Farm safety promotion at the forefront this week

As harvest gets to be in full swing, groups are looking to promote farm safety. 

The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) launched a campaign to promote safety and health in agriculture this week. Farming and agriculture are rewarding pursuits focused on feeding, fueling, and clothing the world. However, they don’t come without their risks. 

In 2018, the published fatality rate for farm workers was 18.0 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2019, there were 410 fatal workplace injuries in the private crop production, animal production, and aquaculture industries. 

“Workers age 65 and older accounted for 41.6 percent of the 221 fatal injuries in the crop production industry and 36.0 percent of the 189 fatal injuries in the animal production and aquaculture industry,” said the bureau in a report.

With larger amounts of heavy machinery in fields and on roads, fall harvest is one of the agricultural industry’s busiest and most dangerous times of the year. Therefore, National Farm Safety and Health Week is recognized during the third week of September (Sept 18-24 this year). 

This week the NECAS is hosting various “AgriSafe” webinars to promote safety in the industry. This week the NECAS is hosting various “AgriSafe” webinars to promote safety in the industry. Some webinars focus on grain bin safety, heat and wildfire exposure, and crashes. Discussions will also highlight mental health, suicide prevention, and sexual harassment. 

The USDA spoke to Dan Neenan, director of the NECAS, who provided tips for farmers to help improve on-farm safety this season. 

Reporting by Rod Bain, USDA

America needs farmers, and we need them to be safe. Good luck to those currently or about to begin harvesting, and those seeding winter crops. 

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