Agriculture is consistently among the most hazardous occupations in the U.S., according to Dennis Murphy, Penn State distinguished professor of agricultural safety and health, a founding board member of the new council. In an average year, 516 workers die while doing farm work, and each day about 243 agricultural workers suffer lost-time injuries.
"Agriculture, due to its decentralized nature and diverse structure, lags behind other industries in reducing the toll on its workers with a safety rate that is eight times that of the all-industry average," Murphy said. "The council's mission is to proactively address ongoing and emerging occupational safety and health issues affecting agriculture in the U.S."
The new council, driven by farmer/rancher and agribusiness leaders, is the first of its kind in the country to pursue a national strategy to reduce disease, injuries and fatalities in American agriculture. The group will attempt to influence research priorities to rapidly identify best-management practices for worker safety and health that maximize cost efficiency and sustainability.
A variety of membership packages are available for individuals and organizations. For more information, visit www.ashca.org.