Posted by: Kelley Dees | September 7, 2011

Safety and Health Suggestions: Working senior ranchers and farmers–Part 1

Generally speaking, reducing or controlling injury risks and hazards is not any different for senior ranchers and farmers than for any other age group. Making physical changes to the working environment to completely remove or lessen exposure to hazards is easier than relying on an individual’s behavior around the hazard.

Below are suggestions that enhance senior producers’ safety and health. Examples of agricultural safety and adaptive equipment can be found on the National AgrAbility website’s Assistive Technology section.

  • Increase lighting levels in barns and other buildings to accommodate vision needs of older farmers and ranchers.
  • Ensure all steps, stairs, and handrails are of excellent quality and well-lighted. Light switches should be at both ends of stairs and by all entrances.
  • Put non-slip surfaces on walkways and steps where possible.
  • Have easily operated or maneuvered fence gates, building doors, and animal handling devices.
  • Use properly fitted and easily accessible personal protection devices such as safety glasses or face masks.

In the agriculture industry, the 65-and-over age group had the greatest number of fatalities involving machinery-related incidents. In our next post, we’ll discuss ways to reduce tractor operation risks.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information is adapted from the Wyoming AgrAbility 2008 Newspaper Insert. Source: National Ag Safety Database, Safety for Aging Farmers.

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