Farming is dangerous. It is actually the most dangerous form of work or labor in the US, where the agricultural sector had about 573 fatalities in 2019 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is equivalent to 23.1 deaths per 100,000 American workers. For farmers and agricultural workers, fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year. This is why the third week of September (September 18th through 24th), peak fall season, is recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. The importance of agriculture as the backbone of civilization is seen through this annual promotion of farm safety that was originally initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting United States President since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.
Farm safety needs a whole week of discussion because it is such a multi-faceted industry and topic. Therefore, each day of National Farm Safety and Health Week will cover a different topic. Starting with tractor safety and rural roadway safety which discusses crashes involving agricultural vehicles in the southwest and ATV/UTV safety for farm women. The next day discusses overall farmer health which includes a CALM workshop detailing how to put time and distance between someone at risk of suicide and lethal means and a talk about heat and wildfire smoke exposure among agricultural workers. The following day discusses safety and health for youth in agriculture which includes the role of employers and supervisors in protecting young agricultural workers and learning about farm youth mental health. The last two days of the week talk about confined spaces like grain bin safety and grain bin entry and safety and health for women in agriculture which includes injury prevention for aging women and a discussion on sexual harassment prevention in an agricultural workplace.
These topics are only a small part of the many important discussions that need to be had surrounding farm safety. To learn more about National Farm Safety and Health and how you can participate in this important national promotion, visit: http://www.necasag.org/nationalfarmsafetyandhealthweek/.
DII is your partner in safety and health in the workplace. Even if that workplace happens to be a farm. Our team of experts can work with you to understand the best agricultural safety and health measures for your workers and company. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #FarmSafety #HealthWeek #NFSHW