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|0609 EL: Slip, trip and fall injuries can be very painful|
|El Lechero Dairy Basics - Management|
|Written by Barbara Mulhern|
|Saturday, 31 October 2009 17:00|
How often are you rushing to get the job done, thinking about something else, or just not paying attention to what is in front of you?
The following are among the many hazards on dairy farms that can result in a slip, trip or fall:
• Hoses, electrical cords, piles of silage or cracked concrete that can be tripping hazards.
• Climbing ladders or working from heights without taking proper safety precautions.
Often, slips, trips and falls occur when running through a dairy barn or after failing to clean up the area once a task has been completed. Slips, trips and falls may result in painful fractures or broken bones. More serious falls from a ladder or the top of a silo could leave you paralyzed, brain-injured or even dead.
Tips to protect yourself:
• Always practice “good housekeeping.” If you spill oil or water, clean it up. Don’t ignore other slippery substances on the floor. If you can’t clean them all up yourself, ask for help.
• Don’t throw used personal protective equipment (PPE) on the ground or floor. Put what you use back where it belongs or in a proper disposal container.
• Wear sturdy work boots or shoes with non-slip soles and good traction. Periodically check the condition of the soles to make sure they are not worn.
• ONLY work from heights if you have been authorized and have been trained. Your training should include knowing what safety precautions to take. These may include the use of fall protection equipment.
• Always practice ladder safety. Don’t set up a ladder on a slippery or uneven surface. Don’t carry anything in your hands when climbing. And stay off of the top rung.
• Use handrails when climbing steps. Check to see that the handrails are in good condition.
• Pay attention to the lighting before beginning a task. Poorly lit areas mean you may not see potential slip, trip and fall hazards.
• Walk – don’t run. Running, especially on slippery surfaces, is likely to result in a slip, trip and fall injury.
• Be especially careful when carrying large or bulky items that may block your view.
• Check your clothing at the start of the workday. Make sure your shoelaces are tied (and that they stay tied) and that your pants cuffs aren’t dragging on the floor or ground.
• Don’t jump on and off of high storage areas, silos, tanks or other equipment. Use a ladder or the steps that are provided.
• Know that changing weather conditions, such as rain or snow, can increase the chances of a slip, trip and fall. Keep all steps and entrance areas clear of snow, ice and other debris.
If you see a co-worker fall from a ladder or other high location, immediately call 911 and notify your supervisor. Try to keep your co-worker calm and do not move the person unless he or she is in immediate danger.
Know who in your dairy operation has been trained in first aid. Have someone contact a first-aid-trained supervisor or co-worker whenever an injury occurs. EL
Barbara Mulhern is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer who specializes in safety and health issues.