Each year, between 1,800 and 3,000 preventable incidents involving pesticide exposure occur. Pesticides pose risks of short- and long-term illness to farmers, farm workers and their families.
Pesticides can present a hazard to applicators, to harvesters reentering a sprayed field, to family members due to take-home contamination, and to rural residents via air, groundwater and food.
National Farm Safety Week is Sept. 17-23. Celebrate this year by making sure farm chemicals are kept safe.
- Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions for proper storage.
- Keep chemicals in their original containers and don’t pour into smaller bottles.
- Don’t remove labels from container and make sure chemicals are properly labeled.
- Store chemicals in a locked, well-ventilated shed with floors that will contain spills.
- Store chemicals and personal protective equipment in different locations.
- Store the filter(s) from masks separately to contaminated protective equipment when not in use — for example, in a zip-locked bag or an ice cream container.
- Do not store liquid chemicals above solids.
- Separate different classes of chemicals to prevent reactions.
- Store animal feeds, seeds and fertilizers separately from other chemicals.
- Have mop-up materials on hand, such as sand, soil or Drysorb.
- Keep ignition sources well away from chemicals.
- Keep a record of the chemicals you buy, store and use and regularly check that the containers show no sign of rust or damage.
Farmers and commercial pesticide users generally cannot dispose of pesticides in household hazardous waste programs.
Many states run pesticide disposal programs specifically for farmers and commercial pesticide users, which are often referred to as “Clean Sweep” programs.
Sources: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.farmsafety4kids.net/, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
(Farm and Dairy is featuring a series of “101” columns throughout the year to help young and beginning farmers master farm living. From finances to management to machinery repair and animal care, farmers do it all.)
More Farming 101 columns:
- When should a farm become a business entity?
- Harvest prep: Check your yield monitors
- How to tag livestock properly
- 6 tips for decision making on a family farm
- 8 tips to prepare your farm for agritourism
- How to plan for farm emergencies
- 7 keys to success on the farm
- 7 tips for healthy fair animals
- 5 tips to ensure livestock health before the fair
- 6 tips to keep your livestock parasite free
- 6 tips for vaccinating your livestock
- 5 tips to prevent dairy cow foot problems
- 6 common foot problems found in dairy cows
- Recognize, prevent heat stress in dairy cattle
- How to monitor your dairy herd
- How to start your own dairy farm
- 5 tips for sun safety in the field
- Employing youth for the summer
- What to do if a hay fire occurs
- How to prevent hay fires
- How to extend the life of your fence
- 10 safety tips for installing electric fences
- How to chose the right fence for your farm
- How to create a fencing plan
- 7 steps for easy sprayer calibration
- Prepare for planting season, Part 2: Calibration
- Prepare for planting season, Part 1: The Basics
- 7 tips to improve security on your farm
- 5 tips to protect your farmland
- 3 measures to deal with severe farm debt
- How to buy time to catch up on farm debt
- 6 tips to manage income on the farm
- 5 tips to recognize and deal with farm stress
- How to prepare a livestock birthing kit
- 5 tips for marketing your farm
- How to develop farm mission, vision statements
- 5 tips for setting farm goals
- 2 types of livestock insurance policies
- 6 things you need to know about WFRP plans
- 3 basics of crop insurance
- How does liability insurance work on the farm?
- Why do I need farm insurance?
- How to understand and use Ohio’s CAUV
- How to utilize the Pa. Clean and Green Act
- 9 tips for filing farm taxes
- 8 reasons record keeping for taxes is essential
- 5 tips for post-harvest storage
- 7 tips for family meetings on the farm
- 4 tips for balancing your farm and family
- 4 tips for communicating on the family farm
- 4 tips for firing an employee
- 6 tips for keeping good farm help
- 4 tips for recruiting farm labor
- 5 general farm labor laws
- 4 tips for employing minors
- 4 tips for PTO safety
- 5 things young farmers should know about finances
- The farm balance sheet
- 5 items for your farm’s cash flow statement
- Personal and business records: Keep them separate
- What to include in your farm business plan
- How to approach a lender: Tips for getting a farm loan
- How to use microloans to get your farm started
- Saving for the future: 6 tips for young farmers
- How to create a farm safety kit
- 5 tips for child safety on the farm
- 4 tips for transporting livestock
- 5 ways to better understand tractor stability
- 6 farm equipment hacks
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