Long workdays lead to safety meltdowns

Hoard's Dairyman: 

Long workdays lead to safety meltdowns

Mon, 10/18/2010

This year has been plagued with countless accidents that have severely injured dairy producers, or worst, taken their lives. Rollovers, auto accidents, exposure to toxic silo gas, hay bale crushing incidents, and electrocutions are just five of the fatalities that we know about since April that claimed the lives of dairymen we know.

Then there are the accidents that almost caused series injury:

The hydraulic hose that broke and sent the bucket loader down on top of a person helping pull fence posts.

A short time later, we saw a full load of corn silage being pulled by a pickup truck. The driver crossed a ridge too fast and snapped both front tires off the wagon’s hub and spindle. Luckily, the wagon didn’t tip, but the amount of repair needed on the wagon was tremendous.

Then there was the wagon, last Thursday, that the tires weren’t properly blocked when changing the flat tire on the road. It began rolling, popped off the jack, and did a 180-degree roll landing on the roof as shown in the photo. Fortunately, this accident caused no fatalities.

During harvest season, we are often racing against the clock and weather to get crops off. Low milk prices have caused many of us to do more with less. Unfortunately, workloads increase and as long days build upon one another, our senses get dulled, and farm safety can get compromised. To counter this situation, take a few minutes at the beginning of the workweek to review safety with your farm team. Pick a new topic each week; good safety measures not only save lives, but, in most cases, they reduce downtime due to less machinery repair.