“Many people can relate to how sore their arm is after taking a dog for a walk on a leash, and the dog was pulling the whole time,” says Bob Friesen, CFA President. “You can just imagine what the strain on your body would be like if a 600 kg horse or cow were to pull on your arm, slam you into a wall, trample on your body, or step on your foot. Handling animals can be very unpredictable and very dangerous, so it is important to be alert to the animal and its surroundings and take every safety precaution available.”
Each year, animal-related incidents are a leading cause of non-machinery deaths and injuries on Canadian farms. While animal-related incidents account for only five per cent of agricultural fatalities, they are involved in about one-third of all injuries, says a study by the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance Program (CAISP). Bulls, horses and cows are the leading risk factors, followed by calves, steers and pigs.
The study also reveals significant patterns in the types of animal-related incidents. For example, almost half (46.5 per cent) of horse-related injuries happen to women, age 16 to 59, and are caused primarily by falls when riding. Men, age 16 to 59, are most frequently (68 per cent) injured by cows during the calving season of February to June. Men age 60 and over are most frequently killed by bulls in the month of August (57 per cent) as the breeding season starts.
Many animal-related farm injuries can be prevented by following a few basic rules:
* It is unsafe to work on foot inside an animal holding pen or chute system unless there are secure panels or gates to prevent crush injuries.
* Workers should avoid working alone with unpredictable large animals, especially bulls and horses.
* Workers should always have escape routes so they are not trapped in small areas with large animals.
* Most ’struck by animal’ injuries resulting in fractures are caused by horse kicks. If possible, workers and bystanders should avoid standing behind horses.
* Many skull fractures occur when riders fall from their horses. Riders should always wear CSA-approved helmets to reduce the likelihood of sustaining a skull fracture in the event of a fall.
I am posting this as a reminder to myself. So far in 6 years, 1 kick (it hurt); 1 spinal compression (trimming feet), and one separated shoulder due to a wasp sting and and getting bucked off. I should be good for another two years before I experience pain again!