Working on a farm or a ranch is how many individuals around the world make their living. You become familiar with your animals, with the routine, and with the daily tasks that have to be accomplished. However, as with any job where there are physical risks, it’s important to not become complacent during these daily tasks. Looking after and working with large animals and dangerous equipment means there is always the potential for injury.
Every farm will have different safety protocols depending on its unique setup, but there are some universal rules that can be followed to help minimize the chances of injury. Today, we’ll introduce you to these simple and effective ways to help yourself, your employees, and your animals remain safe on the farm.
Know Where You Can Safely Escape
No matter where on the farm you’re working, you should always be aware of the nearest escape route if you need it. This is especially important if you’re working in an area with a large amount of livestock, or if you’ll be working with them in a confined area. We’d like to believe that our animals will always be docile, but if they’re startled or become panicked, it can become deadly dangerous in a heartbeat. Before you enter, make sure you know how you can get back out again.
Keep Equipment Repaired & Use It Properly
No matter whether it’s an expensive milking machine or a fence around the property, your equipment is what allows you to look after your animals and do your job. Conduct regular inspections to ensure that they’re working properly, and don’t put off small repairs. A cracked fencepost could quickly turn into a safety hazard for your animals, and a rusted piece of machinery could lead to an immensely dangerous malfunction when you go to use it next.
Know Your Animals & Be Alert
Your animals will have their own unique routine and experiences, and if you’re familiar with them, you can use this knowledge in your favour. Let’s say that one of your cattle slipped on a patch of ice near the barn door. When they approach that spot again, they might hesitate, looking for another way around. If you haven’t been paying attention, you might urge the animal forward anyway, so as not to hold up the flow of traffic. This could lead to the animal panicking and trying to run in the opposite direction, causing a ripple effect through the herd.
Instead, be patient and let your animals proceed slowly and calmly. If you remain aware of your animals’ state and maintain a calm and in-control frame of mind yourself, you’re much more likely to pick up on and neutralize any situation before it develops.
Make Sure There’s Plenty to Go Around
When it comes to keeping animals safe, preventing overcrowding should be one of your main concerns. Make certain each animal has enough space to remain comfortable, both in their barn or sleeping area and in their feeding and watering zones. If animals aren’t able to eat or drink peacefully, they might begin to compete for resources, during which they could cause injury to themselves or to you.
An easy way to prevent this kind of competition is to make sure that your feeding and watering systems are designed to allow multiple animals to partake at once. Water is especially important, which is why you want to make sure you have a livestock waterer or livestock watering trough that’s designed to allow animals to quickly and easily access water when they need it.
Following these steps is a great way to get yourself into the proper mindset of preventing injury to yourself or your animals. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you’re still looking for that ounce of prevention for your animals, make sure that they have enough water with a good, sturdy livestock watering trough. At SPI Plastics, we have a range of livestock waterers, both energy-free and heated, to perfectly suit the needs of your farm and your animals. You can even browse our online catalog to immediately view what we offer.
If you’d like more information about one of our livestock waterers, including our easy-to-clean livestock water troughs, give us a call at (519) 935-2211. You can also send us a message or request a quote online.