Women's Week: Challenges for Women in Agricultural Work
Statistics show that women involved in agricultural work may be at an increased risk for certain types of accidents. While men are involved in more tractor rollovers, women are at a higher risk of being run over by tractors and other farm machinery according to data from the National Safety Council. Farm and ranch experts say that women often assist their spouses by helping hitch equipment to tractors. This activity may expose them to injury or death.
Another area of increased risk for women is working with farm animals and livestock. Preliminary data from farm states shows women often tend livestock while men work with farm tractors and other machinery. As a result, women may suffer disabling injuries from farm animals. In order to prevent accidents, the National Safety Council reminds women who participate in farm chores to take preventive measures such as the ones offered below.
Wear clothing and safety gear that is appropriate for the tasks or chores at hand. Boots and shoes should be fully laced and loose clothing tucked in to prevent power take-off and equipment entanglements.
Keep your hair neatly tucked under headgear or tied up when working around wrap points such as power take-offs.
Be extremely careful when helping to hitch implements to tractors. Do not get caught in a tight location between a tractor and other farm machinery. Learn the common hand signals associated with safe hitching procedures.
Always face unpredictable livestock so you can watch them at all times. Larger farm animals such as bulls and horses may panic or become aggressive and inflict serious injury. Swine, especially sows with young pigs, can be very protective of their young and may injure a person when aggravated.
Do not go along as an "extra-rider" on a farm tractor. Bumpy, uneven ground, quick turns and excessive speed may increase your risk of falling and being run over by the tractor or trailing equipment.
Source: University of Illinois Extension