Safety First on the Farm

Posted: July 13, 2018

Be careful. Be safe. Be cognizant of hazards on farms.

Safety messages resonated throughout Farm Safety Camp as young children were made aware of the many hazards which exist on farms. DeKalb County Farm Bureau organized the camp for the benefit and safety of local children.

Farm Bureau’s day camp reached nearly 80 kids with important safety messages on June 20 at Jonamac Orchard in rural Malta. This is the 13th year for the camp sponsored by Farm Bureau, COUNTRY Financial DeKalb County agency and Conserv FS in cooperation with area businesses and organizations.

Campers learned that farming is one of the most hazardous occupations. To understand and respect these hazards, safety experts shared key messages at each safety station. Safety stations included: ATVS/UTVs, Bicycles, Chemicals, Electricity, Farm Animals, Farm Machinery, Fire, First Aid, Grain Bins/Wagons, Hearing, Lawn Mowers, and Semi-Tractors.

Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. In the country, riding a bicycle can be fun but it’s important to also wear a helmet for protection. In case of a fall or accident, a helmet can prevent head injuries. Also, hand signals are important to notify motorists of bicycle riders turning, noted officers with the Sheriff’s Department. Children practiced hand signals while riding a bicycle at camp.

Be cautious around farm animals. Don’t approach animals without an adult present and ask permission to help feed or care for animals. Wear proper clothing and shoes when working with animals. Be careful because animals can bite or kick if they are spooked, said young animal owners who also are members of the Malta Mustangs 4-H. Young people told about their animals and provided safety tips.

In the case of a fire, know how to exit your house. Talk to your parents about a safety plan to exit your house in case of a fire. Stay low in order to avoid inhaling smoke. Make sure you and your family get out of your house safely, explained representatives from the Malta Fire Department. Children learned more by going through a smokehouse and seeing gear and equipment used to fight fires.

Know your limitations on ATVs/UTVs. Make sure you are of the proper age to operate an all-terrain or utility vehicle. There are age restrictions on the various sizes of these vehicles. Also, these vehicles require helmets and some have seat belts, said R Equipment employees.

In a matter of seconds you can be trapped in grain. It only takes 11 seconds to be completely covered in flowing grain. Monsanto staff shared grain safety messages with children while demonstrating grain entrapment with a toy-sized wagon and then allowed kids to tug at a rope to demonstrate the difficulty of pulling out a person trapped in grain.

Stay away from PTOs and other moving parts. Farm machinery can be dangerous when in use even though today’s equipment has many safety shields in place and safety features. Always make sure you keep your distance and the tractor driver can see you, explained farmers Andrew Almburg and Karl Faivre. The farmers demonstrated a PTO entanglement using a dummy.

Farm Safety Camp Contributors

  • Archer Daniels Midland
  • Commonwealth Edison
  • Conserv FS
  • COUNTRY Financial DeKalb County Agency
  • DeKalb Co. Farm Bureau Young Leaders
  • DeKalb Co. Sheriff’s Department
  • DeKalb Fire Department
  • DeKalb Implement
  • DeKalb Lawn & Equipment/TORO
  • Indian Creek FFA
  • Jonamac Orchard
  • Malta Fire Department
  • Malta Mustangs 4-H Club
  • Monsanto
  • NIU Speech, Language & Hearing Clinic
  • Pipestone of Bethany Veterinary Services
  • R Equipment
  • Ridge Ambulance Service
  • Sheriff Roger Scott
  • Syngenta