Seven PPE Tips That Will Protect the Safety of Every Agricultural Worker During Harvest Season

September 21, 2020 10:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Harvest season is here, which means farms across the country will be kicking into high gear to handle the oncoming workload. Part of a successful harvest season includes keeping yourself and your workers safe while you process crops.

OSHA estimates that almost 250 workers suffer from injuries every day during harvest season—injuries that cause them to lose time at work, and in some cases, may be permanent or even fatal. Injured workers lower morale, open the company up to significant financial risks and cut into your productivity. Be sure to use personal protective equipment for safer harvesting in Lubbock, TX. Here’s how to assess risks and prioritize the seven types of PPE you should be using.

Assessing the risks

The first thing you need to do as an owner or manager is walk around the facilities and identify the hazards present. Think about what could harm workers, guests, passersby and anyone else who might be in the facilities. Have there been accidents in the past? If so, are those same or similar conditions present now? Was there any way to prevent the accident from happening?

Another smart way to assess workplace risks is to ask your employees—the people who are actually using the equipment and doing the work every day. They’ll almost certainly have feedback for you, including where they feel unsafe, their personal observations about how the equipment and workers interact and what could be a problem in the future.

Once you’ve assessed the risks, you can start prioritizing addressing them. The most serious ones should be your immediate concern, but try to address them all if possible. Think about solutions you can implement, then put them into practice right away.

The seven types of PPE you should be using

Here’s a closer look at the common types of PPE that should be worn during harvest time in Lubbock, TX:

  • Clothing: Baggy clothing is a hazard. So are drawstrings and anything that can get caught in machinery. Look for flame- and chemical-resistant clothing with reflective safety features, which are tightly woven to help protect from the sun.
  • Eyes and face: Eye injuries are common in agricultural work. Consider UV protective sunglasses, face shields, goggles and welding shields wherever applicable.
  • Foot: Have your workers wear sturdy, steel-toed boots whenever possible, particularly those with enough rubber traction to keep them safe on slippery surfaces.
  • Hands: Anyone handling hazardous materials or heavy equipment should be wearing gloves. Depending on the task, you might like nitrile or heat-resistant gloves.
  • Head: Head injuries are common in farm work—use hard hats and consider the kind with sun brims if you’re working outdoors.
  • Hearing: Earplugs and ear muffs are crucial for protecting delicate hearing. Consider electronic headsets to keep in touch with workers.
  • Respiratory: Finally, respiratory protection helps when working with chemicals and fine particles. Masks and respirators will keep lungs clear even when working in dust and toxic chemicals.

Now that you know the common PPE worn at harvest time in Lubbock, TX, call M.B. McKee Company, Inc. for your industrial components and more.

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