Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses attention on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. To recognize National Safety Month, your Oklahoma Farm Bureau presents a weekly series that focuses on ways we can help make every aspect of our work and home lives safer for all. Join us, along with the National Safety Council and thousands of organizations across the country, as we work to raise awareness of what it takes to stay safe.
Choosing the right tool makes every job easier, and the same holds true for the critical job of helping to keep people safe. Identifying and eliminating safety hazards is the first step to help keep yourself and your team safe. An injury, accident or long-term illness could set your operation back, or worse, disable you from being able to perform the daily tasks necessary to maintain it.
U.S. Department of Agriculture sources and the National Ag Safety Database indicate that there is a shortage of statistics and information about agricultural injuries, their specific causes and risk factors. That said, data does indicate that farmers tend to have higher rates of respiratory disease, certain cancers, acute and chronic chemical toxicity, dermatitis, musculoskeletal syndromes, noise-induced hearing loss and stress-related mental disorders.
Identifying the Right Safety Tools
If a hazard cannot feasibly be eliminated, basic personal protective equipment, like eye protection, gloves, protective footwear, chemical protection items and ear plugs are the next step to help protect against short-term and long-term safety issues. Oklahoma Farm Bureau is working with Grainger to offer a selection of safety tools and personal protective equipment.
The Grainger Safety Solutions Center at grainger.com/safety can help you identify the right safety solutions and provides information on many other safety-related topics. In addition, Grainger.com® offers a Hazard Assessment Form to help you objectively understand your needs. Complete the form and use it as a guide to evaluate your personal protective equipment needs.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau members save at least 10 percent off Grainger catalog “each” price on personal protective equipment and all other Grainger catalog product offerings, plus all Farm Bureau Grainger.com® orders qualify for FREE standard ground shipping.
Use Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s unique account number – 854408606 – to “Register Now” at Grainger.com. Create a User ID and Password and view exclusive Farm Bureau pricing. To ensure your membership discount is applied, ALWAYS reference 854408606 when visiting your local branch or ordering at 1-800-GRAINGER.
Fit Like a Glove
Did you know the proper fit of gloves is very important in order for the best protection? Measure around the dominant hand with a tape measure to determine what size of glove will best fit.
You can relate the inch measurement of your hand directly to the numerical size listed for the glove. For example, if the measurement taken is 8 inches, then you would select a size 8 glove. If your measurement is over 8 inches, choose the next size up to avoid hand fatigue.
Keep Your Eyes on the Job
Not wearing eye protection is the most common cause of eye injuries, but wearing the wrong kind of eye protection makes up a large percentage of the pie.
The most reported eye injuries occur from flying particles and objects, and the second most common eye injuries are a result of accidents from chemical splash. Both types of incidents can be common in agricultural settings.
It is not uncommon for workers to use safety glasses to protect from impact of flying particles and objects. However, if you use the same type of protection for chemical splash or for protection from vapors, you are not protected. When the hazard assessment calls for protection from chemical splash or chemical vapor, goggles should be selected instead.
Right Shoe, Right Size
Protective boots and shoes are sized just like other footwear. However, women’s styles are often not available. When converting women’s shoe sizes to men’s shoe sizes you need to size down two whole sizes. For example, a women’s shoe size 10 is a men’s shoe size 8.
Another common protective footwear purchase is overshoes and overboots. Overshoes are sized to fit over the shoes being worn underneath and correspond in size with such shoe. For example, a size 10 overshoe will fit over a size 10 shoe.