As an agricultural journalist, I have written numerous articles on the issue of farm safety. And any time I think I’ve covered the issue enough, I read about another farming-related death.
We all have heard lectures: farming ranks among the most hazardous occupations. Here are some statistics to drive that point home: Between 1992 and 2009, 9,003 farmers and farm workers died from work-related injuries in the US. The leading cause of death for these workers was tractor overturns, accounting for over 90 deaths annually. Every day, about 243 agricultural workers suffer lost-work-time injury. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment. (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health statistics)
The sad truth is that in agriculture, these statistics hit close to home. And, it’s personal. After interviewing a producer for an article, I was notified the very next week that he had died in a grain bin accident. It was a sobering reminder that farming is indeed a dangerous workplace.
With harvest fast approaching, the long days and hurried schedules will mean tired bodies and minds. But please, don’t EVER forget safety.
Even if you’ve read this information a hundred times, read it once more. Here are a couple of links with basic safety information. Pin it to a bulletin board, pass it out at lunch, discuss over dinner…take the time.
And please, be safe.
Do you have a safety checklist? Do you go over this checklist with your family and/or employees?