Working in stockyards around livestock can pose significant safety risks. Incidents with handling animals can result in limb fractures, contusions, abrasions, crushing injuries and even fatalities.
To help prevent these injuries, here are some basic safety tips to consider:
- Always close gates using both hands; body should be kept squarely behind the gate with one hand on the latch.
- Never swing the gate with one hand.
- Never slam the gate on cattle.
- Never stand behind a gate unless it is latched shut.
- Never look through the slates of a gate.
- When moving cattle into a pen, open the gate across the alley and set the latch so the gate cannot swing back.
- When letting cattle out of a pen, open the gate fully across the alley and set the latch.
- Always give cattle plenty of room – crowding can result to injury for the worker or cattle.
If in an alley with moving cattle, follow these steps:
- Step into an empty pen, or
- Stand flat against the fence and allow cattle plenty of space, or
- Step up on fence rails.
When moving cattle:
- Never push with excessive force or speed.
- Do not get close to their hind legs.
- Take extra precautions around livestock with poor vision.
- Identify and warn other employees of aggressive cattle behavior.
- Never prod or whip cattle!