Falls prevention on farms
Falls are one of the most common causes of death and injury on farms, especially among older farmers. Falls are common from horses, motorbikes, farm machinery, steps, haystacks, trucks, ladders, silos, windmills, fences, the back of utes and in livestock yards.
A fall can lead to long term injuries and make it difficult to keep on farming. A permanent disability from a fall is a common reason for people being admitted to hospital and then residential care.
Farms have a lot of potential hazards, like ladders, silos, windmills, gates and ramps. Falls can cause serious injuries even from waist height. There are lots of things you can do around the farm to help prevent falls:
- Attach extra grab rails on trucks, tractors, headers, ramps and steps.
- Use non slip tape on ladders, and non slip matting in the workshop; replace old steps with non slip metal mesh and a rail.
- Avoid heights where possible, but if you have to work at height, wear a safety harness.
- Install good lighting, especially around sheds.
- Wear well fitted boots with non slip soles.
- Tidy up workshops, don’t leave clutter around.
- Keep paths and walkways clear.
- Keep as fit as possible as you are less likely to fall if in good phyiscal shape.
- Write a checklist of potential falling hazards at your farm.
Remember, it’s much easier to prevent a fall than to recover from one.