The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Farm and Ranch Safety; Accidents increase in the winter


October 31, 2018

Now that the agriculture seasons has slowed and lots of the farm equipment put to bed one would think that farm injuries would be slowing down, but in truth farm accidents increase during the winter. Animals are the second largest cause of injuries. Slips and falls are the largest cause of worker related injuries.

Les Graham and Ron Larson are the states experts when it comes to farm safety. Sitting down and visiting with them during the Montana Farmers Union Convention. Larson said, “Let’s start with the feeding of the cattle and the repair of the equipment. You should immediately think of safety measures when working with any farm machinery. Even when repairing equipment, shields should be in place. Are you protected from running equipment? Also winter clothing makes it easier to get clothes caught in running gears and belts.” Graham added, “And in the winter when you have your equipment in the shop up on jacks you have got to block it. Don’t trusts the jacks.”

“When you are feeding cattle whether by hand or by machinery the chances of slipping and falling is a real possibility. Also, if you are working with cows in a corral it is really easy in the snow, ice, or mud to get trapped and it is not easy to move quickly making it easier to fall. And never trust a cow even if you know the cow is extremely gently. Mommies are unpredictable. Always have a way to crawl out of the pen.”

Compared to other states, Montana remains in the top two states with the most accidents. Larson, who respects all farmers and ranchers still said, “they do things with a wide-open attitude. Montanans have independent thinking. They just do things without thinking about what we can do to eliminate accidents before starting.”

Larson ended the interview with this story, “Let me tell you about an accident that happened over in the Dillion area. Dena(not her real name) was born and raised on the family ranch. Several years ago, they had an accident in the corral where a guy was hurt pretty bad. She went running in to the ranch office and called 911. And even though this was her home since birth she could not answer any of the questions. She couldn’t remember her name, she couldn’t remember her address. So, we always tell people to write that down on a card and put it by the phone during times of stress.” Stay safe!


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