New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health

Safety on the farm needs to be a part of a farm family's everyday life. The more you think about safety, the more routine and natural it will be. This is especially true when dealing with livestock.

Each year hundreds of people are injured in animal-related accidents. Stepped-on hands or feet, badly bruised bones from a kick or an animal's sudden movement, and being caught between a large animal and a stall partition or wall are all possibilities when you're working with animals weighing in at a half-ton or better!

The National Safety Council suggests these safety practices to prevent many mishaps:

  • Use adequate retraining and handling facilities.
  • Leave yourself a clear route "out".
  • Provide good footing for handling operations. Keep floors and ramps clean. Roughened concrete, cleated boots, and "no- slip" strips could help reduce the risk of falls.
  • Wear protective clothing, footgear, and headgear as the job demands.
  • Train inexperienced workers in safe livestock handling before allowing them near animals.
  • Stay clear of animals that are frightened, hurt, sick, or have newborn or young offspring. Be cautious around strange animals.

Other injuries and illnesses occur in connection with buildings, tools, and supplies used in the care of livestock. Therefore, always:

  • Use the appropriate respirator when working in confined housing or on dusty jobs to protect your lungs.
  • Protect children by keeping them out of animal facilities. Keep barn chemicals and medications out of reach. Bar access to grain-bins, silos, and other hazardous areas to unauthorized persons.

Above all, try to anticipate unforeseen movements, be aware of what you're doing, and get help whenever possible. Remember - animal size can often be greater than human intelligence.


This public service announcement was produced by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, New York 13326 - Ph# (607) 547-6023 or (800) 343-7527 in the northeast. Publication date: 1994.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More

Reviewed for NASD: 04/2002