Know Your Limits (Public Service Announcement)

Daily life on a farm is very hectic, and a farmer's life is full of pressures.. weather factors, planting deadlines and the like, all play a part in the atmosphere of farm life. Many times, a farmer may feel he has to push himself - perhaps beyond his physical limits - to get a job done on time. But this can be very dangerous. Exceeding one's limits has proven to be a real factor in numerous farm accidents. The risk of accident or illness increases when a farmer works in extreme heat or cold, or attempts jobs beyond their physical limitations. Here are some guidelines to help you keep your tasks in line with your age and general state of health.

  • Be ready for a safe day - including dressing right for the job and the weather, and being properly nourished and well-rested.
  • Take breaks from work often to fight fatigue, and renew your energy.
  • Don't try to be a "super farmer". Stop when you feel "you've had it". Don't be afraid to ask someone to you while you rest. If you're struggling to lift and carry heavy loads - get help!
  • Make sure you have the necessary strength, skill, and staying power required by the job or activity to do it well... and safely.
  • Be willing to give up jobs and activities you can no longer do safely due to age and/or health problems.
  • Ladies - Keep in mind that farm equipment is designed primarily to accommodate the adult male physique. Anticipate the need for a larger reach or a harder push to get the job done.
  • Figure out the least taxing way to do things. Use your mechanical power rather than physical strength whenever possible. Plan your work day to maximum use of your available energy.
  • Take time off for a day of fishing, hiking, a trip to the fair, reading or whatever else you enjoy doing.
  • Vary your exercise routine for improved cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone and to stay agile. Consider recreational forms of physical activity like bowling, walking, baseball or cross-country skiing.
  • Farming is dangerous work - please make sure that where your work is concerned you know, and stay within your physical limits.

Allan Schramm, Farm Partners Social Worker, NYCAMH.

This public service announcement was produced by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, New York 13326 - Ph# (607) 547-6023 or (800) 343-7527 in the northeast. Publication date: 1994.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More