There should be no unnecessary trash or debris lying around inside or outside of buildings. It is unsightly, an attractant
to rodents, can start or aid in the spread of a fire, and could cause an injury or fall to a person or animal.
ornamental shrubbery around the exterior of the barn should not be poisonous to livestock. Check with your county agricultural
agent for assistance in identifying plants poisonous to horses/livestock.
No Smoking signs should be posted at all
exterior doorways. Have sand buckets for cigarette butts available at the doors. No Smoking signs should also be posted in
lounges, bathrooms and in several other conspicuous places around the barn.
Correct size and type of fire extinguisher
should be located at every exterior door, in the middle of long aisles and next to the main electrical panel box. Fire exits
should be clearly marked.
Every farm/stable should have an emergency first aid kit for both humans and horses/livestock.
A phone with posted emergency numbers should be easily accessible.
Ample Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved
lighting should be available for maximum visibility around the exterior of the building and throughout the interior. Wiring
and switches should be encased in metal, weather proof boxes, and out of reach of stock.
The building should have
lightening rods and be properly grounded.
Doorways and aisles should be free of obstructions and sharp projections,
Ceilings need to have a height of 8-12 feet.. Door frames should be a minimum of 8 ft. high with
a minimum width of 4 feet.
Windows need to be inaccessible to horses and livestock, covered with bars or screening
and made of safety glass.
Stall and pen walls should be smooth, free of all projections, and of adequate size for
the number of animals to be housed and to prevent casting. Stall doors should have secure latches.
should be grounded to prevent accidental electrical shock.
Feed tubs and water buckets should be smooth, clean and
placed securely at the proper height so that the animals cannot become entangled.
Flooring should be easy to keep
clean and provide traction for animals, especially those with shoes. (Note: excessively rough flooring can cause abnormal
wear, soreness and bruised feet especially in cattle). Any rotten floor boards should be replaced immediately.
and other tying areas with safety release snaps should be provided to secure horses.
Grooming and wash stalls should
be in open areas; clean and well-drained to prevent wet and/or icy barn floors.
Hay storage needs to be away from
heat and electrical sources, and if at all possible in a separate building from where livestock and horses are housed.
Stairs to haylofts should have hand rails and kept free of slippery substances and clutter. Railings should be installed
around loft and ladder openings, and ladders should be firmly attached to the wall.
Hay and bedding should be stacked
so as not to fall on top of anyone.
Low beams and pipes (under 7 ft. clearance), steps or uneven floors should be
Tack rooms need adequate racks and storage areas to keep equipment off the floor and out of the path of
Storage areas should be large enough to keep shovels, pitchforks, wheel barrows, etc. safely away from
animals. Items should be hung so that people cannot strike their heads on them. Hoses should be neatly hung in wash rack areas
so that people and animals cannot become entangled in them.
Grain storage systems should be ratproof, weather proof
and not accessible to horses and livestock.
Areas around vents and fans should be kept clear. Fans should be properly
maintained and cleaned frequently.
Garbage receptacles should be available for the deposit of refuse, bailing twine
Turnouts and Pastures
*Turnout paddocks and pasture fencing should be sturdy, 4-6 feet in height, and able to keep livestock in and unwanted "visitors"
out. Any protrusion on which stock may become caught should be removed. Fencing material should be suitable for the type of
livestock being housed. Loose wires and broken boards or rails should be attended to immediately.
be a minimum of 4 feet wide, swing freely and have no sharp edges or corners.
*Footing should be free of ruts and
stones and well-drained.
*Pastures/turnouts should be free of debris, foreign objects and toxic plants.
and equipment should not be left in pastures and turnouts.
*Ponds, irrigation and open drainage ditches should be
*Fallen branches and tree stumps should be removed.
*Washouts should be fixed promptly.
*Any bridges should be strong enough to support horses and machinery.
*Periodic pasture checks should be made
to ascertain that no poisonous plants are growing in or around the pasture area.
Arenas and Jump Courses
*Rings and courses should have ample, suitable footing; free from ruts, holes and unevenness.
*Fencing should be
a minimum of 4 feet high and of adequate strength.
*All overhead and protruding branches should be cut back so as
not to be a hazard.
*All accessory equipment (e.g., jumps, trail obstacles, barrels, poles) should be in good condition.
Any broken or unstable items should be fixed or replaced immediately.
*Rings and jump courses should not attract
attention from "outside" such as skateboarders, dirt bikers or all-terrain vehicle riders.
be secured so as to deny entry to unauthorized users.
Delmarva Farmer. October 10, 1991. "Agriculture: A Dangerous Industry".
National Safety Council/Farm Family
Insurance Company. 1990. "Your Farm Safety Is No Accident!".
National Safety Council. 1975. "Hazard
Checklist For Agriculture".
Reinsurance Association of Minnesota. 1983. Fire Safety In Agricultural Buildings.
Roberts, William J., Buildings For Pleasure Horses. 1979. Rutgers Cooperative Extension.