Stuck in the mud? Don’t let your business get bogged down by soggy conditions
Muddy conditions can spring up any time of year, but they’re especially prevalent (and costly) in the spring. The risks to businesses are trifold, including loss of production, equipment issues, and potential for employee injuries.
Delays in work
Let Mother Nature win this round – Sometimes, it’s just too muddy to work. Depending on your project, soil type, and degree of saturation, you may need to focus on other tasks for a period of time like maintenance or safety training.
Environmental concerns – Check erosion control systems around your worksite at least every two weeks and after every rain. Runoff and damage to adjacent properties can be costly consequences for business owners.
Watch the weather – If rain or thawing conditions are in the forecast, plan your work accordingly. Prioritize tasks that will become difficult during muddy conditions, and communicate potential risks with the teams impacted.
Don’t get stuck – Sounds simple, but moving heavy equipment in wet conditions is tricky. Be extremely cautious against slipping, tipping, and lack of traction. This can seriously damage large equipment, not to mention the cost and time associated with recovering mired machinery.
Organize your site for effective mud management – Gravel, silt fences, wattle, filter socks, and erosion control blankets can help you organize and manage your site by encouraging water flow away from work areas.
Don’t underestimate the weight – It may sound silly, but how much more do your materials weigh when wet? If you’re hauling or lifting supplies, make sure you are taking into account the additional water weight when operating equipment and traveling on roads.
Slips and falls – Slips and falls are always a concern, and mud can be just as slippery as ice or wet surfaces. Use three points of contact when entering or exiting vehicles and equipment. Feet stuck in mud can lead to falling at awkward angles.
Sprains and strains – Sprains and strains can be more painful than broken bones. When pulling a foot out of mud, don’t yank. Work it back and forth with gentle force to remove it.
Proper footwear – Encourage proper footwear including mud boots with substantial treads. Provide ways for employees to clean mud off their boots before climbing on equipment, and encourage good foot hygiene in wet conditions.
If you have Workers’ Compensation coverage from SECURA, you can speak with a nurse 24/7 for advice on how to evaluate and treat minor injuries like sprains and strains at no cost.
Delayed flights and lost luggage often headline the list of concerns for travelers, but they are minor inconveniences compared to severe illness, missing prescriptions, or serious injury away from home.
The time to prepare for sickness is before germs hit your team. Illnesses can happen anytime, but flu season generally peaks between December and February, although it can stretch from October through May. Consider how you canprevent an outbreak and how you can respond quickly to limit the impact and costs to your business.
When Jenny VanDeHei left for college to study business, she thought she had picked her last stone and fed her last calf. She loved the family farm she grew up on, but she saw her future as an accountant, in an office building in the city, far from the country fresh smell of cow manure.
When you’re born into a farm family, on the job training begins the moment you can walk. You learn quickly where it’s safe to play, not to startle the animals, and that there’s always a way you can help – no matter your age. Curt Weis, Manager – Farm and Agribusiness Training, can attest to this because he earned his keep by working on his family’s farm right up until he left for college.
Patti Lemke, Sr. Agribusiness Underwriter, spent her entire young life living and working on a farm. Her parents owned and operated a small farm in Eden, Wis. that milked 65 cows in a stanchion barn, and she worked on a large dairy farm that milked 700 head from the time she was 14 until she left for college.