Long hours are part of the farming and ranching profession, especially during busy planting, haying and harvest seasons. But that’s when injuries can sneak in, says Kent McGuire, an Ohio State University Extension ag safety educator and Ohio AgrAbility Program coordinator.
“Non-stop activity, long work hours and stress can increase chances of fatigue and injuries, and as your level of fatigue increases, regard for caution and personal safety take a backseat, and that leads to unsafe practices,” McGuire says. “Fatigue can cause slower reaction times, reduced concentration, or even falling asleep on the job, and can lead to injuries.” McGuire offers the following tips to avoid risk of fatigue:
• Get plenty of sleep.
• Avoid thinking about work once you have finished for the day. Engage in an activity that will get your mind off of the tasks ahead.
• Pace yourself and plan out your activities.
• Eat healthy and maintain a normal eating schedule.
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can cause fatigue.
• Take short breaks throughout the day.
• Get some exercise after sitting over long periods of time. Stretching or even a short walk will get your body moving and re-energized.
• To reduce stress, take a minute to watch wildlife or enjoy nature to help take your mind off of work.
• Take advantage of a rainy day to rest and re-energize.