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
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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