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Climbing a ladder image

Safety: never too busy for safety

Thompsons has strict protocol and safety proceedures to operate safely, every day. We post these safety articles and messages for any farm operation to help keep others safe.

Traffic flow signage

It’s of utmost importance to have traffic flow signage clearly posted at your entrance, throughout the facility and at the exits to keep everyone safe. Also, remind employees, family and visitors to look both ways before crossing truck pathways. The last thing anyone wants during peak busy season is a traffic accident that could have been avoided. Read more

Safety: stairs

Stairs are everywhere, and it’s easy to become complacent with safe practices when you deal with them so often. This safety tip is meant to remind you of the basics when ascending and descending stairs and what to watch out for when doing so in order to stay safe and injury-free. LIMIT RISK: Avoid distractions while walking up or down stairs, and always use the handrails.

  • Any time you are not paying attention to the task at hand, you are at risk. Try to save checking that text or what time it is for the next floor! Give stairs your full attention!
  • Be aware of untied shoelaces, long clothing, stair hopping, and carrying large loads.
  • Stair hopping, whether ascending or descending stairs, is adding unnecessary risk to your stair climbing. Take it one step at a time, no matter how strong you are or how much of a rush you’re in.
  • When carrying large loads, if possible, ask someone for assistance to minimize the load. Large loads can restrict sight and centre of gravity, both of which are crucial for safe stair practices. Understand how perception of risk can influence your attitudes toward stairs.
  • Because you deal with stairs all the time, it’s natural to think that they aren’t as big a risk as they actually are. Be aware that stairs can pose a danger every time you’re on them. Just because you use them often doesn’t mean gravity will let you off the hook!

Read more

Farm equipment on the road

Safety: Sharing the road

Keep in mind the following safety tips for motorists as you share the road with farm equipment

  • Farm machinery has a legal right to use public roads just as other motor vehicles.
  • Farm machinery can unexpectedly turn onto a public road from a field or driveway.
  • Farm machinery operators may not be able to see you because the large equipment or a load can block part of their rear view.
  • Slow-moving farm machinery traveling less than 25 miles per hour should display a slow moving vehicle emblem on the back of the equipment.
  • Extra-wide farm machinery may take up more than one lane to avoid hitting obstacles such as mailboxes and road signs.

Before passing farm machinery

  • Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator is likely preparing to make a wide left turn.
  • Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass.
  • Rural road rage can be negated if everyone takes the responsibility to have extra patience, careful driving habits, and use high-visibility markings and lighting.
Perform a walk-around safety check of your vehicle before operating

Safety: Circle checks

How often do you walk around your vehicle before moving it?

At Thompsons, a circle check is mandatory before putting a vehicle into service, at the beginning of the day and any time before backing up if it has been parked and this is the first motion a driver is making. Read more

tripping hazard

Safety: Unsafe conditions

Recognize unsafe conditions and take action to eliminate and mitigate them.

It is possible to eliminate the majority of unsafe conditions in our workplaces and on our farms in order to prevent injuries on the job. It is necessary to recognize these kinds of conditions exist around you, and take action to eliminate or mitigate them. There is an endless list of possible unsafe conditions in any workplace. Two types of unsafe conditions that can be found in almost any workplace are slip, trip, and fall hazards and pinch point hazards.

  • Slips, trips, and falls are responsible for many injuries on the job year after year. Many of these incidents are a direct result of an unsafe condition.
  • Objects on the ground are a common example.
  • Other unsafe conditions that lead to slips, trips, and falls injuries include slippery floors, unmarked changes in elevations in walking surfaces, cluttered work areas, unprotected edges, etc.

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Safety: The fire triangle

Fire can be compared to a triangle. Three sides are necessary to make a triangle and three ingredients are necessary to cause a fire. These are heat, air, and fuel. If any one of these three sides is missing, there can be no fire.

Heat

Heat, the first side of the fire triangle, can come from many sources. It can be generated by sparks from welding operations, discarded cigarette butts, electrical shorts, frayed wiring, friction from power tools, and hot exhaust pipes.

Fuel

Fuel, the second side of the fire triangle, may be liquid, such as gasoline or solvents; a solid, such as paper or wood scraps; or a gas, such as propane.

Air

Air, the third side of the fire triangle, contains oxygen which is necessary to sustain a fire. Heat, fuel, and air must be in the proper proportion for fire to occur. Read more

Tire explosion photo

Safety: tire explosions

When a rubber tire becomes overheated, a chemical reaction in the rubber called pyrolysis can occur. Pyrolysis causes the rubber to deteriorate. At a certain point, this deterioration can create a very rapid pressure increase inside the tire that can lead to a sudden and unexpected tire explosion. Read more

Safety: loose cargo inside and outside of a motor vehicle

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace injuries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Motor vehicle incidents contributed to 40% of all workplace fatalities. The majority of injuries occur during the initial impact of a crash; however loose cargo both inside or outside of the vehicle can cause additional injuries or property loss incidents.

Loose cargo in vehicles

Loose cargo within a vehicle such as empty bottles, trash, tools, etc. are not only a distraction while driving, but they also turn into projectiles during a crash.

Those half-filled water bottles, canned goods, boxes of products, a laptop computer could all become dangerous projectiles when hurling through the air during collisions.

At 90 km per hour (55 mph), a 20-pound (9 kg) object hits with 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of force — so powerful that a suitcase can shear off the arm of a crash test dummy. It is just as important to mitigate the secondary hazards, such as loose cargo, as it is to do so for the more obvious primary danger of the actual impact of a crash.

Mitigation actions

  • Utilise the trunk or cargo boxes before putting items in the cab of the vehicle.
  • Tie down or secure all items that pose a risk inside the cab.
  • Perform periodic inspections of any vehicles on and off the work site for loose cargo.
Heimlich Maneuver image

Safety: Emergency breathing situations

Oxygen is vital to life

  • Your body requires a constant supply of oxygen as a source of fuel. When the air you breathe reaches the lungs, oxygen from the air is transferred to the blood. It is a life-threatening situation when oxygen does not enter the body.
  • When you find an emergency situation, call 911, and then care for the life-threatening conditions.

How do you know if someone is choking?

  • Grabbing the throat with one or both hands is a sign that someone is choking.
  • If this person cannot talk, cough or breathe, you will need to help remove the object from his/her throat by giving quick, hard abdominal thrusts.

Read more

Safety: Dangerous wind-chill and frostbite

Wind chill is the temperature it “feels like” outside based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As wind speed increases, the body is cooled at a faster rate, causing the skin temperature to drop.

The wind chill, “feels like,” temperature can freeze body tissue. The most susceptible parts are the extremities such as fingers, toes, earlobes, or the tip of the nose. Frostbite symptoms include the loss of feeling of an extremity and a white or pale skin appearance.

Frostbite may be prevented by:

• Wearing layers of loose fitting, light weight, warm clothing.

• Wearing outer garments that are tightly woven, water repellant, and hooded.

• Wearing a hat (40% of body heat is lost from the head).

• Covering the mouth to protect the lungs from extreme cold.

• Staying dry and staying out of the wind.

Working in an environment with twenty-mile-per-hour winds (32kph) and an air temperature of zero degrees (-18C) may cause frostbite to exposed skin within thirty minutes. Wind chill advisories are issued when the wind chill temperatures are potentially hazardous. A wind chill warning is issued when wind chill temperatures are life threatening.