OSHA's 12 Common Hazardous Activities on Dairy Farms

 

Manure Storage Facilities and Collection Structures: 

Fatal or serious drowning hazards may exist where farm vehicles such as tractors, manure spreading trucks, manure pumps/agitators and skid steers are operated in near proximity to waste storage impoundments and structures without the benefit of control measures, such as 1) safety stops and/or gates at manure push-off ramps and load-out areas to prevent accidental entry of machinery; and 2) warning signs, fences, ladders, ropes, bars, rails and other devices to restrict the accidental passage of vehicles and personnel across outdoor earthen manure storages.   

Fatal or serious inhalation hazards of gases including hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) may exist where manure gases are generated through the handling of liquid or semi-solid manure through activities such as pumping, mixing, agitating, spreading or cleaning-out. Oxygen deficiencies are an additional related concern.

Dairy Bull and Cow Behavior/Worker Positioning

Fatal or serious crushed-by hazards may exist where employees interact with dairy bulls and cows without appropriate training on dairy bull and cow behavior and/or work in areas where there is an increased likelihood of becoming caught between the animals and a fixed or moving structure such as a fence, corral, crowd gate, etc.

Electrical Systems

Electrocution and electrical shock hazards may exist where employees interact either: 1) making direct contact with improperly installed or maintained, damaged electrical systems on equipment such as disconnects, switches, circuit breakers, pumps, fans, augers, fences, etc. or 2) making indirect contact with overhead or buried power lines with farm equipment such as tractors, skid steer implements, portable augers, grain probes, ladders, poles, rods, irrigation pipes, etc.

Skid-Steer Loader Operation

Fatal or serious crushed-by, struck-by, caught in-between, rollover hazards may exist where employees are: 1) improperly trained on operating, servicing, or maintaining skid-steer loaders according to the manufacturer's instructions; 2) failure to use an approved lift arm support device when servicing or maintaining skid-steer loader; and 3) intentional bypassing of safety features of the skid-steer loader such as back-up alarms, seat belts, and control interlock systems.

Tractor Operations

Fatal or serious fall, struck-by, caught in-between, and/or rollover hazards may exist where employees are improperly trained on operating, servicing or maintaining tractors.

Guarding of Power Take-Offs (PTOs)

Fatal or serious entanglement or amputation hazards may exist where power takeoff shafts and other related components on farm field and farmstead equipment are not properly guarded.

Guarding of other Power Transmission and Functional Components

Fatal or serious entanglement or amputation hazards may exist where other power transmission components on farm field and farmstead equipment are not properly guarded.

Hazardous Energy Control while performing servicing and maintenance of equipment

Fatal or serious crushed-by, struck-by, caught in-between, entanglement or amputation hazards may exist where employees perform maintenance and servicing on farm field, farmstead, or other equipment without a means of immediate and exclusive control of hazardous energy sources by the employee or the employees maintaining or servicing equipment.   

Hazard Communication

Serious chemical ingestion, absorption, splash, fire, or other hazards may exist where hazardous chemicals such as teat dips, hoof care products, sanitization products, etc. are stored, dispensed, and used without appropriate training and information including the availability of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). Hazard Communication Checklist... Written Hazard Communications Program...

Confined Spaces

Serious or fatal chemical asphyxiation, oxygen (O2) deficiency, inhalation, engulfment, or caught-in hazards may exist where there is entry into grain storage bins, vertical silos, hoppers, manure storage vessels, milk vessels, below grade manure collection systems, etc. Click here for Confined Spaces Evaluation and Permits...

Horizontal Bunker Silos

Serious or fatal engulfment or struck-by hazards may exist where employees perform 'facing' activities when removing silage from ground level. Serious or fatal fall hazards may exist where employees climb on top of the silage to place or remove protective covering and anchoring systems.

Noise

Serious hearing loss hazards may exist when working with or around running agricultural equipment.