Make your customers think health and safety
Anhydrous ammonia probably causes the most problems for farmers, Von Essen said. “It can blind you and can cause an asthma-like response when inhaled.”
When using farm chemicals, growers need to remember to wear appropriate equipment and know what to do if exposure occurs. Keep chemicals in their original containers, post poison control numbers and have directions to your farm handy, Reed said.
Reading the product label is also critical. “The most important thing for growers to do is read and understand chemical labels,” said Syngenta Health, Safety, Environmental & Safety Security Manager Scott Moore. “The label is law and provides a wealth of ways to protect against exposures.”
Half of growers over age 50 have hearing loss, which can accumulate after years of working around loud machinery – even if the work was over short periods of time. A good rule of thumb – if a grower needs to raise his voice to be heard over the machinery, then hearing protection should be used.
And one more practice that’s always essential to good health, Garrett adds: Getting regular physical exams. “This would go for any profession. You may look and feel great, but many serious health threats – including many cancers, high blood pressure and heart disease – have no warning signs.”
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