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Preventing injury during calving season

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As we enter into the month of August it brings with it the end of the sporting season, end of winter and the start of calving season. With calving starting it also brings with it a high number of accidents and injuries that occur on dairy farms. In 2015 ACC statistics showed the number of injuries on farms is relatively low throughout June, however this number then doubles for July and then again for August.

August for dairy farmers signals the start of calving season and with this means lots of heavy lifting, long hours and working in often cold/wet conditions. The main injuries seen throughout calving season is lower back and neck strains, often due to lifting or carrying incorrectly. Other such injuries also seen throughout calving season is strains to the shoulder, knee and ankle which can occur due to uneven ground, motorbike accidents or being kicked by an animal.  

By planning ahead and making sure you are prepared for the upcoming season farmers can ensure that them and their staff are at a reduced risk of injury resulting in less time off work and loss of income.

What can you do to prepare for the upcoming calving season?

  • Training in good lifting techniques
  • Address any slip/trip risks
  • Have a plan in place to manage fatigue levels
    Regular nutritious meals
    Staying hydrated
    Getting enough sleep
  • If performing the same tasks eg lifting buckets, take a break and stretch your back, shoulders and neck often
  • Maintaining fitness and strength throughout the off-season

 

AUTHOR: Bridget Sheed, Physiotherapist

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