The most common PPE for farmworkers
In this article, Jana looks at the most common PPE for farmworkers.
Farming can be rewarding work, but it is also one of the most dangerous professions.
Injuries and fatalities are more common than in other industries – in the UK, for example, agriculture’s rate of fatal injuries is 20 times the average of all sectors.
Working with livestock, moving vehicles, heavy machinery, dangerous chemicals and substances, the potential risks in a farming setting are numerous.
That is why workers need to be armed with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
Below, we will look at some of the most common forms of PPE used on farms – if you do not have these in sufficient supply, you will want to fix that as quickly as possible.
Safety wellies or boots
Agricultural work frequently involves operating on uneven ground and in bad weather.
Especially when you are performing difficult manual labour, you want to be as sure on your feet as possible to minimise risk, so safe and stable footwear is vital.
In most cases, it is a good idea to invest in boots with steel toe caps, which can help to prevent crushing from trampling or damage from falling objects.
In scenarios where potential hazards include cuts from sharp tools or exposure to dangerous chemicals, work gloves are a must-have piece of PPE.
Be careful not to just buy the first or cheapest pair that you see, though – different makes are designed to cover different hazards, so know the risks against which you are guarding and select appropriately.
It might not be the first physical risk that comes to mind when you think about farming. It is important to protect against harm to your ears, especially when exposed to loud noise on a regular basis.
Furthermore, it can often take a lot of time to realise the true extent of hearing damage, so ear defenders are a must for anyone who will spend time near noisy machinery, vehicles, or power tools.
Useful throughout the year but particularly relevant when harvesting or processing crops, respirators enable you to work without inhaling dangerous quantities of dust, fumes, mould, or other dangerous substances.
Breathing in too many harmful particles can cause both short- and long-term harm to your lungs, so do not take any unnecessary risks with them.
Protecting your eyes is a consideration for a wide variety of agricultural tasks. Shielding yourself from impacts from flying objects while doing manual labour is as important as taking sensible steps while handling harmful substances.
Chemicals like ammonia, for example, must not be allowed to get into the eyes.
To that end, safety goggles are critically important to have in plentiful supply. As with gloves, more specific models are available to suit the hazards of each task. Consider the needs of your workers before buying.
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