Farm safety: Build a first-aid kit
As the pace of farm activities picks up in the summer, the likelihood of accidents also increases.
That means having a first-aid kit on the farm is essential, according to J.W. Schroeder, the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s dairy specialist.
“But because workplaces vary widely in their location and size, the degree of hazards that can occur, the amount of staff training and availability of professional medical services, Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards do not require farms to have specific contents in first-aid kits,” he said.
He recommends starting with a basic range of first-aid items to deal with most types of injuries encountered on the farm.
“Then evaluate your own farm workplace to determine whether you need additional supplies,” he advised.
Here are some basic supplies farms should have in their first-aid kit:
• Absorbent compresses, 4- by 8-inch size
• Adhesive bandages, 1- by 3-inch size
• A roll of adhesive tape, 3/8 inch by 2.5 yards
• Antibiotic treatment
• Antiseptic treatment (spray, liquid, swabs, wipes or towelettes)
• Burn treatment for use on minor burns only (spray treatments also can be used)
• First-aid guide
• Medical exam gloves
• Sterile pads, 3- by 3-inch size
• Triangular bandage, 40 by 40 by 56 inches
Some additional items producers may want to include in their first-aid kit, based on the specific hazards in their operation, are:
• Analgesic (should not contain ingredients known to cause drowsiness)
• One or more bandage compresses in 2- by 2-inch, 3- by 3-inch or 4- by 4-inch sizes
• One or more burn dressings at least 12 square inches
• One or more cold packs at least 4 by 5 inches
• Eye coverings
• Eye/skin wash
• Hand sanitizer with a minimum of 61 percent ethyl alcohol
• Roller bandages at least 2 inches wide and 4 yards long, unstretched and individually packaged
“Keep safe and prepared this summer,” Schroeder said.
For more first-aid kit recommendations, visit the OSHA Web site at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3317first-aid.pdf.