Next week is Agricultural Safety Awareness Week (March 4-8). Arizona Farm Bureau encourages you to practice safety on the farm and ranch. Watch for more information this week and next on this important topic. First, eye care and safety.

Consider eye safety recommendations with fresh eyes.   Eye injuries on the farm or ranch can translate into pain and related eye diseases along with loss of time, money, and possibly one’s eyesight.

Take the time today to consider potential eye hazards and steps to implement to prevent workplace injuries.  Not sure where to start? Consider the checklist below shared by the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center.

  • Do you work in a dusty environment which could include tasks such as feed grinding or haying?  Safety glasses or goggles are important to protect your eyes.
  • Do you grind or cut metal, cement, or wood?  Wearing safety glasses or goggles can prevent injuries resulting from small particles or objects striking or scraping the eye, like cement chips, metal slivers, and wood chips.
  • Do you work with pesticides or other chemicals?  Using chemically resistant goggles can help to prevent long-term adverse effects of chemical exposure to the eyes. Be sure to read the label and use the recommended PPE appropriate for the chemical in use.
  • Do you practice welding on your farm?  Be sure to use a welding helmet with special filtering lenses that protect the eyes from the strong ultraviolet and infrared rays that can permanently damage the eyes and cause blindness.
  • Is your eye protection in good condition?  Regularly inspect PPE and replace it when worn. Make sure eye protection fits properly and will stay in place.
  • Are your tools in working order?  Test tools to ensure that they work properly. Be sure that safety features (such as machine guards) are in place.
  • Do you know first aid for eye injuries?  The method of first aid needed depends upon the type of injury sustained. Let natural tears wash out specks or particles in the eye. Do not rub your eyes and see a physician if there is no improvement.

Safety on the farm and ranch must always be a priority. Post safety tips and hazards in your shop where all can read them.