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Preventing Workplace Falls


How to avoid dangerous and costly slips, trips and falls.

Did you know that falling causes the majority of accidents in the workplace? In addition, slips, trips and falls cause 15 percent of accidental on-the-job deaths according to OSHA. Taking a few precautionary steps could have easily prevented these accidents from occurring.

Preparedness tips

With a little awareness and an understanding of the hazards and how to protect against them, farmers can help protect themselves and their workers from unnecessary accidents.

  • Look for risks: Encourage employees to come forward and identify potentially risky areas.
  • Stay tidy: A cluttered work area can lead to trips over tools or supplies. Keep the clutter away.
  • Stay alert: Be aware of your environment at all times. For example, how close to a ledge are you? If you are not specifically doing work along the ledge, stay away from it.
  • Lift safely: Workers should only be lifted with the proper equipment.
  • Train on tools: Only trained personnel should use powered equipment.
  • Climb safely: Only authorized employees should climb to an elevated place, like a roof or on top of machinery. Check to see that fall-protection devices are functioning.
  • Turn it down: Make sure you can hear verbal warnings when elevated. Leave the MP3 players and radios at home.
  • Follow the rules: If there are warning signs and barriers, make sure to heed them.

Industry standards

For more specific information, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration's (OSHA) general industry standards can be found in Appendix C, Section 1, of 29 CFR 1910.66 (Subpart F).

OSHA has stricter rules for the construction industry, including scaffolding, cranes, steel erection, tunneling, stairways and ladders. These guidelines can be found in 29 CFR 1926.500-503. Make sure to consult the standard that applies to the specific job you are doing.

The general rule of thumb is that fall protection is required for any employee working 6 feet or more above a lower level.

Preventing falls is an important part of the overall safety of your operation. By following a few simple guidelines, you can help prevent potentially serious accidents at your farm or ranch.

Special Member Savings

At Southern States®, we are proud to be one of the nation's largest farmer-owned cooperatives. Southern States has partnered with Nationwide® Agribusiness Insurance to offer Southern States Cooperative member-producers in North Carolina and Virginia special discounts on 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 southernstatesnwag.com to find a local agent.


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