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UW Extension Bulletin Outlines Personal Protective Equipment for Farm, Ranch Safety

November 14, 2012 — A new University of Wyoming Extension publication offers suggestions to ranchers and farmers purchasing and using personal protective equipment.

Every day, more than 240 agricultural workers in America suffer serious lost-work time injuries, and 5 percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“In 2010, the injury rate for agricultural workers was 20 percent higher than the rate for all workers,” says Randy Weigel, UW Extension human development specialist. “Many farm and ranch injuries could be prevented or their impacts reduced if they wore proper personal protective equipment (PPE).”

The “Solutions for Living: Personal Protective Equipment for Agriculture” bulletin, B-1233, outlines considerations for purchasing and using PPE. The bulletin can be accessed free at

“In addition, OSHA has set general standards for PPE equipment,” Weigel says. “These standards are applicable to ranchers, farmers and agricultural workers. Finally, in using pesticides, read the label. It provides information on the correct PPE to be used for that specific chemical.”

PPE is designed to protect many parts of the body including eyes, head, face, hands, feet, ears and torso.

Pesticides and liquid chemicals, falling objects, loud machinery and equipment, temperature extremes, welding sparks, electrical hazards, particulates and vapors are some of the primary hazards ranchers and farmers face daily, Weigel says.

PPE does not prevent accidents, but they can prevent or lessen injuries or deaths when used and worn properly, he says.

“Protective equipment must be carefully selected,” Weigel says. “Test fit the protective equipment to be sure of a proper and comfortable fit. If it isn’t comfortable, it won’t be worn; if it isn’t worn, it won’t protect.”

For more information about PPE or Wyoming AgrAbility, email Weigel at or visit

Goggles offer good protection against front and side impact. Unvented or indirect vented chemical splash goggles provide protection from chemical vapors and liquids.

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