Agriculture Safety Tips for Families

Children:

  • Don’t ask to ride along in tractors. Even though it’s fun, passengers on a tractor can interfere with safe operation of machinery.
  • Always get permission to visit a parent or adult while they are working on machinery, and remain in a visible area to ensure the adult sees you. Blind spots create dangerous conditions when machinery is in use.
  • Be cautious when handling or feeding animals, and only enter pens that have been approved by your parents. Livestock can be unpredictable.

Teens:

  • Only use a cell phone when not working, but keep it close in case of emergency. Cell phones can be a lifesaver or a deadly distraction.
  • Be informed on child labor laws. Teens can only work in certain situations under legal guardians.
  • Be a role model and demonstrate safe behavior on the farm. Siblings and younger children look up to and take pride in older children and teenagers.

Parents:

  • Keep the rollover protection structures (ROPS) in the upright position and always wear a seatbelt to prevent a tractor rollover injury or fatality. Tractor rollovers represented nearly half of all of Illinois fatalities last year, so the ROPS should only be folded down in low-clearance areas and when absolutely necessary.
  • Always wear hearing protection – such as ear plugs or protective ear muffs – to protect from hearing loss. It only takes 2 hours for an open cab tractor to become dangerous to the human ear without proper hearing protection.
  • Schedule enough time for sleep. Lack of sleep inhibits productivity and memory, and slows response time.

Grandparents:

  • Think about your actions. Unsafe actions don’t always result in harm, but the risk isn’t worth it.
  • Recognize personal health and safety to avoid injury. Take caution when lifting heavy items or climbing in unsafe areas. If something looks dangerous or unpredictable, don’t do it.
  • Keep a cell phone handy at all times in case of emergency. Cell phones allow for easy access when help is needed.

Farm Safety Fact Sheets

The following fact sheets are provided as a service of the Carle Center for Rural Health and Farm Safety. Each is provided as a PDF for easy download and printing.

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