Keeping yourself and your show steer or heifer safe includes making sure buildings, pens/lots, and equipment are well maintained and in proper working order. The facilities you use to house and work your show steer or heifer should be well designed, strong, and safe for you and your animals.
Keep buildings, alleys, and lots neat and tidy. Remember: Slips, trips, and falls cause many injuries when working with livestock. Make sure you have a place to put all your supplies, equipment, and feed and keep all of those items in their proper place. Clean up spills as soon as they happen. Don’t allow manure or feed to accumulate in alleyways or chutes.
Keep mechanical equipment clean and well maintained. Clean and sanitize grooming tools regularly, not only to keep them operating properly, but also to remove any organisms that can spread disease (such as ring worm).
Inspect electrical cords on clippers and blowers often. Replace cords that have exposed wires.
Use only electrical outlets have three-pronged receptacles; if outlets are located outdoors, make sure they are waterproof and have ground fault circuit interrupters to keep you and your show steer or heifer from getting an electric shock.
Make sure there is good lighting for indoor and outdoor areas where you will be working with your show steer or heifer. Lighting should be bright and not create shadowy areas. Your show steer of heifer can get scared when it goes from a brightly lit area to a dark shadowy area.
Keep fences, gates, doors, etc. repaired. Replace or repair equipment that doesn’t work. Gates that are hard to open can cause muscle strains or can pinch you if you have to push hard on them and they open or close unexpectedly. Wire ties or nails poking out of fence boards can cause scrapes or puncture wounds.
Choose equipment that will help make working with your show steer or heifer easier. A grooming chute helps hold your animal while you groom it while allowing you access to all parts of the animal for grooming. A squeeze chute helps hold the show steer or heifer still while you administer medicines.
What do you do with your buildings and pens to help you stay safe when working with your show steer or heifer? How do you care for your equipment to help you stay safe when using it to work with your show steer or heifer?
How can facilities contribute to a safer environment for you? For your show steer or heifer? How does properly maintaining equipment contribute to keeping you safe?
Why are good housekeeping and proper maintenance necessary for personal safety?
List some of the safety practices you do each day – in your home, at work or school?
Set up a practice show at a project meeting to practice show ring safety.
Take the Beef Safety Assessment Quiz at www.bae.ksu.edu/ylsp/node/60
Evaluate the safety of your livestock facilities using the Safety Audit Checklist. Make note of potential dangers and work with your parents to correct the dangers. Visit and evaluate project members’ facilities with an eye on safety preparedness.