summer employee safety

As the weather heats up in Ohio, those working long hours on or off the farm need to be armed with the best resources to prevent injuries, illness and accidents. In preparation for National Safety Month in June, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is releasing the following reminders to avoid summer’s most common agricultural workplace accidents.

Schedule a free safety consultation

Whether you are a small family farm, a large industrial agricultural operation, or an agribusiness, BWC offers free confidential consulting services to meet your specific needs. Using these services can help prevent an injury or illness before it happens, making sure you and your employees are able to work, even during your busiest and most demanding seasons.

During a safety consultation, a safety and health professional will help you identify hazards associated with machinery, energy sources, material handling equipment, tools, work methods and your work environment, and work with you to develop cost-effective solutions to reduce the risk of injury or illness. These solutions can often result in improved efficiency, quality, and productivity.

Review mowing safety guidelines

As mowing season is in full swing, remember that employers are responsible for providing workers with proper training, safe equipment and the necessary personal protective equipment before they can operate any lawn mower.

We have seen too many serious injuries in Ohio recently. Last spring, a zero-turn riding lawn mower flipped, killing a 59-year-old county groundskeeper. It was one of many preventable lawn mowing accidents in 2022. The following tips and resources can help make lawn mower operations safer for yourself and your workers.

  • Train and retrain employees to maintain competency to operate a riding mower safely.
  • Inspect the terrain for hazards.
  • Always start a riding mower from the operator position and never mount or dismount when it is running.
  • Make sure every mower includes an operable auto shut-off when the rider is not in the seat.
  • Never carry passengers. Riding mowers are one-person machines.

Review BWC’s mowing safety bulletin for other important reminders to share with your team.

Avoid heat stress

Ohio’s summer heat can be one of the most challenging obstacles for farmers–from working in the heat, to keeping animals, plants, and equipment safe–it can be a daily struggle.

In particular, heat stress can lead to increased fatigue and diminished motor coordination, potentially causing illness or injury for workers. Here are the best ways to avoid heat stress and stay cool on the farm:

  • Hydrate often – Experts recommend one cup of cool water every 15-20 minutes while working in the heat, even if you are not feeling thirsty.
  • Stay aware – Cramps, headaches and dizziness can be symptoms of heat exhaustion, so it’s important to pay attention to how you are feeling, especially on hotter days. Take a break and hydrate if you experience symptoms.
  • Be alert – If you observe someone experiencing signs of heat stroke (confusion, slurred speech, seizures, very high body temperature, rapid heart rate, unconsciousness) seek medical help immediately.
  • Prepare a heat illness prevention plan – BWC’s safety consultants can help you put together a heat illness prevention plan that includes heat stress awareness training, health screenings, first-aid training and more.

When it comes to summer safety practices, BWC wants to help you stay cool and protected. If you would like to schedule a free safety consultation, contact your local BWC service office, call 800-644-6292, or submit a request online. Please have your BWC policy number ready. A safety consultant will contact you within two business days.

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. We’ve got you Covered.
Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio, serving 257,000 public and private employers. With nearly 1,600 employees and assets of approximately $21 billion, BWC is one of the largest state-run insurance systems in the United States. For more, visit bwc.ohio.gov.
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Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

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Darke County Farm Bureau

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Clark County Farm Bureau

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Coshocton County Farm Bureau

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Way Farms

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Groovy Plants Ranch

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Hardin County Farm Bureau

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Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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