"7 Easy Tips to Protect You and Your Employees from Being Injured on the Job."
Longer daytime hours signal the start of the growing season and an increase in physical activity for farm workers. But, with increased physical activity comes the potential for workplace injury & lost productivity.
According to Southern States and Nationwide® Agribusiness Insurance agricultural business experts, four farm-work-related factors typically lead to increased risk of back pain and injury:
- Force: Farm work can be very physical, and you risk injury each time you lift or move heavy objects.
- Repetition: Repetitious movements can lead to muscle fatigue injuries, especially if they involve extreme stretching or awkward body positioning.
- Posture: Standing or sitting in one position too long can increase the chances of back injury or muscle stiffness.
- Stress: External pressures and mental stress can lead to muscle tension and tightness, which can cause back pain or cause other injuries.
Avoiding Potential Injuries
Pay attention to your surroundings and abilities on the job and educate workers to do the same. Take these steps to prevent back pain:
Plan your moves: Reorganize tasks to eliminate high-risk, repetitive movements. Avoid unnecessary bending, twisting or reaching.
Lift properly: Use your legs; keep objects close to your body; know where you intend to put the load; and make sure your path is free of clutter. Don't try to lift more than you can handle - get help when needed.
Listen to your body: If you must sit or stand for prolonged periods, change positions often. Take a 30-second timeout every 15 minutes or so to stretch, move or relax.
Minimize hazards: Slips and falls can seriously injure your back. Use skid-resistant footwear when working in areas with wet floors or other places where slips may be a risk. Remove debris and items that might cause you to trip around the area where you're working.
Coordination and balance: Walking regularly for exercise can help you maintain coordination and balance. Try balancing exercises to keep you steady on your feet.
Reduce stress: Working under stress causes muscles to tense up and can make you more prone to injury. Try to minimize sources of stress at work and after work.
Develop coping mechanisms: When feeling especially stressed, take a 10-minute walk or talk out frustrations with a trusted friend.
Stay aware of your surroundings, understand your own capabilities and listen to your body, and you’ll be taking positive steps toward preventing injuries as you gear up for the season.
Special Member Savings
At Southern States®, we are proud to be a farmer-owned cooperative. Southern States has partnered with Nationwide® to offer Southern States Cooperative member-producers in North Carolina and Virginia special discounts on farm insurance. In addition to giving you exclusive insurance savings, we're also joining forces to support the cooperative that means so much to you.
Nationwide® Agribusiness is the number 1 insurer of farms in the U.S. and a leading insurer of commercial agribusiness. Go to nationwide.com/southernstates to find a local agent.