Protecting your senses

Sense About Protecting Your Senses

Eye and ear protection should be a farriers priority

No farrier would get under a horse if he or she knew that it was just waiting to kick the shoer out of the barn. The farrier would take precautions first — ask that a vet administer a tranquilizer, maybe consider using a twitch or other restraining advice. Maybe even tell the owner the job can’t be done with the horse in its present mood.

After all, why take chances?

Yet many farriers take easily avoidable chances every day — when they shoe horses and work at the anvil without proper eye and ear protection.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an estimated 1,000 eye injuries take place in the workplace every day. OSHA estimates that these injuries cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses and workers’ compensation payments — and remember, very few farriers are covered by workers’ compensation.

A 1980 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics looked at 1,000 minor eye injuries. The results indicate that:

  • Flying particles cause almost 70 percent of all eye injuries.
  • Injured workers estimate that almost 60 percent of the flying particles were smaller than a pinhead.
  • Contact with chemicals caused 20 percent of all injuries.
  • Objects swinging from fixed or attached positions, or tools that struck the eye while the worker was using them caused other injuries.
  • Almost 40 percent of all eye injuries occurred among craft workers such as mechanics, repairers, carpenters and plumbers.

Statistics involving farriers aren’t available, but it’s easy…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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