Whether it is sports, school, or safety, doing the basics has a lot to do with success.
John Shutske, agricultural safety and health specialist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, stresses 10 basics for success in making a farm safer:
1. Buy a rollover protective structure (ROPS) for older tractors. If an approved ROPS is not available, avoid using that tractor or consider trading or selling it through a local dealer.
2. Replace all missing power take-off and rotating equipment shields. Shut off power equipment before leaving the operator's station.
3. Make sure lights, flashers and reflectors on machines work properly. Always use them when traveling on roadways.
4. Replace slow-moving vehicle emblems that aren't clean and bright.
5. Prepare farm machinery before the busy season. A well-maintained machine will operate more efficiently and reduce the chance of injury.
6. Use proper equipment and procedures when hitching and unhitching implements.
7. Never enter a manure pit, grain bin or silo without following confined space entry procedures. The gases and materials in these structures kill several farmers each year.
8. Make sure all workers receive specific instructions on their tasks and the machines they are operating. Be sure they read and understand all operational procedures in the owner's manual.
9. Take the time to learn basic first aid, CPR and emergency response.
10. Do not assign jobs to children, unless they are physically, mentally and legally ready to perform the jobs safely, follow directions and can respond to unexpected situations. This may mean waiting until kids are at least 16 years of age.