The theme “Cultivating the seeds of safety” reminds local and rural communities that agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. and farm injuries and fatalities are preventable through education. The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that in 2016, farming accounted for 567 fatalities, or 22.8 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. This recognition has been an annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first document.
In Utah, we have made great strides in changing our agricultural practices to make safety a priority. Of course, this is only possible because of you, our members; you are the ones that make our farm safety program a success. Thank you, for inviting us out to work with you, your employees, and your family members to improve the quality of safety on your farm or ranch. You are the reason we have seen a reduction in farm related fatalities in our state.
This truly is a busy time for us, so as you are into the thick of farming let me leave you with a few tips to help keep harvest time safe.
- Make sure any person that operates the equipment has had training
- Maintain or repair equipment
- Replace damaged or missing shields and guards
- Have rollover protective structures (ROPS) in the upright position
- Always wearing the seatbelt on equipment with ROPS
- Keeping a sharp eye for low hanging power lines and other hazards
- Do not operating equipment if suffering from sleep deprivation or exhaustion
- Do not letting others ride if there is no seat for them
- Keep equipment clean, so reflectors and slow-moving vehicle (SMVs) emblem can be seen
- Keep an ABC fire extinguisher (5-pound minimum) on equipment
- Never clean or adjust equipment while it is running
- Do not block hydraulically-lifted parts or use equipment collars.
- Do not try to clear plugged equipment by hand while power is still engaged
- Lock brake pedals together for on the road traveling
- Keep children off of grain transportation equipment
- Letting others know where you are
This a been a good year for safety in farming and ranching, the Farm Bureau encourages all to make “Cultivating the seeds of safety” a habit. Take the time to assure your safety and the safety of those around you or that share the road with you. To view a number of farm safety videos, visit the U.S. Agricultural Safety Center.
For more information about farm safety or safety programs, please call 801-233-3006 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.