I pulled out my old print copy of The Farm Safety Audit: A Management Tool for Farmers (2003). Although this is not a new publication, the Principles of Accident Prevention in Production Agriculture* are just as true today as they were fifteen years ago.
1. Accidents have causes (some of) which are preventable and controllable.
2. There is usually more than one approach to preventing an accident.
3. Risk is always present in life.
4. To be human is to err.
5. Human perceptions of risk are not very accurate.
6. Human behavior can be changed.
7. Farm safety and health is the responsibility of the farm manager (as well as each farm worker).
We must keep these principles in mind, when we think about, and engage in, the process of a farm safety audit. This process involves four main steps:
1. Inspection and Identification of Hazards: hazards include physical conditions or work practices
2. Risk Assessment: assess the level of risk associated with each hazard
3. Corrective Action: corrective actions put in place the most effective hazard control
4. Monitoring: continued loops of safety audits identify other hazards and ensure corrective actions on previously identified hazards are maintained
Today we challenge you to get started. Conduct the safety audit process on your seeder or planter. As you being spring preparations, be intentional about safety; take time to identify potential hazards and then take actions to reduce or eliminate those hazards.
*Note: The principles come from a book entitled Safety & Health for Production Agriculture by Dennis Murphy. Read more here. I’ve added my commentary in italics.