Monday, February 10, 2014

Another Helpful Hint: Don't hurt yourself

My posts about retail life and small acre farming are my most popular subjects, so today I thought I'd treat you all to one of the more important safety tips when working in a farm environment.

Don't clamp the gate's Y latch on your finger.

I know, I know, everyone does it, but it's not safe. Not safe at all. We're all especially prone to do it when the wind is blowing and our fingers are numb and the gate doesn't want to shut because there's a ton of snow in the way. I pulled hard on the top part of the gate while I braced against the pole on which the Y latch would clamp onto. My finger was in the way. And in the thoughtless way that all folks do these things, I pushed the latch down first chance I got anyway.

It took off a chunk of skin, which hurts, as these things tend to do, but the thing I seemed to have forgotten about (as one does when working around a farm) is that when metal and metal are forced together by extreme external pressure, any bone and flesh that gets in the way squishes.

Fortunately it only bent the joint backward rather than breaking bone or snapping tendon. I talked to the gate for a little while, and then I squeezed my finger nicely for a while, and I admired the blood dripping onto the snow. That's always pretty. And then I went home, talking to no one in particular because I'm quite the Chatty Cathy when the mood strikes me.

So, the point is, no matter how tempting it might be to go the easy route, remember, don't close Y latches (or any other sorts of latches) onto one's own fingers even when you're in a rush or you don't want to be bothered with doing it right. I got off easy. Next time, I might cry.

And that would be bad. That's, like embarrassing. Way worse than pain.

Just don't do it. Be safe. And stay warm!

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