Personal protective equipment (PPE) can reduce the number and severity of farmwork-related injuries and illnesses. Personal protective equipment not only helps protect people but also improves productivity and profits. Farmers and ranchers can share in these benefits by using the appropriate protective equipment for themselves, family members and employees when the job and its potential hazards call for it.
- Protect your head with a hard hat when performing construction work, trimming trees, repairing machinery, and doing other jobs with head injury risks.
- Use a sun safety hat (one with a wide brim and neck protection) to assist in the prevention of skin cancer.
- Protect your vision with appropriate safety eyewear (safety glasses, goggles, face-shields) when applying pesticides, fertilizers, working in the shop, or in heavy dust conditions.
- Protect your hearing with acoustic earmuffs or plugs when operating noisy equipment such as grain dryers, feed grinders, older tractors, chain saws, etc.
- Protect your lungs with the correct respiratory equipment (dust masks, cartridge respirators, gas masks, air pacts) when working in dusty or moldy conditions, spray painting, applying chemicals, working in bins, tanks, silos, and manure storage places.
- Protect your hands from everyday abuse with job-matched gloves and barrier creams.
- Protect your feet with safety shoes or boots with non-slip soles and heels.
- Protect your skin with impervious garments when using toxic or irritating chemicals. In addition, use sunscreen to protect against the sun's harmful rays.
Is appropriate PPE available in work areas?
Is PPE kept clean and functional?
Are shoes or boots equipped with safety toes, insteps, or shanks?
Is sun screen available in tractors and other self-propelled equipment?
Information supplied by the National Safety Council’s Agricultural Division, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) – www.necasag.org