My husband, and our trainees, like to call me “Safety Teresa” because I am the one who coordinates many of our fame safety activities and conversations. This lighthearted teasing is funny, but it is also a great way to make a sometimes-difficult topic more accessible. We work hard to promote a safety culture on our farm because we acknowledge two things:
our workplace is also our home, so we have to work and play in the same space
we didn’t get to design the perfect safety-oriented yard site, we are working with what we have
I know that many farm families are working with those same two realities, and that sometimes those realities make farm safety and safety planning a stressful topic. Luckily, personal protective equipment (PPE) is a low-cost, high-impact place to start when looking to improve farm safety.
My top five everyday Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items on a farm:
Steel toe boots
Eye protection (sunglasses, safety glasses, welding shield)
High visibility clothing
Properly fitting gloves designed for your job (rubber gloves/leather gloves)
BONUS: Cell phone on your person (clip/pouch)
The bonus of having, and using, personal protective equipment is that it is a highly visible way to affect the safety culture on your operation. The key to personal protective equipment is that it is personal. Everyone will be more likely to use their PPE if it does not get in the way of their work. Operators, farm extenders and employees will each have different preferences, as well as different size or fit requirements so it may take some trial and error before finding the best fitting equipment.
Planning for a safe spring starts now, so get shopping!
Next on the list - PPE for specialty jobs