Top Ranch Safety Tips to Follow

Working on a ranch requires an expansive skill set, including keen attention to detail, physical and mental strength, communication, dexterity, and the ability to handle and care for cattle and other animals. There are currently around 7,500 ranchers in the Gem State, according to the Idaho Beef Council, many of whom have passed their passion for ranching down generations.

As with any type of agricultural entity, practicing safety 24/7 is key on ranches. Here are just a few safety tips to ensure a secure environment year-round.

Wear the right protective gear

Since ranchers work with animals of various sizes and temperaments, operate sensitive equipment and face rapidly changing weather conditions, sporting the appropriate gear is paramount. Dress in the proper clothing (comfortable pants, shirts, hats, and gloves) and footwear (work shoes or boots with steel toes and/or non-skid soles) when working with large animals and machinery. For protection from harmful UV rays, use sunscreen daily and reapply it every hour or so, no matter if it is sunny or cloudy.

Store equipment, supplies, and chemicals out of reach

Always understand the types of chemicals and machines you’re working with, as mishandling them can lead to severe injury or even death. Hazardous materials and heavy equipment should be stowed away when not in use. Especially if children are in the vicinity, chemicals should be placed on high shelves or, better yet, locked in hard-to-reach cabinets.

Handle animals properly

Whether you own cattle, horses, sheep, or any other ranch animal, always be sure to look after your livestock attentively. No matter how long you have known your animals, always practice extreme caution around them, as they can pose serious risk when threatened, excited, or scared. Constantly be aware of your surroundings and make slow, deliberate movements around animals. Speak softly, avoid loud noises, and never approach an animal from behind.

Perform regular equipment maintenance

Equipment should always be kept up to date. If something is not operating as it should, hire a professional to inspect it. All workers should complete safety courses prior to operating tractors and other farm machinery.

Tend to your personal health

There’s no doubt about it: farming and ranching are stressful occupations. It’s important to remember that a job well done can only happen when someone is in both physical and mental shape. That said, taking care of yourself is easily the safest thing you can do while working on a ranch. Be sure to take breaks, get plenty of rest, drink water, and eat regular meals to stay healthy, alert, and strong.

We care deeply about the safety and quality of life of every single one of our consumers, which is why advocating for ranch safety is a top priority of ours at the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho. Investing in the proper farm and ranch insurance is vital when it comes to the many hazards that come with any agricultural job. To learn more, contact your local FMBICI agent.