Ag Safety and Health Posters

Since 2017, GPCAH has provided free posters and information to Ag Educators throughout the Midwest to assist with educating ag students about health and safety risks and prevention.  Click on the titles below to obtain details and publications related to the top. If you click on the poster image, you will find a full-scale poster pdf, suitable for printing on 11×17 paper.

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New posters for 2023 are available for download now!

Anhydrous Ammonia Safety

 

While anhydrous ammonia is a common fertilizer, applied to Midwest fields in the late fall after harvest or early spring before planting, it can cause life threatening injuries. If inhaled, it can cause lung irritation, severe respiratory injuries, and can lead to death at higher concentrations.  It is corrosive, and it will burn the eyes and skin on contact and can burn the lungs if inhaled.

 

The anhydrous form means that it is “without water”.  Anhydrous ammonia aggressively seeks out moisture with anything it contacts.  If it contacts your skin, eyes, or lungs, it will draw water out of tissue, dehydrating and destroying cells. It is extremely important to cover your skin and eyes when handling anhydrous ammonia and to wear respiratory protection during high-risk tasks where it could be inhaled (such as during tank filling, if escaping during a spill). It is also critical to have water to rinse hands and eyes if there is a spill or if it contacts skin:  providing another source of water to both react with the ammonia and to wash it off your skin is critical.

Anhydrous Ammonia Nov 2023 Poster

Click the photo above to download the poster on Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Check

 

 

How to Use in Class

  • Discuss when talking about nutrient application
  • Provide PPE to demonstrate safe practices
  • Show water tanks and demonstrate wash practices to follow in the field

 

 

Additional Resources

Cost of Injury

It is important to understand how much an “average” farming injury costs.  The study team examined data from workers’ compensation claims that were filed by farmers who were injured on the job.  Specifically, they looked at both medical costs and costs associated with lost time at work.  Our poster focuses on how much it will cost for the medical bills for a farmer who is injured on the job.  We present both the average cost across all injures, but also present the range of costs that cover 95% of the costs (there are a small percent that are above and below the range given).  These were organized by both what body part was injured (torso is the most expensive) and by what caused the injury (animals cause most expensive injuries).  These are provided to communicate real costs of injuries.  Be advised that one third of all farmer injuries result in lost work time, which is not included in this information.

 

Cost of Injury Nov 2023 Poster

Click the photo above to download the poster on the Cost of Injury

How to Use in Class

  • Incorporate data from poster when discussing different production operations (by cause)
  • Show when needing to motivate safe work practices throughout the program

Additional Resources

Gas Monitor Use

There are some operations on the farm that generate hazardous gases in high concentrations, and some of these exposures have caused farmers and family members to die.  Simple, low-cost gas monitors are available to identify these unknown hazards and save a life.  This poster highlights how to select, maintain, and use these monitors and summarizes what the concentrations mean.

 

Gas Monitor Use Nov 2023 Poster

Click the photo above to download the poster on Gas Monitor Use

How to Use in Class

  • Incorporate into livestock operation discussions
  • Incorporate into discussions on grain bin storage
  • Show when discussing emergency planning and response

Additional Resources

Respirator Seal Check

Many farming operations generate concentrations of dusts (“particles”) or gases that indicate respiratory protection should be worn.  Any time you put on a respirator, you want to make sure it is sealed – otherwise, it is not preventing hazardous gases and particles from entering your lungs.  The best way to make sure the respirator is sealed is to perform a seal check EVERY TIME you put a respirator on.  This poster identifies the simple procedure to follow every time you put on a respirator.  It shows how to do this with the filtering facepiece respirator (the “N95”) and with an elastomeric respirator.

 

Respirator Seal Check Nov 2023 Poster

Click the photo above to download the poster on Respirator Seal Checks

How to Use in Class

  • Post just outside areas where you want students to put on respiratory protection
  • Use in class when discussing tasks that generate airborne hazards that pose risk to farmers (grain transfer, pesticide application, anhydrous ammonia handling and application) to remind students of the protocol

 

Additional Resources

Safely Extracting Stuck Vehicles

While we may have safely extracted vehicles stuck in the mud before, there is a chance that the next time you might not be as “lucky”.  Some best practices include: making sure the tow vehicle is anticipating what would happen if things go wrong, selecting the right tow vehicle, ensuring chains/cables/straps and connectors (hooks, clips) are appropriately rated and connected securely.  When extracting, anticipate what would happen if things go wrong, and use information on this poster to guide you through steps and where to stand when connections are no longer slack.

 

Safely Extracting Stuck Vehicles Nov 2023 Poster

Click the photo above to download the poster on Safely Extracting Stuck Vehicles

How to Use in Class

  • When discussing vehicle operation, go over protocols and equipment to safely extract vehicles
  • Review the information before demonstrations or inspections of equipment

 

Additional Resources

Hearing Damage: How Loud is Too Loud?

Once the risk of hearing loss is understood, people need to understand when to protect their hearing.  When exposed to noise louder than 90 dB, hearing protection is needed.  This poster identifies typical sound levels of a variety of equipment and indicates the “Safe Time” that you can be in that noise for a given day.  Note that this presumes no noise exposures the rest of the workday.  Since this is not likely to happen, protection can help reduce personal exposures to noise.  This includes easily available hearing muffs and earplugs.

Click the photo above to download the poster on

Interpreting Sound Levels and How Long You Are Safe Without Hearing Protection

 

How to Use in Class

  • When discussing personal protection, risk prevention and management
  • Incorporate early in programs when demonstrating loud equipment
  • Discuss before internships begin

Additional Resources

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Hearing Damage: What Do You Have to Lose?

Farm workers suffer from impaired communication, reduced self-esteem, and disrupted intimacy, a result of noise-induced hearing loss. Most also experience tinnitus, a constant ringing or buzzing in the ears. Farm workers are exposed to excessive noise from: tractors, dryers, silage blowers, mowers, livestock, and chain saws, to name a few.  Exact numbers are hard to pin down, but studies in 2000 estimate that 72% of farmers have hearing loss. Since hearing loss gradually develops over a working lifetime, early prevention will have great payoffs later in life.  This poster explains how future hearing loss may affect common activities.  The right side uses disappearing words to visually illustrate how changing of hearing loss affects the ability to communicate as the disease progresses.

 

Click the photo above to download the poster on Effects of Hearing Loss:

What Do You Have to Lose?

How to Use in Class

  • When discussing personal protection, risk prevention and management
  • Incorporate early in programs when demonstrating loud equipment
  • Discuss before internships begin

Additional Resources

 

 

How Farmers Get Hurt

As you know, there are many ways to get hurt on the farm.  While you probably have stories about friends and family who have been injured, we have been looking across the Great Plains region to identify the big picture of farmer injuries.

Data from emergency room records and farmer fatality cases have been used to understand risk factors:  How do farmers get hurt?

 

How do farmers get hurt.png

Click the photo above to download a poster illustrating key injuries to farmers,

using recent fatality data.

How to Use in Class

  • To remind students of injury risks Incorporate into discussions focused on driving safety, material handling, machinery and livestock production

Additional Resources

Skin Cancer and You

Farmers work outdoors and, by default, are at risk of developing skin cancer from ultraviolet light.  Understanding the risk is important to motivate farmers to take simple precautionary actions.

 

Click the photo above to download the poster on Skin Cancer Recognition and Prevention

How to Use in Class

  • Incorporate into discussions on risk management, health care, personal protective equipment.
  • Show how to recognize what type of skin changes warrant going to the doctor.

Additional Resources

Tractor Safety: How to Prevent Injuries

To protect farmers, discussions on how to prevent injuries on tractors is needed.  The top five types of injuries identified as significant when evaluating databases of fatal and non-fatal injuries are identified.  Specific recommendations to prevent falls, collisions, and entanglement in machines are identified.  Specific recommendations to both prevent rollovers and to reduce the injuries if a rollover occurs are included.

 

Click the photo above to download the poster on Injury Prevention Tips for Safe Tractor Operation

How to Use in Class

  • Review when discussing tractor operation and safety
  • Incorporate into machine maintenance discussions

Additional Resources

Traffic Safety

Crashes between farm and public vehicles on roadways pose a serious danger to farmers.  This poster is intended to serve as reminders for those driving tractors on roadways but is also useful to have a conversation with other drivers during planting and harvesting seasons.

 

Roadway_Safety_11x17 photo

Click the photo above to download the poster on Traffic Safety

How to Use in Class

  • Review when discussing tractor operation and safety
  • Review prior to planting and harvesting seasons

Additional Resources

Tractor-Related Injuries

More Midwest farmers are injured on tractors than by any other hazard on the farm.  Tractor rollovers cause 33% of all farmer fatalities, highlighting the importance of using rollover protection.  However, we recommend understanding that many other types of non-fatal injuries occur when working on and around tractors.

Data from emergency room records were used to identify leading sources and events associated with how farmers are hurt on tractors. This poster provides information on how Midwest farmers and their families have been hurt when working on and near tractors.

Click the photo above to download the poster on Tractor-Related Injuries

 

How to Use in Class

  • Review when discussing tractor operation and safety
  • Incorporate into machine maintenance discussions

Additional Resources

Whole Body Vibration

Farmers report musculoskeletal pain, even more so than other industries.  Farmers report pain in the back, shoulder, arm, hand, and legs throughout their working years.  A significant risk factor to back pain is exposure to whole body vibration (WBV).  This poster identifies what WBV is, known health effects, and prevention recommendations. Exposures to WBV can exceed 8-hour recommended limits in as short as 2 hours, depending on the type and age of vehicle being driven.  Vibration is lower when pulling a combine, which is heavy and reduces vibration.  Farmers operating small vehicles (skid steer loaders) and older vehicles have increased risk of developing back pain.  We have also identified that while new tractors have improved vibration control seats, running these at faster speeds may result in the same vibration exposures as running older tractors at slower speeds.  How you operate your equipment affects your risk of exposure to WBV and your risk of developing back pain.

 

Click the photo above to download the poster on What Whole Body Vibration Is and How It Affects Your Health

How to Use in Class

  • Discuss how maintaining equipment helps not only good farming but can lead to improved health
  • In driving instruction classes, talk about the trade-off of speed and whole body vibration

Additional Resources