Stressed livestock are more likely to injure themselves, their handlers, and are more difficult to work with. Providing stockmanship training for workers handling livestock is key to preventing injuries.
There may also be changes you can make in your buildings, gates, and working areas that will minimize distractions and startling objects. Check in on your buildings and animal safety this month to keep yourself and animals safe!
The checklist below lists a few things you can check for to ensure safe animal handling:
- Do all workers receive appropriate stockmanship training to handle livestock?
- Are the working lanes towards chutes curved?
- Are livestock able to follow other animals ahead of them when being worked or moved?
- Is lighting uniform to prevent large shadows in barns and working areas?
- Are you minimizing strange sights, like random coats, coffee mugs, or tools, when working cattle?
- Do loading ramps and chutes have solid sidewalls to prevent distractions?
- Is the floor uniform with enough traction? Cattle will balk at changes in color, texture, or depth.
- Are your alleys adequate? Cattle move uphill easier than down, as long as the slope of the ramps is no more than 20 degrees.
You and/or your employee(s) can download and print a pdf checklist to complete safety checks on your farm. Keep the completed forms for follow-up, future reference and inspections.DOWNLOAD PDF CHECKLIST
UMASH Stockmanship Resources
Stockmanship is a practice which promotes positive animal handling. Stockmanship is important for both animal and worker safety. It reduces stress, increasing milk production and reducing potential injuries on the farm.
UMASH has developed posters, fact sheets, and a series of training videos on dairy stockmanship or low stress animal handling techniques.
Disclaimer: The facts and information listed above are suggestions for your safety, but are in no way a comprehensive and exhaustive list of all actions needed to insure your safety.
WHAT IS THE UMASH FARM SAFETY CHECK?
The UMASH Farm Safety Check is a quick monthly review to identify and fix potential hazards before they cause harm to your family and employees – and your bottom line.
Each month, Farm Safety Check will focus on a different topic, offering checklists and tips for identifying hazards, along with resources to remedy any problems. Use the Farm Safety Check checklists and resources to reinforce safety practices throughout the year and help prevent incidents and injuries for workers, visitors, and farm families.