So you’ve made a safety plan to manage risks and control the hazards. Good for you. Now put it to work. Where do you start? A good starting point is taking a look around your shop. Check it out with new eyes. Is your farm workshop really a safe place?
Walk around your shop. Look at fire prevention, emergency services and first aid. Then before you turn out the lights, check out your personal protective equipment.
Here’s a handy checklist for evaluating your farm shop safety:
1) Layout and maintenance:
Walkways and staircases are kept clear and surfaces are non-slippery.
The exit doors open toward the outside. They’re kept clear and each is clearly marked as an exit.
The area in front of electrical panels and switches is kept clear.
The general ventilation system provides at least four air changes per hour.
Carbon monoxide detectors are installed and checked periodically.
The general lighting is about the same as what’s over your kitchen table.
Unused tools, equipment and materials are properly stored.
2) Fire prevention/first aid:
Portable, certified ABC fire extinguishers are installed and easily accessible at each exit door and in areas where there is a local risk of fire.
Garbage is located away from areas where there is risk of fire.
A complete first aid kit and eye wash station are readily accessible.
There’s a telephone in the shop with an up to date list of emergency numbers posted nearby.
Personal protection equipment:
Everyone in the shop must wear safety footwear and safety glasses.
Other PPE, including gloves and hearing protectors, must be available in sufficient quantities and stored properly when they’re not being used.
This checklist was adapted from “Principal methods of prevention used in a safe workshop” prepared by farm safety professionals with the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) and the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST). The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association has a limited number of these printed checklist/ posters available at no charge. Call 1-877-452-2272.