Is your barn free of areas and items that could cause harm or injury to a horse, owner or rider? Take a few minutes and do a “safety inspection” based on the suggested areas below.
1. Are emergency numbers and information posted near the phone or in the barn aisle? Is the information up-to-date?
2. Check first aid and emergency supply kits. Do you need to replenish supplies? Safety Note: Throw away expired medications and replace as needed.
3. If you are a boarding facility, are your safety rules clearly posted and made part of the boarding contract?
4. Do you have "No Smoking" signs posted?
5. Have you placed and do you routinely check fire extinguishers in buildings?
6. Do the outside electrical outlets and switches have waterproof covers?
7. Is the area at least 30 feet from structures clear of debris, combustible material and weeds to help prevent the spread of fire?
8. Is there any structural damage to barn posts, beams or walls? Is the roof in good condition?
9. Is all wiring free of damage from weather or rodents. Are all electrical cords free of damage? Safety Note: Appliances and equipment should be unplugged when not in use.
10. Are areas behind refrigerators and other appliances, around lights and near electrical sources free of cobwebs and dust?
11. Are all grain and supplements stored in chew-proof containers with lids secured to prevent rodent or other wildlife infestation? Safety Note: This will also keep that escaped horse from gorging on grain.
12. Are hay and shavings stored in a separate building when practical? Safety Note: Storing hay in a well ventilated loft is preferable to the floor. If you store hay on the floor, place it on pallets as far from stalls as possible.
13. Are stalls free from damage to wood surfaces, with no broken or cracked feeders, or protruding nails? Do floors have damaged or uneven surfaces? Are bottom sections of stalls free of hazards if a horse rolls? Are stall doors or feed closures in good working order?
14.Are aisle ways and wash stalls clear of clutter? Safety Note: Any items stored in the aisles should be placed on hooks high enough that a panicked horse will not injure himself. Tack boxes and other items on the floor should not prevent stall doors from opening. Wash stall shelves should be high enough that a horse will not hit the shelf.
15. Are aisle way floors free of standing water, slick surfaces and uneven areas?
By checking your barn for these common problems, you can be breathe easier knowing that many of the causes of barn accidents have been eliminated.