If you caught our previous post or have seen the MFBF Facebook page, you likely know its Agriculture Safety Awareness Program (ASAP) Week.  This week we’ve been talking to you about elements of safety that can easily be incorporated into the daily practices of your farm or ranch. Each day has a theme and you’ll find loads of great tips, information and resources to help you incorporate safety strategies and share them with others.   

While all that great information is on Facebook each day, we’re going to be recapping it here on the blog so you can easily and quickly refer to these tips whenever necessary.

Have you heard?! Yesterday was all about hearing safety over on Facebook.  Missed it?  It’s okay…just breathe.  We’ll recap some great safety tips and discuss ag related respiratory hazards.

Hearing Safety

Any noise over 80 decibels may cause hearing loss over sustained periods of time.  In agriculture  we're often surrounded by loud noise from machinery, power tools and livestock.  Yes, livestock; did you know pigs squealing are equivalent to 100 decibels?

Even if we don't think we're surrounded by too much noise, years and years of repeated exposure can result in hearing loss.

6 Common Causes of Ag Related Hearing Loss

Ear protection is easy to use and cheap to come by. These resources are a great place to start if you're trying to narrow down what type of hearing protection is right for you.

Respiratory Safety

One of the reasons we love our farm and ranch lifestyle so much is the fact that we’re outdoors filling our lungs with fresh air every day.  However, unseen respiratory hazards exist even when we’re enjoying the great outdoors.  We don’t often think about dust created by crops stored in bins or confinement situations as a risk to our health.  Take this short quiz to assess your knowledge of respiratory health hazards.

Choosing the Proper Equipment

According to Virginia Cooperative Extension, you should make a list of the following items to help decide which type of respiratory protection is right for the job.

  • Operations and work sites where there is any kind of contamination.
  • Types of jobs where a lack of oxygen is a problem.
  • Specific contaminants that correspond to the work site and its jobs.
  • Potential and actual harmfulness of the contaminants.
  • Form of the contaminant material: dust, mist, spray, gas, vapor, fume or some combination of these.
  • Concentrations of each contaminant.

Wearing a mask in certain situations is crucial to protecting your lungs.  It’s even more important to ensure you’re wearing the right mask.  Watch this video learn how to select the proper respiratory protection for your circumstances.

Check back tomorrow for more safety tips and information as we continue our celebration of ASAP Week!