9 Major Causes of Farm Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Major Farm Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Farm Accidents

As a farmer, you are faced with different types of hazards, risks, and dangers as you go about your every day to day activities on your farm.


You are expected to be cautious, vigilant, observant, and very careful about the risks involved in your new-found venture (Agriculture).


Farm accident does occur how do you protect and prevent yourself from it that is what we are going to delve into.


Regardless of which branch of agriculture you are in, be it animal production, crop production, or aquaculture.


Agriculture is primarily the major employer of labor the world over, accounting for over 60% of the total workforce.


This represents almost half of the total world labor force, with an estimated workforce of well over 1 billion people.


Whose livelihood depends solely on agriculture and its products.


Agricultural practices can also be divided according to development and technology.


Where less than 10% of the world’s agriculture is mechanized and is mostly practiced in the developed countries of the world.


Mainly in Europe and North America while Asia and Africa that accounts for over 65% of the workforce in agriculture depend majorly on subsistence agriculture.


With exception of a few countries such as China, India, and South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, etc. that practice a substantial level of mechanized agriculture.


All forms of practice of agriculture come with their challenges, risks, hazards, and dangers.


These ranges from the ones practice in developed or developing countries, mechanized or subsistence agriculture.


All forms of agriculture come with their challenges as earlier stated such as minor to serious injury, and in some cases may lead to even death.


READ: 5 Awesome Reasons Why You Should Engage in Farming and Its Activities


signs like this can help in preventing farm accidents

signs like this can help in preventing farm accidents


Some of the major causes or sources of farm accidents (occupational hazards) associated with agriculture, that may lead to serious accidents or death on the farm will be discussed under the following headlines:


  1. Farm accidents, injuries, and death caused by untamed animals, reptiles, and other venomous snakes on the farm.
  2. Indiscriminate use of hazardous chemicals
  3. Transportation accidents (being run over or overturning of vehicles)
  4. Falls from height (from trees, through roofs)
  5. Being hit or struck by falling or moving objects (machinery, tree trunks)
  6. Farm accidents Caused by drowning (in water reservoirs, ponds, grain silos)
  7. Mishandling of livestock may lead to farm accidents.
  8. Electricity (electrocutions)
  9. Unspecific injury on the farm.


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black mamba

Black mamba


  1. Farm accidents, injuries, and death caused by reptiles and other venomous animals on the farm

Apart from holes, dark corners, trenches. Snakes and other poisonous animals such as scorpions are mostly found inside piles of some farm produce.


They can be found inside heaps of ridges, logs of wood. Particularly scorpions are mostly found inside ridges meant for root crops such as yams or cassava.


Mostly especially in Latin American or African countries such as Nigeria. Where the majority of the farming methods used are not mechanized.


They are either local or subsistence methods of farming. In this method of farming, farmers have more directs contact with some of these reptiles.


When clearing bushes, land preparation for a new farming season. you are often exposed to some of these natural environmental hazards.


The fact is you are intruding into their natural habitat, therefore the reptiles (venomous snake, poisonous insect, etc. may strike as an act of self-defense).


If you keep other livestock’s particularly poultry birds. Their feeds attract other rodents like rats which feed on poultry feeds kept at the farm store.


And this in turn invites other dangerous reptiles like venomous snakes (black mamba) that feed on these rodents.


Eggs produce by your chickens, may also attract the presence of venomous poisonous snakes into your home.


This will expose you as a farmer to the hazards of snake bites and other dangerous reptiles, and the stings of poisonous insects.


In other to save yourself, your family, and your farm workers from these farm accidents. It is very important you take proactive measures.


Proactive measures such as assessing the entire environment and examining it thoroughly each day before the start of work every day.


Be conscious of your environment look around before you take a leap, your storage felicities.


The surroundings of your farm or property should always be fumigated once in a while. To keep dangerous reptiles, insects away from your farm.


It is also very important you keep well-trained guard dogs and other trained animals such as cats close to you.


They have a stronger sense of smell, sight, and sound than you have, animals such as cats, dogs they are excellent human companion.


When it comes to alerting the farmer of the dangers around.


Animal movement should be restricted especially if they are untamed and unfriendly

When large animals are kept on farms with children visiting or the elderly, their movement should be restricted to avoid accidents


  1. Indiscriminate use of Agricultural chemicals

Several years ago especially in Africa, particularly Nigeria most peasants farmers don’t make use of herbicides on their farms.


They till and weed their farms using holes and cutlasses. I remember my childhood days very well back then.


In recent years there has been an upsurge in the use of different types of herbicides to kill weeds, and fungicides to eliminate diseases.


With different brands of insecticides to kill bugs and other harmful insects.


The advent of these different chemicals has gained wider acceptance due to their efficacy.


And the facts that it has succeeded in increasing crop yield, not only in Africa or Asia but also in developed countries they also used them in farms, homes, etc.


Now, these chemicals if not properly used have been found to cause farm accidents, create a lot of health challenges to the farmer and whoever uses them.


Health challenges such as kidney failure affect the lungs over the years, causes irritation to the eyes.


These chemicals can also affect the skin the danger posed by the indiscriminate or excessive use of these chemicals cannot be overemphasized.


It is therefore very important for you to take decisive safety measures by adhering to the manufacturers’ instructions or laid down rules, on how to use these chemicals before deciding to use them.


These chemicals must be fully certified by the relevant regulatory organization responsible for certifying them.


For instance, in Nigeria, we have NAFDAC or Standard organization of Nigeria (SON)  are all relevant bodies responsible for certifying some of these products.


Most of these chemicals, if not all of them must be kept far away from children. They should be placed beyond the reach of little children for their safety.


It is very important you train your farm workers properly on how to use some of these chemicals.


The safety precautions to take, and on the need to put on their protective apron or PPE so as to avoid injury or accidentally discharged from these chemicals.


  1. Farm Accidents Associated With Transportation

Transportation is an integral part of agriculture and most farming activities.


Often times it is used to transport bales of hay, agricultural produce such as seeds, harvested crops, agricultural equipment, to and from the farm.


When transporting farm workers to and from your farm as a result of farming activities going on.


Care must be taken to avoid or reduce the occurrence of farm accidents to the barest minimum.


Most farming activities I can say are centered on the use of tractors and other farm machinery.


In order to stay safe when using tractors on the farm a number of simple safety precautions must be adhered to avoid farm accidents such as:


  • In order to avoid farm accidents, you should first and foremost ensure that you are well trained and informed on how to handle this machine (tractor). Observed all the safety rules i.e it is important that your tractor has a roof cap covering over your head to avoid any head injury or tree hitting your head.
  • Always put on your seat belts it’s one of the best ways to avoid and reduce the impact of farm accidents.
  • Ensure any driver you are employing have a valid driver’s license and he is well trained.
  • Before you start any machine not just a tractor on your farm, make sure you look around. To ensure that your children or any order person are not around or under the vehicle before starting to avoid trampling or severe injury.
  • Ensure that you or any of your staff handling any equipment or machinery on the farm is not under the influence of alcohol or any abusive substance in order to avoid farm accident.


In addition to the proper use of tractors on your farm other vehicles help you transport or move goods over long distances.


Goods such as bales of hays farm products or other equipment, before you embark on any journey make sure that these goods are properly fitted.


And are tied very well to avoid falling off while you are in motion because it is capable of causing injury, farm accident, or even death to unsuspecting passers-by or incoming vehicle.


It is very important that you are always conscious of what you are transporting.


over loading

Both humans and farm-produced should be comfortable when been conveyed to their destination.

  1. Falls from Height (Trees or Roofs etc)

Falls from a height are a leading cause of serious injury and death among farmers the world over.


Most of the falls occur from our own simple mistakes, during constructions of the agricultural building or from erecting additional new structures. Expansion on the farm or when piling or arranging bale of hay or farm produce.


Working from a height is oftentimes unavoidable but working from the ground is always safer and should be encouraged.


In situations where you or your farm workers must work from a height he or she must observe the following safety precautions:


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  • Be well-trained personnel in your discipline, and all safety rules must be adhered to strictly.
  • Always take accounts of weather conditions such as heavy storms, hazy conditions, heavy rains, and slippery conditions before embarking on climbing heights.
  • Ensure anything aiding you to climb up such as a ladder or staircase or a lift is properly fitted, and very strong enough to absolve your weight in order to avoid free falls.
  • In avoiding farm accidents ensure the roof or property you are climbing is strong enough to carry your body weight before you even attempt reaching there in the first place.
  • Ensure your co-worker is around with you or somebody with a first aid box is around in case of any eventuality. And at the same time, you are fully kitted with your protective gear such as a helmet and other safety clothes.


  1. Being Hit or Struck by Falling or Moving Objects (Machinery, Tree Trunks, Tractor, etc.)

Almost half of the farm accidents or fatalities occur when farmworkers are being hit or struck by falling or moving objects i.e machinery, tree trunks, etc.


Concerted efforts must be made to avoid these accidents on your farm to the barest minimum:


  • Ensure the maintenance and repairs of worn-out or damaged parts of a building or machine on your property, and farm to avoid a fall or being struck by some of this equipment.
  • Your children’s movement in and around the farm should be seriously restricted and should be under supervision by an adult to avoid them being hit by any of the farm machinery on the farm.
  • Patience is the key when carrying out any task on the farm, research has indicated that most farm accidents occur as a result of impatience.
  • Overzealous staff should be educated on the importance of been in charge of themselves when carrying out important farm duties in order to avoid farm accidents.
  • Do not lift or move heavy equipment or farm produce that is beyond your carrying capacity (weight) always seek help. In order to avoid being hit or crushed by these heavy farm machinery.
  • It is very important you seek professional help for some services on your farm when it comes to moving some equipment, loads, or farm produce. Especially if you don’t have the equipment to move or clear such loads or farm produce to avoid unnecessary injury or accidents.
  • Those saddle with the responsibilities of driving farm tractors and other heavy-duty machines on the farm should be properly trained and retrained to avoid any form of farm accidents.
A tractor

Children should not be left alone around heavy machines especially when it is working.


Those saddle with the responsibilities of driving farm tractors and other heavy-duty machines on the farm should be properly trained and retrained to avoid any form of farm accidents.

Those saddle with the responsibilities of driving farm tractors and other heavy-duty machines on the farm should be properly trained and retrained to avoid any form of farm accidents.

  1. Farm Accidents Cause By Drowning (In Water Reservoirs, Ponds, Grain Silos)

Recent research has shown that drowning is the leading cause of death and accidents especially those involving children less than five years old.


Especially on the farms around fish ponds. It is very important as farmers when our kids are visiting or other visitor’s kid, that we keep a close eye on them not to derail and go near any fish pond.


Many stories have been told of how children got drown by going close to a pond just to peep and see what happens without the knowledge of their parents and got drawn losing their life in the process.


In order to avoid this ugly situation, it is very important we seriously restrict the movement of our children in and around the farm.


It doesn’t take long to be entrapped in a grain silo, which is the more reason why you should be more careful as a farmer.


READ: Poisoning: How to Protect Yourself and Your Children from it.


The following points will help avoid been trapped in grain silos:

  • Post warnings signs at a strategic position, particularly on the silo to warn your farm workers of the dangers involved in being entrapped by grains.
  • Points to observe never work alone, always tell your colleagues that you will be entering the bin, and always have a second person outside who would provide help.
  • Is important you work from outside the bin, use a pole from a safe position outside the bin to probe or knock the clump, if clumps or crusts developed in the bin.
  • Any entry should be done by a very careful and experience farmworker and most follow safe procedures being careful and experienced might not just be enough.
  • Training and retraining of farmworkers are very important on grain storage, handling, and the hazards, risks associated with it, especially entering a grain storage bin or facility.


  1. Mishandling of Livestock May Lead to Farm Accidents

Every year incidents involving livestock account for a large percentage of injuries sustained by farm owners and workers alike.


The effects could be very severe in some cases leading to deaths or permanent disabilities among farmworkers.


Therefore it is very important you take serious precautionary measures to avoid all this.


The following tips will help us prevent injuries or disabilities on our farms from the livestock’s you keep:


  • Particular care must be taken in handling large animals like cattle when moving them from one place to another. You have to do it with utmost care.
  • In order to avoid major farm accidents, do not be in an enclosed place with big animals such as a cow in case the cow charges, there should always be an exit door.
  • Always provide where the animals can be restrained before injecting or administering any treatment to avoid unnecessary charge or injury.
  • If the animal is kept in a farmhouse, it should be restrained to guard it against visitors or children especially if it is the violent type.
  • Always cull aggressive cattle to avoid further injury to yourself or your farmworkers.
  • Always vaccinate your farm animals and endeavor to always put on your protective clothing, to avoid zoonotic diseases i.e diseases pass from animals to humans. it is very important to practice personal hygiene at all times for your own safety and that of your farmworkers.
  • Above all never trust an animal, no matter how friendly it appears to be. Animals will always be animals just be careful once you are around them.


handling a cow

Mishandling of large animals such as this could lead to serious injuries in some cases fatal farm accidents

Mishandling of large animals such as this could lead to serious injuries in some cases fatal farm accidents


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  1. Electricity (Electrocution at the Farm)

Electrical installations are very vital to the smooth running of your farm, you need to ensure that they are safe, functional, and most importantly reliable at all times.


Keeping your farm tidy and well-kept especially where your electrical installation is is very important in avoiding farm accidents. Wires should be well insulated to avoid electrocution.


Have a competent and well-trained electrician to always handle your electrical appliances or repairs each time they are faulty.


Always ensure that overhead cables are not standing in the way of heavy-duty machines moving from or around your farms.


Also, ensure that overhead cables are properly insulated so they don’t electrocute any farmworker even as they go about their day to day activities.


Only qualified electricians should be employed to design, install, maintain, and make repairs on your farm.


Always encourage third-party inspections, it’s a good practice and, in some countries, it’s obligatory.


Always make sure you keep your electrical panel, sockets, and switches clean, free from dust, dry. And protected from adverse weather conditions and misuse.


It is very important you place labels on the control panel, label switches so that you, or any other user, can identify the correct electrical equipment to use at any given time.


Switch off the entire electrical system if need be particularly if you are about to carry out any major repairs or maintenance to avoid electrocution.


An electrical fuse box should be handle by a qualified technician.

An electrical fuse box should be handle by a qualified technician, it shouldn’t be left open, poorly insulated, looking haphazard.


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  1. Unspecified Injury on the Farm

Apart from the major causes of farm accidents explained above, there are other minor, causes of farm accidents. As a farmer, you may come across from time to time.


Proper care must be taken to address them for instance;

  • When making minor repairs on the farm, you can mistakenly hit your hand with a hammer instead of the nail which can be very painful.
  • Just walking around the farm you could hit your head by a low pavement or shade unintentional, it can be very painful especially when you are not putting on protective gear such as a helmet.
  • Sharp objects piercing into any parts of your body accidentally i.e. your feet especially if you are not wearing shoes or boot it can be very painful and capable of causing severe injury too.
  • You could be stung by scorpions or other insects as explained above.



Farm accidents occur and they don’t inform you when they are about to happen.


Wearing personal protective equipment and taking every necessary precaution is very important.


Gets a dog to help you around at least dogs have a better sense of sight than humans, particularly at night.


And they also have a good sense of sound which can help you as a farmer to raise alarm in case of any impending danger (farm accident).


Any intruder such as a thief, unwelcomed reptiles such as snakes, scorpions, and other big predators.


One of the best ways to prevent farm accidents is to always read the manufacturer’s instructional manual for every farm machinery before using it.


Training and retraining of your farm workers are pivotal to the overall success of your entire farming enterprise.


Having a well-equipped first Aid box will also help tremendously at least before going to the hospital in case of any farm accidents occurring.


The first aid box is a very important necessity on any farm.


Never take anything for granted particularly the safety of yourself, your family, and your farmworkers.


Make sure all necessary precautionary measures are always observe before the start of every day’s work.

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