Working on a farm can provide a great summer job for your teen. They can learn about being a responsible employee and also gain a wonderful knowledge of farm life by working during the summer on a farm. But there are dangers to farm work that parents and teens need to be aware of. Working on a farm can be wonderful for teens if all dangers are looked at and all safety precautions are taken.
Statistically speaking about 2 million or so teens work and live on farms in the United States. Statistics also show that 22,000 of them are seriously injured with about 100 of them dying each year on a farm.
Before allowing your teen to go work on a farm make sure they understand the risks involved and know how to work safely while on the farm. By understanding the workings of the farm equipment, animals and every aspect that goes into working on the farm, the risks of injury and death can be reduced.
Accidents that involve machinery and heavy equipment happen for the most part when someone tries to operate the machinery or equipment and do not have a full knowledge of how to properly operate it. Not all teens have the physical strength to operate some of these machines. So to be safe you should never operate anything on a farm that you have not been fully trained in how to use. Also if you feel you are not in full control of the machine then do not operate it.
Accidents also happen when people treat farm equipment like a toy. Tractors, ATV’s, lawnmowers and other such equipment are not toys. They should never be played on. These are all machines that are designed to serve a purpose and should be treated as such. Only use them they way that they are designed to be used.
You should always wear clothing that is appropriate for the job you are doing. Loose hanging sleeves and pants legs can get caught in machines, resulting in a serious injury and sometimes even death. Remember that this is a job so don’t show up like you are going to a fashion show. Wear what is safe for the job you are doing and worry about wearing fashionable clothing when you are off the job. This does not mean you can not look neat in your appearance but just don’t wear some of the latest flowing fashions.
Livestock can also be a source of injury on the farm. Farm animals are not pets they are there for a purpose and should be treated as such. Livestock of any kind can be dangerous and unpredictable no matter how docile it seemed the day before. So always approach the animal in a non-threatening manner. It the animal starts to act nervous or aggressive then slowly back away. Don’t try to continue to approach an animal when it acts this way. Most livestock on farms are very large animals and it will not take much from the animal to crush you. Also be careful when having to deal with an animal that has a newborn. Animals with babies can be very unpredictable in their behavior from moment to moment.
Also make sure to wash your hands regularly when dealing with dirt, farm animals and various plants while working on a farm. There are infections that can be picked up and transmitted from animals to humans. By washing your hands you can reduce your risk of getting infected.
By following proper safety precautions teens can stay safe while learning valuable work experience. So discuss these safety precautions with your teen and work with them and their employer to keep them safe.