Safety should be a key focus for farmers, family members—including children—and employees, says the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE).  As part of Agriculture safety week, March 4 through 10, ASSE members are offering agriculture safety and health tips on-line at http://www.asse.org/newsroom/safetytips/farmsafetytips.php.   

ASSE Agriculture Branch Chair and President of the Chesapeake Chapter Mike Wolf, CSP, said, “Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S.  Farming is the only industry that regularly has young workers and children present and it is critical that everyone working in or around farms is aware of the risks, hazards and ways to avoid injury and illness in these types of settings.  Installing rollover protection on tractors and ensuring all farm workers and children are educated on farm safety practices is critical to reducing farm-related fatalities.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2009, approximately 1,783,000 full-time workers were employed in the agriculture industry in the U.S.  During the same year, 440 farmers and farm workers died from work-related injuries, resulting in a fatality rate of 24.7 deaths per 100,000 workers.  Each day, approximately 243 agricultural workers suffer lost-time injuries, with 5 percent of these resulting in permanent impairments, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The leading cause of fatal farm injuries was tractor overturns, which accounts for more than 90 deaths annually.