Vol 4., No. 6, October 2003
THOUGHTS & QUOTES
"Wanna go for a tractor ride?"
How many of you have noticed the
commercial for Singulair (allergy medicine) that airs on tv where
woman visits her fiance's parents on the farm and at the very
rides with her future father-in-law on the tractor? Not only
depicting an unsafe practice, but they also show an old tractor
safety features such as ROPS. The media's 'nostalgic' view of
We did call Merck and wrote an initial e-mail-we did receive
response (so now we have a real name!) and they noted they would
their ad department review it. We followed up with a more descriptive
letter. We have posted a copy of the letters and background information
As you see these types of unsafe practices
depicted in the media, make a
point to contact them and mention why these things should not
'glamorized'! Often, after taking the safety class, my former
will comment how much more observant they are when they see something
like this. A few years ago, there was an ad (in print) that was
instructional seat on a tractor. The ad showed a child with dad
tractor cab and in the write-up it said safe for kids and adults
your 'buddy' with to work! What would people's reaction have
been if they
would have depicted that setting for a backhoe at a construction
Outrage no doubt!
The ad can be viewed at the Singulair
Available on NASD is a "Guide
to Communicating Farm Safety for Editors,
Illustrators, Cinematographers, and Photographers"
A victim of a PTO related amputation
summarized a safety message in the
following thought provoking statement: "Personal protective
may be warm and uncomfortable for the short amount of time it
required....but a prosthesis can be uncomfortable for the rest
life. Think before taking a short cut."
TIPS FOR PREVENTING
After motor vehicle incidents falls account
for more deaths than any other
unintentional injury cause. One in five of all hospital visits
unintentional injury are the result of falls.
The three leading causes are 1) stairs
and steps 2) falls from beds and 3)
falls from ladders.
Fact sheets etc. for fall prevention
can be found at the National Safety
Council's Web site: http://www.nsc.org/issues/fallstop.htm
NIOSH IDENTIFIES HAZARDS
OF BALING EQUIPMENT, SUGGESTS WAYS TO PREVENT DEATHS, INJURIES
Several workplace measures for preventing
job-related deaths and injuries
associated with baling and compacting machines are recommended
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
in a new
Thirty-four workers were killed between
1992 and 2000 when they were
caught in or crushed by the powerful compacting rams in baling
compacting machines, according to data analyzed by NIOSH. Baling
compacting machines are widely used in manufacturing and retail
businesses to compress large amounts of cardboard, scrap metal,
solid waste into smaller bales for handling and transportation.
In some balers or compactors, materials
are placed directly into the
chamber where they will be compressed. In other models, the materials
fed into a chute or hopper. Fatalities generally have involved
in which employees entered a compactor to clear a jam, fell into
of the ram, or reached into the machine while it was operating.
Material jams commonly occur in balers
and compactors. Because many
machines are automatically activated by the material that flows
the compacting ram stops moving when a jam occurs, the bulletin
Employees may not recognize that these machines are still turned
can begin operating again suddenly. Employees also may not fully
appreciate the hazards of entering or working near the hoppers
material into the machine, according to NIOSH.
Safety measures recommended by NIOSH
include the following:
- Whenever a baler or compactor is being
unjammed, maintained, or
repaired, it should be de-energized. In addition, pursuant to
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules on
lockout and tagout, the controls should be locked to prevent
the machine from being turned on again inadvertently, and should
be tagged to inform other employees that the machine is temporarily
out of operation.
- Balers and compactors should be equipped
with machine guards and with
safety interlocks that will immediately stop the machine if an
attempts to gain access to the ram or the ram area.
- Employers should establish and follow
standard procedures for dealing
safely with jams and other disruptions, and for requiring machine
operators to account for the presence of co-workers before activating
- Platforms incorporating stairs and railings
should be provided near the
opening of feed chutes to provide safe access for clearing jams.
- Employers should train their employees
to recognize the hazards of
working near balers and compactors, and to be familiar with safe
- Employers should not assign employees
under age 18 to service, load,
operate, or help operate balers and compactors, except for one
exemption allowed by law as long as certain safety requirements
followed. The exemption under U.S. labor standards allows workers
aged 16 and 17 to load de-energized scrap paper balers and cardboard
compactors, as long as the equipment is turned off, the switch
in the "off" position, and the employer posts a notice
that the machine
meets given design requirements. Where this exemption is allowed,
employer should ensure that these safety requirements under the
exemption are met, NIOSH recommended.
"NIOSH Alert: Preventing Deaths
and Injuries While Compacting or Baling
Refuse Material," DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2003-124,
is available from
1-800-35-NIOSH or from the NIOSH web page at
AG FIRST-AID FOR CUTS,
PUNCTURES, SNAKE BITES, AND SPLINTERS
Basic first aid for treating cuts-remember in the ag setting,
infections are more likely due to the nature of what gets into
(grease, manure, plant materials etc.). Gaping and deep wounds
seen by a medical expert. The basic steps for minor wounds are:
- Stop bleeding by applying gentle pressure
with a clean cloth or bandage
- Clean the wound with clear water
- Use an antibiotic after you clean the
wound. The antibiotic won't make the wound heal faster, but it
will discourage infection.
- Cover the wound to keep the bacteria
Puncture wounds may not bleed, but they present a risk of becoming
infected. The items that may cause puncture wounds such as nails
tacks are exposed to tetanus spores and bacteria. If the wound
follow the procedures listed above for cuts. If it is deep enough
draw blood, is contaminated, or is the result of a bite, see
A recent article in Progressive Farmer (October 2003) offered
recommendations for treating snakebites. The article states that
the best way to avoid being bitten is to be observant. Be sure
to wear boots when working or walking in snake territory. Using
a cell phone is a quick way to get help if bitten. Experts still
disagree on the recommendations response a snake bite victim
should make, but try to get to a hospital within an hour of the
bite. Here are the recommendations for what to do if bit:
- Stay calm. Call for help.
- Remove jewelry in case of rapid swelling.
- Squeeze the venom gently from the bite
site and suck it out. Venom taken orally is not harmful.
- Mark the time symptoms begin to occur,
especially swelling. This helps the doctor calculate how much
venom you've received.
- Keep the stricken portion of the body
below heart level.
- Note the type of snake if possible.
- Get to the hospital as quickly as possible.
- Get a tetanus shot.
- Do not walk or run around.
- Do not cut the wound.
- Do not use a torniquet.
- Do not drink alcohol. It speeds the
heart and blood flow.
- Do not put ice on the bite. This has
proven a major factor leading to
amputations after a snake bite.
- Do not try to kill the snake. You run
the risk of being bitten again.
"Most splinters eventually work out on their own. But stubborn
can cause pain, swelling and infection if not removed promptly.
to 'milk' the splinter out by gently squeezing on each side of
make a child more comfortable, you can try rubbing the site with
teething gel or ice. Keep in mind that chilling the area may
splinter to retract. Clean a needle, a pair of tweezers and a
of nail clippers with isopropyl alcohol or Betadine solution,
and let air
dry. Wash the skin where the splinter is lodged with soap and
Betadine. With the tip of the needle, make a small hole in the
the splinter. Gently try to squeeze the splinter through the
the tweezers to pull out the splinter as soon as you can get
hold of it.
If the needle fails to open a path, use the nail clippers to
away the skin above the splinter. Soaking the area in warm water
soften the skin if you're having trouble getting to the splinter.
a doctor about any prolonged redness or pain." Pam Henderson,
Journal Magazine, Mid-January 2002.
MANY ISABEL INJURIES/DEATHS
DUE TO CARBON MONOXIDE FROM IMPROPER USE OF GENERATORS
Just a reminder to not use gas-powered
generators indoors. Even though
they have a warning label about not using them inside, many people
did just that when their homes were darkened from Hurricane Isabel.
Others were overcome by carbon monoxide (CO) when using charcoal
grills to cook inside.
Safety tips for when the electric goes out can be found at the
Consumer Products Safety Commission Web site:
In the time span of Sep. 19-22 there
were 31 reported cases of CO poisoning in homes from generators
and four serious house fires caused by
candles or power surges as electricity was restored. This was
in just one
county, Montgomery County, near Washington, DC.
Details about generators can be found
in the Disaster Handbook:
View the entire Disaster Handbook starting
SAFETY AROUND FARM
The following water safety publication
includes an activity that can be
done in a day camp or other training type of setting. It also
tips for constructing rescue stations near farm ponds.
(American Red Cross)
SURGE PROTECTORS CAN
POSE A FIRE HAZARD
In 1996, electrical cords and plugs were
involved in about 7,100 fires
resulting in 120 deaths or about 32 percent of all deaths associated
residential electrical system fires.
Most modern businesses and homes are
supplied with 220-volt power systems. Heavy draw appliances such
as air conditioners, dryers, and electric
stoves operate on 220-volts and are not protected by surge protectors.
Other appliances operate on 110-volts. These include computers,
microwaves, stereo equipment and TV sets. These items are often
used with surge protectors. The normal voltage flow will range
from 110-117 volts. Surge protectors are designed to trap the
voltage that exceeds those
Excessive voltage occurs due to power
spikes. When these spikes
occur for a sufficient duration, they activate a trapping device,
metal oxide varistor (MOV), located in the surge protector. The
MOV is the
heart of a surge suppressor. The role of the MOV is to divert
current. However, MOVs wear out with use. As more surges are
MOVs life span shortens, and failure becomes imminent. There
forewarning or visual indication given -- just failure. And while
they can reach very high temperatures, and actually start fires.
Most surge protectors will continue to
function as a power strip, even
though the power spike may have destroyed the surge trap mechanism.
presents two possible dangers: 1) If another power surge should
can damage the equipment or appliances that are plugged into
protector, and 2) If sufficient voltage passes through the surge
due to a second power spike, a resistant short may have been
allowing heating to occur and a fire to ignite.
When buying this equipment, look for
a surge protector with an indicator
light that tells you if the protection components are functioning.
MOVs will burn out after repeated power surges. Without an indicator
light, you have no way of knowing if your protector is still
properly. Unfortunately due to manufacturing differences, the
light may be
"on" or "off" during proper operation. It
is important to review the
operating instructions provided with the surge protector.
Every year, thousands of fires result
from surge protectors, power strips
and electrical cords. Listed below are some suggestions to help
possible fire from igniting.
- USE ONLY SURGE PROTECTORS OR POWER STRIPS
THAT HAVE AN INTERNAL
CIRCUIT BREAKER. These units will trip the breaker if the power
over loaded or shorted to prevent overheating and fire.
- Any surge protector or power strip that
has frayed wires, or has a unit that is not working properly,
should be replaced immediately.
- Surge protectors, power strips, or extension
cords are not a substitute for permanent wiring.
- If at any time the surge protector or
power strip is hot to the touch, remove and replace the unit.
The electrical load for this strip should be evaluated for overloading.
- Do not plug a surge protector or power
strip into an existing surge protector or power strip. This practice
is called "daisy chaining" or "piggy backing"
and can lead to serious problems.
- The Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label
must never be removed from the unit. On the underside of the
casing, there should be the manufacturer's name and the name
of the testing lab where the unit was tested.
- There should only be one surge protector
or power strip plugged into a single duplex electrical outlet.
- Do not locate a surge protector or power
strip in any area where the unit would be covered with carpet,
furniture, or any other item that will limit or prevent air circulation.
- Do not locate a surge protector in a
All surge protectors or power strips
need to be UL approved. Be sure that
the product is listed as a TRANSIENT VOLTAGE SURGE SUPPRESSOR.
This means that it meets the criteria for UL 1449, UL's minimum
performance standard for surge suppressors. There are a lot of
power strips listed by UL that have no surge protection components
at all. They are listed only for their performance as extension
cords. On a UL listed surge protectors, you will find a couple
of ratings. Look for:
- Clamping voltage. This tells you what voltage will cause the
conduct electricity to the ground line. A lower clamping voltage
better protection. There are three levels of protection in the
UL rating -- 330 V, 400 V and 500 V. Generally, a clamping voltage
more than 400 V is too high.
- Energy absorption/dissipation. This rating, given in joules, tells you how
much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails. A
higher number indicates greater protection. Look for a protector
that is at least rated at 200 to 400 joules. For better protection,
look for a rating of 600 joules or more.
- Response time.
Surge protectors don't kick in immediately; there is a very slight
delay as they respond to the power surge. A longer response time
tells you that your computer (or other equipment) will be exposed
to the surge for a greater amount of time. Look for a surge protector
that responds in less than one nanosecond.
Visually inspect all surge protectors
or power strips on a regular basis
to ensure that they are not damaged or showing signs of wear
During the visual inspection, ensure that the plug is fully engaged
their respective outlets. The surge protector or power strips
always have either a polarized plug with one of the blades being
then the other one or a three-prong grounded plug. Never use
a three to
two prong adapter to power the unit. Surge protectors or power
should have a cord of no more than 6 feet in length. When the
protector or plug strip is not in use, unplug the cord from the
Photos of an office fire from a surge
protector can be found at:
Information about surge protectors that
were on the recall list as well as
additional safety tips are provided by the U.S. Consumer Product
Commission at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml99/99069.html
NEWS & NOTES is an e-mail
newsletter prepared by Carol J. Lehtola, Extension Agricultural
Safety Specialist. Design Team FL 124: Prevention and Preparedness:
Agricultural Safety & Disaster Management. Department of
Agricultural and Biological Engineering, UF/IFAS. If you have
safety- or disaster-related questions or ideas that you would
like to share with other agents, please contact Dr. Lehtola.
If you know someone interested in receiving this, we will gladly
add them to the e-mail list.
Florida AgSafe Web site:
The Disaster Handbook: http://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu
National Agricultural Safety