Falls are the most common accident in agriculture — accounting for as many as one-third of all farm injuries, says John Slocombe, Extension safety specialist at Kansas State University.

Falls happen quickly and unexpectedly.

Winter presents a particularly hazardous time for falls on the farm. To help minimize the risks, Slocombe, offers several recommendations.

  • Wear warm boots with rubber soles for added traction.
  • If the sidewalk or gravel are slippery, choose the grass, it offers better traction.
  • Carry a small bag of rock salt, sand, or kitty litter in your coat pocket, car and truck. Sprinkle it on slick spots when you find them.
  • Enter buildings carefully, floors may be wet or icy and slick. Put down non-slip runners to increase traction inside doorways. Use that rock salt, sand or kitty litter on outside entrances, stairs and walks.
  • Cover tractors with a tarp or store in a shed during stormy weather to reduce ice accumulation on steps and ladders. Always make sure steps are clean before climbing on equipment.
  • Avoid walking onto icy ponds to chop ice. Use tank heaters, covers and insulation wherever possible around the farm.