Michael  “Frey” Freyaldenhoven, extension AgrAbility program technician for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, offers tactics to promote safety for older farmers: 

  • Increase light levels in barns and shops
  • Equip stairs and steps with hand rails
  • Ensure all corrals and animal confinement areas are secure and equipped with escape routs
  • Use hearing protection
  • Limit hazardous tasks to daylight hours where light is the brightest
  • Limit tractor operation to daylight hours
  • Equip tractors with rollover protection structures (ROPS) and seat belts
  • Refrain from operating machinery or tractors while under the influence of medications which may have side effects that limit reaction time and sense of balance

AgrAbility is a national project funded through the USDA that helps provide education and assistance to farmers and agricultural workers who are restricted in their ability to be successful in production agriculture because of a limiting health condition.  Health conditions can be work related or non-work related, permanent or temporary, or related to an accident or chronic disease. 

To learn more about AgrAbility in Arkansas, visit www.arfamilies.org/health_nutrition/agrability/