool to get some of your thoughts. Reading an older thread about the dangers of silos got me thinking about some things I have come across lately. I was watching PBS's farm show the other day and they had a lady on that went around to farm communities teaching safety, her son was killed when he thought he would ride the corn down in a gravity feed wagon, he was sucked down and suffocated. I am a very cautious person around equipment, but I have never considered this, it makes perfect sense, I had just never thought about it before, because I have never used this type of equipment, (and never plan to!) I have also read some comments by Joel Salatin talking about how much safer the organic pasture based farm was due to less equipment and chemicals, and how much more a child could help with thinks like moving chicken tractors, gathering eggs, moving electric fences, than they could on a more "industrial" farm, making them much more likely to enjoy farming and continue to farm themselves. This really struck a cord with me and made perfect sense, just pushing me further towards a pasture based farm. I don't even plan on having a tractor, some of you may think that is "un-american", but a big reason why I want to farm is so I can work with my children, not put them in danger. (Plus it is cheaper!) What are your thoughts?
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with all you said. Having an outside income of some kind would usualy be nessesary. With the father away most of the day puts more chores on the wife and children. Kids need to have some type of roll in tending the farm as soon as they can understand simple instructions and demostrations. Having little (and big) kids doing things within their capabilities makes good adults who know what makes the world turn. Having a saftey savvy adult traning them is a must.
     

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    We have farm safety days for kids once a year. I've never been to one, but you might want to check into it. If you were unaware of the danger of gravity wagons, you might learn a few things that could save your life.

    There's lots of ways to die on a farm, the more you know, the safer you are.

    Jena
     
  4. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    I think....I like farm safety.....better than farm danger. Farm danger is not near as much fun.

    I grew up with chain-hanging swings, metal monkey bars, construction sites, power tools, etc. No helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, full body armour OR liability waivers. I'm still alive.

    The sooner the kiddies are exposed to stuff...meaning power tools, farm equipment, sharp things, things that burn, things that will stab you, things that will cut your head off, etc. the better off they'll be. The dangerous situations occur with people who haven't been exposed to such things.

    Just like guns, adult supervised and educated. The kiddies will understand and respect the dangers. They will not be afraid. Fear has injured many people because they were too afraid to get in there and control the situation and consequently got bit by something. Kinda like a comedy about someone learning to shoot and they hold the gun out there at arms length, close their eyes and pull the trigger.

    Fear (these days) tends to be taught.

    [Teaching fear] "Now, Johnny, don't do that because you could get hurt."

    [Teaching respect] "stick this block in here before you stick your hand in there so you don't get your fingers cut off."

    Well, I like my fingers, so I'll stick that block in. No fear, just smart.
     
  5. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

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    I'm all for safety although I think people can get stupid either direction.
     
  6. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    Good points cats! I used to work at a daycare center and they were so people obsessive that they would not let the children run on the playground because they may get hurt!
     
  7. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

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    I'm for it. When I was about 14, I worked silage season pulling a wagon to the silo with an old M&M with a hand clutch. Seem's Mr Blakely decided to leave the PTO guard off it. Pulled up to the blower and fired it up, got on the back platform and leaned over to engage the hand clutch on the M&M to emty the wagon. The PTO caught the hem of my jeans and wound them up on the PTO shaft. If my boot hadn't been up against a piece of angle iron bolted to the platform, I'd have been wound up with my jeans. Ya know, the PTO guard magically reappeared before I got to work the next morning.
     
  8. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

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    I grew up on a farm. I started driving tractors by my self at the age of 7. I started driving a buldoser at age 12. I have not had a acident with any peice of equipment in my life.

    I have been careful with any peice of equipment that I operate. I learn how to opreate it carefuly and keep that in mind always.

    I see no reason for not haveing a tractor unless you enjoy doing things the hard way. You will need a tractor somethimes. So what are you going to do is hire someone else to risk their life and bring a tractor on your property?
     
  9. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    Our state requires minors who do farm work complete a farm/tractor safety class, usually presented by the county extention agency and attended by mostly 4H and FAA members, since I've never met a farm owner who asked to see it. That's what kids around here do for money in the summer, dangerous farm work. My kids have all taken the course. My kids have all had a serious injury from doing dumb stuff, like jumping out of the barn loft or off a moving horse... I think every one of them has a pin in a bone someplace. :) People do stupid things. Farms are not really safe places, lots of stuff with pokey ends and quicksand like behavior.
     
  10. RosewoodfarmVA

    RosewoodfarmVA Well-Known Member

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    Drove a tractor before a car....pulling three tobacco trailers on a major highway from field to barn...and learning to back them up!! Children can, and should, be taught to be productive with their time and energy, but it must be done in a way that teaches SKILL, not just how it works. They must understand how something works before they use it. Like with the gravity wagon, if they understood that the weight of the corn made it go down, and they weigh far more than the corn, they will go down faster than the corn. An ability to understand the way a machine works is essential to preventing injury (with adults as well as children).
     
  11. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    still remember the wm,en I cared for who wasn't wise enouhg to wear long hair under cap-- hair sucked in some machinery and nigh onto scalped with ear pulled off!!!!!!!!! dee
     
  12. bachelorb

    bachelorb Well-Known Member

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    If you can get by without a tractor.... great. My farm is mostly pasture based (80 acres), and I need one a lot of the time. I have read Salatins books too, and he has a lot of great points, but man I think it would be hard to do any kind of acreage without a tractor.

    That being said, my two biggest safety concerns are the tractors PTO and the baler. I always make it a personal rule to turn off the PTO when I'm off the tractor, unless I'm doing some belt work(I still work a 1950 JD B pretty hard) or stationary PTO work. I think loose clothing in a PTO shaft causes more accidents than anything. The other implement. The baler is also an accident waiting to happen. When I have to unplug it, I use an 8' prybar to turn the flywheel rather than the PTO. It takes a little longer, but since I mostly work by myself, its a lot safer
     
  13. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    Pretty hard to make a farm safe much easyer to be carefull. But if you havent been rised on a farm you have missed out on the horror stories,You havent had the dangers drilled into you for years. I think you should attend several SEVERAL safety conferences and also a few farmers tables ......the last may be more important.
     
  14. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    Tractors and machinery are dangerous enough but unless you're careless with the machinery, livestock can be more dangerous than any machine. Machinery is a lot more predictable.
     
  15. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Teach farm safety

    Many times Kids as well as adults don't see the danger in things,

    you talk about animals, (animals can kill, even smaller ones), there are do's and don't around all things,

    even if you don't plan on having grain wagons, tractors, or other things you consider dangerous, your in farm country, and your kids may be exposed to it, and possibly with out you around, they need to know the dangers and what not to do as well what to do,

    when my grand kids come one lives local and is experienced about machinery (he is 4) he has gone with his parents and been on job sites a lot,
    I have little concerned for him, (he knows to leave some thing even if it will be crushed by a tractor than to run to retrieve it), if some thing starts to move he get out of it way, and doesn't come running, and he knows to watch for things, and he obeys if told to come and come running.

    now the grand kids that growing up in town are a disaster to have around, they sneak up on you when your hooking up a machine on the tractor and then hide so they won't get in trouble, (as they want to get a ride on the tractor) they will cross the road with out permission, go into the animal pens, don't have a concept of tools, or of heavy objects, or the danger zones of things,

    you have to constantly look out for them and theres 4 of them, (I will hardly run any machinery if there here unless there in the house),

    and the other grand son can be out side and play as he know (not that I don't keep an eye on him) but the need is minimal,

    http://www.fs4jk.org/index.html
     
  16. quietstar

    quietstar Well-Known Member

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    Because I mostly work alone with limited time and energy, good tools and equipment allow me to mostly keep up with chores and improvments ( OK....I confess to loving fine tools for their own sake) I have lotsa' respect for chain saws, tractors with PTOs and brush hogs, etc and usually work just a little scared...keeps me alert and safer. Seems that a lot of folks get hurt when they become casual and over confident....Glen
     
  17. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    PTO's scare me enough to be paranoid cautious around them. The older I get, the more cautious I get.
     
  18. sheepish

    sheepish Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The most common age for kids to be killed on the farm is 3 years old. They are more mobile and faster than younger kids and have less concept of danger than older ones. Whatever the age, it is very important to teach kids about potential dangers and how to avoid them. If they are young, they need to be supervised or securely fenced away from dangers.

    In order to warn your kids about the dangers on your farm, you need you walk the land and buildings, looking for dangers. If your kids roam the neighbourhood unsupervised, you should have been where they go before they go there.

    Don't expect them to look at things with the same vision that an experienced adult would have. Whether it is animals, equipment or features of the land, like trees and water, things with hidden dangers can look like fun.

    One more thing before I quit my lecture, don't take stupid risks yourself. If that little voice in the back of your head says this may be dangerous, listen. Even if you get licky, that kid watching has now learned a bad behaviour.
     
  19. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Supporter

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    Some of the rules we have:

    No 'dangerous' work unless both my wife and I are here and the car is working incase we need it. Never have - Never want to.

    No rushing.

    Only do a task if you feel up to it, doubly so with dangerous equipment (chain-saw, tractor...)

    Avoid night work, ice work, rain work, etc if possible.

    We think carefully about safety in all we do and teach how to do things right to our kids when they are able to do things. They learn by watching us so we make extra sure to set a good example.
     
  20. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Farm safety is important.

    Most dangerous item on my farm is - the bull.

    And I only keep the calmer one, act up & he's gone.....

    I got 7 tractors & 5 gravity wagons, pretty comfortable with them. They are only dangerous if I am stupid. That's up to me. I started driving at 7, was productive with a tracotor at 8.

    I like the replies that mention training, thinking, & safe slow use of items.

    Your first message sounded like you are just fearful, and that's not a good thing.

    A pitchfork in the wrong hands can kill a lot more people than a tractor in the right hands.

    But, it sounds like you have a wonderful plan of how to garden & raise for yourself without the use of much machinery, & that sounds like a real good plan. :) Go for it, we have to do what works for ourselves, with our own interests involved.

    Sounds like you are setting up a nice place, with nice goals.

    --->Paul