Farming Safely in the Heat

The heat of summer can be a busy time for many farming and ranching operations. As you work in the heat and sun, follow these tips to help ward off heat-related illnesses and injuries for you and your team. Farming and ranching are important, and we want to help you stay safe doing what you do best.

Wear Protective Clothing

When working outdoors in warm climates, OSHA recommends wearing light-colored, loose-fitting and breathable clothing. Additionally, covering up by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants can help protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses that block 99% to 100% UVA and UVB radiation could also protect your face and eyes while working. 

Take Breaks

Taking 15-minute breaks in a cool, shady area at least every two hours while working can help decrease the risk of heat-related illness and fatigue. You could use an outbuilding nearby or the air-conditioned cab of your truck. It could also be helpful to schedule strenuous and demanding tasks in the early morning hours or late evening hours, when the temperature isn’t at its hottest. 

Don’t Forget to Fuel-up

Remember to take time during your workday to drink water and eat sustaining foods/snacks. The CDC recommends drinking one cup of water for every 15 to 20 minutes of moderate activity. Ensuring you’re hydrated throughout the day could lower your risk of heat exhaustion, and it can power you up to continue safely getting work done. As for snacks, consider having fresh fruits, vegetables and salted items to help boost energy and balance electrolytes. 

Know the Symptoms

It is important to know the symptoms and warning signs of heat-related illnesses. You should seek medical attention if you or one of your employees are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Heat exhaustion: This occurs when the body is becoming dehydrated. Some symptoms include profuse sweating, shallow breathing, muscle cramps, irritability, feeling faint or dizzy.
  • Heatstroke: This occurs when the body cannot control its internal temperature and is unable to cool down. Some symptoms include the absence of sweating, pulsating headache, difficulty breathing, lethargy, lack of coordination, unconsciousness, nausea or vomiting.

While you’re working hard and looking out for the health of you and your team, we can help by providing coverage for your farm or ranch. Let us take care of the unexpected and help protect your livelihood with our Farm & Ranch Insurance. Contact an OKFB agent to discuss your farm and ranch needs.

The Basics: Farm & Ranch Insurance

A farm or ranch isn’t like a typical nine-to-five business, which is why we offer many options to ensure your needs are covered. Farm & ranch lines of coverage are detailed and flexible, so you can get covered for certain things like a farm fire, leasing property, constructing a new farm and more. To begin, here are four lines of coverage that you may want to learn more about!

Our farm & ranch line covers items from farm buildings and structures to employer’s liability and animal collision. The policy can also cover things like farm personal property, dwelling, and personal liability. There are multiple coverage options and features available under this policy that are customizable to fit your needs. 

Farm Implement

While the Farm & Ranch policy covers machinery, equipment, supplies and other property owned materials, the farm implement policy covers loss or physical damage to farm implements. Farm implements can include combines, hay balers, cotton pickers, plows, seed drills, etc. Additionally, we offer liability coverage, which helps in the case of a liability claim or lawsuit. 

Farm Auto

Your vehicles are essential to life on the farm. Our Farm Auto policy covers vehicles like a pickup truck, farm truck tractor, trailer and more. If it’s used for farming or ranching, then it can be covered under this policy. Just like when driving a car for personal use, driving accidents can also happen on the job. Our Farm Auto Insurance is flexible, so it can be adjusted to cover your exact needs. Coverage options can include:

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Collision coverage 
  • Liability 

Crop

No matter what crops you grow, we’re here to help ensure your operations are protected from the elements. Crop Insurance covers crops in the case of unpredictable events, like a heavy hailstorm or tornado. Like Farm & Ranch coverage, our Crop Insurance policy has multiple options and features. Crop Insurance is flexible and detailed, covering options like livestock risk protection, nursery, and annual forage.

Check out our farm and ranch FAQ’s to learn more about our insurance coverage options. Ensure your farm or ranch has the protection it needs by contacting an agent.

Farm Safety Tips

You know operating a farm or a ranch can be a risky occupation. And, when it comes to protecting your life’s work, your loved ones and yourself, you also know safety should be a top priority. One of the key ways to help keep those risks at bay is through preventative safety measures. We hope you will keep these farm and ranch safety tips in mind all year long.

Tractor Safety

Knowing how to operate tractors safely is important. It is one of the most heavily used pieces of equipment on a farm or ranch. Remember when operating a tractor, securely fasten your seat belt, limit one rider per seat, avoid ditches and steep embankments, and reduce speed when turning, crossing slopes and on questionable surfaces.

Travel Safety

At some point, you’ll likely have to drive a tractor or other farm machinery on public roadways. When this time comes, make sure you are prepared to travel down the road safely. A few things you can do are, display your slow moving vehicle sign on your machine, ensure reflective tape is showing, set your lights to flash as hazards and practice heightened awareness of the vehicles behind, beside or in front of you.

Clothing Safety

You should always wear the appropriate clothing and safety gear for each job. If using chemicals, consider proper gloves, respirators and protective clothing. If you are working with large farm equipment, consider hearing protection, eye protection and steel-toed shoes.

Keep Kids Safe

Take time to talk with your children about the dangers of farm equipment. Additionally, share safety rules and procedures with them. You should also take proactive steps to limit any ways a child could get to this equipment, such as locking barns, putting up ladders, removing the keys, etc. Finally, make sure you always know where children are before taking out machinery.

How OKFB Can Help

Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Safety Services Division offers free programs focused on teaching farm safety, fire safety and a number of other topics. Learn more about these programs, or request one for your community by visiting OKFB’s Safety Services Division.