Another National Farm Safety and Health Week is here, and it won't be long before it's a memory. But practicing farm safety shouldn't ever be only a memory, and it isn't just one week out of the year. Fittingly, this year's theme is "Ag safety is not just a slogan, it's a lifestyle."
The theme is a reminder to local and rural communities that agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S., says the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.
Farm injuries and fatalities are preventable through education, the Center says. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor, farming in 2013 accounted for 50 fatalities. That amounts to 23.2 deaths per 100,000 workers.
President Obama Friday in his official proclamation of Farm Safety and Health Week, reiterated the efforts of groups supporting safety week, and highlighted agriculture's importance to the economy.
"America's farmers and ranchers have played a critical role in shaping our progress and forging a better future for coming generations. Through centuries of hard work, they have supplied our Nation with products and services essential to the economic and physical well-being of our society.
"Across our country, those who work on farms bolster our economy and nourish our people by providing what we need at a most human level, helping to uphold America's founding creed: Out of many, we are one. This week, let us recognize the steadfast dedication and commitment of agricultural producers and their families, and let us reaffirm our resolve to promote their health and safety."
This week, while farmers continue or begin harvest, here are five ways make ag safety count and advance your farm safety education:
1. AgriSafe Webinars. Catch the week's remaining webinars: (9/23) Harvest Season: Are the Children Safe?; (9/24) AgriSafe: Healthier is Here; (9/25) Research to Practice in Agriculture: The National ROPS Rebate Program. Also search #AgChat on Twitter to see responses in Tuesday's chat on Farm Safety topics. Learn more about AgriSafe webinars online.
2. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers Videos. View all NIOSH US Ag Centers videos, including how to select the right respiratory protection, how to prevent heat illness and ensuring grain safety, on the Centers' Youtube Channel.
3. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers Website. Visit the Centers for Disease Control's NIOSH website for print resources and statistical reports on agricultural safety.
4. Farm Safety for Just Kids. Visit the FS4JK website for kid-friendly educational resources on chemical, tractor, grain, roadway, animal and ATV safety.
5. Occupational Safety and Health Ag Operations. Visit the OSHA ag page for more resources and tips to keep you safe on the farm. The page also includes links to several University Extension safety pages.