We want to share some excellent first aid tips and processes that can help farmers and tractor operators stay safer and healthier.
If you do not feel that you understand these steps, or can perform them safely, consult your tractor dealer or local mechanic. Also always consult your tractor owner’s manual for model-specific information. For first aid related issues, please contact 911, your physician, or local hospital immediately.
Let’s get started.
Farming and agriculture accidents happen.
There are many things that cause them. One thing that is easy to forget is that injuries and medical challenges can arise from non-equipment sources. These include things like cuts, burns, bites, stings, attacks, allergies, and more.
We want to go over some first aid tips, techniques, and processes that will keep you and others safer and healthier when some of these non-equipment injuries come up.
Also bear in mind that many of us think we know basic first aid --- and then an injury arises, and we freeze up and realize we did not know as much as we thought we did.
This is where solid first aid processes are extremely helpful and could be life-saving. Also --- have a cellular phone (with your doctor and hospital numbers programmed in) with you just in case you need to call someone for help.
Time to get started.
First Aid Kit
The first thing we are going to cover is the first aid kit.
You should always have a first aid kit nearby.
We are going to outline a very basic kit. You may need other items depending on the work you do and the worker’s and operator’s health.
Here are some first aid items to include in your kit at the very minimum:
Individual-use antiseptic applications
Individual-use burn treatment applications
Latex-free medical exam gloves
Emergency throw-away cell phone (if you do not have a regular cell phone)
Cold weather can produce a vast amount of physical challenges.
It can be very dangerous and produce terrible working conditions.
Here are a few things you can do to stay warmer and avoid cold weather issues:
Keep muscles warm and loose by moving them as much as possible.
Take frequent, short breaks in warm areas.
Perform work at the warmest part of the day --- typically in the afternoon.
Never work alone.
Layer clothing when you are working in cold temperatures.
Wear a hat and gloves.
Use electronic hand and leg warmers.
Remember --- Insect stings can be treated without medical attention.
However --- you need immediate medical attention if the person suffers from an allergic reaction.
There is a non-medical treatment for insect stings.
The first step for treating an insect sting is to remove the stinger.
A stinger can be removed by using a straight-edge to scrape off the stinger. You can also use a set of sterilized tweezers to pull it out. If you choose to use a set of sterilized tweezers to remove the stinger, make sure to use extreme caution so you do not puncture the protruding venom sac.
After the stinger has been removed --- place a cold pack on and off the wound for the first 24 hours. This is to suppress the pain and swelling. After the first 24 hours --- heat should be applied if the pain or swelling persists.
Those with severe allergies to insect stings should consult a physician about carrying a prescription medical kit. The kit would contain medicine and the instructions to be used in the event of an insect sting.
Kit or no kit --- the victim must still receive medical attention. Call for help and take them to the nearest hospital.
Snakes Snake bites happen more often than you may think.
Unfortunately, many of us are not snake experts --- so a bite can be anything from harmless to lethal depending on the type of snake.
So here’s the bottom line --- If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical attention immediately.
Try to describe the size and color of the snake to the doctor. This can help the doctor determine if the snake was poisonous. Many doctors know what snakes are indigenous to certain areas.
Animals Always keep in mind as you are working that animals such as squirrels or bats may be in nearby trees or bushes. They can come out of nowhere and attack or bite you.
Also watch for rats, skunks, and raccoons --- as they could be rabid.
So here’s the bottom line --- If you are bitten by an animal, seek medical attention immediately.
Try to describe the animal to the doctor. This can help the doctor determine if the animal was poisonous. Many doctors know what animals are indigenous to certain areas.
Poison Ivy, Sumac, and Oak
Coming in contact with any of these is common in some areas.
Here is what we recommend at a minimum:
Wash the affected area and all the clothing and tools that may have touched the plant.
Avoid scratching the area (to prevent infection).
Apply hot and cold compresses to suppress any itching.
Consult a doctor if the rash is on the face, inside the mouth, or covers a large portion of the body.
Cuts and Burns You can usually treat minor cuts and burns on the job site. There are exceptions of course.
You need to seek medical attention in these cases:
Wound is more than ½” long and ¼” deep.
Result of a puncture wound.
Burn area covers over 20% of the body with blisters.
Skin is blackened or charred.
Signs of any infection whatsoever.
There is a recommended process for treating basic cuts.
Here it is:
Clean the cut area thoroughly.
Remove all the debris from the wound.
Apply pressure to the wound using gauze or a clean, absorbent cloth until the bleeding stops. If any blood seeps through the cloth, do not remove it. Continue adding more gauze or cloth over the previous one.
Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with a bandage or a clean gauze pad.
Allow the wound to heal. Keep dirt from creating an infection by changing the bandage or gauze frequently.
If a limb has been amputated, elevate it while applying direct pressure, and call 911.
There is a recommended process for treating basic burns.
Here it is:
Cool the burn by placing it under cool running water or in a container of cool water for at least 15 minutes.
Cover the area with gauze or a clean cloth.
Allow the burn to heal and keep dirt from creating an infection by changing the gauze frequently.
If any blisters occur, do not break them. Cover the blister(s) with gauze and allow them to break on their own.
Hopefully, this short article helped you better understand how to administer first aid to some basic equipment and non-equipment physical injuries.
If you need any further help or have any questions about safety, tractors, or anything else, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.
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