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Nationwide News: Recommended actions can keep dairy farms safe

Issue Date: June 24, 2020

The following information is provided by Nationwide, the No. 1 farm and ranch writer in the U.S.*

In June, dairy leaders and farm communities across America celebrate National Dairy Month, a 77-year-old tradition that recognizes the importance of the dairy industry's contributions. While honoring the dairy producers in our communities, Nationwide also encourages producers to consider the safety of their operations.

"Dairy farming can be a dangerous occupation," says Chuck Hammond of Nationwide Risk Management Services. "But costly accidents and injuries can be prevented or minimized when proper precautions are followed."

Nationwide partners with farm insurance agents to help prevent accidents on dairy farms. Our prevention checklist covers:

  • Buildings/structures.
  • Animal facilities.
  • Electrical equipment.
  • Fire protection.
  • Fuels/chemicals.
  • Machinery/farm equipment.

Safety tips


  • Keep doors/gates to hazardous areas closed/secured.
  • Protect outside ramps/steps to keep rain/liquids from freezing.
  • Regularly test generators.
  • Make first-aid kits and emergency phone numbers available.

Animal facilities:

  • Train employees to properly operate power crowd gates and entry/exit gates.
  • Ensure fences, gates and other confining devices work.
  • Keep children from playing near barns/pens/feedlots.


  • Properly place electrical panel covers on control panels and circuit-breaker and junction boxes to prevent dust accumulation and weather exposure.
  • Ensure workers know locations of electrical main and gas/water/release valves for hot water heaters.
  • Use electrical connections only in dry areas.

Fire protection:

  • Install 10-pound or larger ABC (all-purpose) fire extinguisher in buildings and barns.
  • Create a maintenance schedule to check fire extinguishers.
  • Equip individual ventilation fans in buildings with circuit and current safety devices, because overheating barn fan motors are a leading cause of fire.
  • Avoid using portable heat sources.


  • Properly label fuel storage tanks with contents.
  • Keep fuel/chemical tanks at least 25 feet from buildings.
  • Document plan for disposing of empty containers and leftover chemicals.

Machinery/farm equipment:

  • Inspect power equipment for proper shielding and guarding.
  • Require drivers/passengers to wear seat belts.
  • Keep children and non-workers away from machinery and wagons.

For more farm safety tips, contact a local Nationwide farm agent or visit

* By direct written premium, AM Best (2018). Based on statutory data.

Nationwide, its affiliates and its employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with any suggestions or information contained herein. The recommendations provided are general in nature; unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the safety suggestions. Nothing contained herein is meant to represent or indicate compliance with applicable standards or requirements mandated by federal, state or local jurisdictions. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2020 Nationwide

Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.

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