With the currency financial squeeze in agriculture, many have reduced their workforce and have asked for more work from fewer people. With this, there are risks to the farms which includes loss of lives, lower worker morale, and lower productivity. All these costs are far greater than what you save by trying to operate with fewer employees.
With that being said, you cannot hire your way out of this problem. Safety is an everyday issue and an every year issue. Here are some things to consider in developing a farm culture of safety:
1. Train more
Safety training should be a regular part of your employee development program.
Involve your employees in a discussion regarding safety risks involved with a certain task and ways to reduce that risk.
2. Discussing safety with your employees
Discuss and teach your employees how to handle cattle well and how to avoid being kicked or run over by the animal.
3. Train them in equipment operation
Greater care is needed regarding equipment operation.
Teach your employees to shut off everything before doing anything on the equipment.
The time saved by not doing that will come back and haunt you.
4. Talk about the the dangers o silage piles and potential for partial collapse
Remind your employees about the safety regarding manure pits and with chemicals.
Provide proper tools for your employees so that they can do things safely from a distance without endangering themselves.
5. Pay special attention to children
Most farm kids would have grown up operating equipment when they are young.
With that being said, they are still not fully capable of making good decisions in case of an emergency.
Hence, special care and attention needs to be given to these children.
6. Schedule breaks
Employees are not robots.
Schedule breaks for employees that have been working non stop.
Time rested will be rewarded with higher productivity.
Safety needs to be the top priority of all farm owners. You need to consciously build a culture of safety and practice yourself. This will definitely pay back many fold in the long run.