WASHINGTON — Fall harvest is known as one of the busiest and most dangerous times of the year for the agriculture industry. The long hours, paired with the need to accomplish many tasks in a condensed timeframe, can lead to cutting corners and losing focus – causing an incident to occur. Therefore, the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program is striving to ensure the safety and health of our present and future generations of farmers and their families as a proud supporter of the 2021 National Farm Safety & Health Week.
During these extra busy times of the year, it is especially important to remember the safety of our children. The sad reality is that every three days in the United States a child dies due to an agriculture-related incident, according to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS). The leading sources of fatalities among youth are comprised of 47% involving transportation, including tractors, ATVs, and UTVs; 20% involving contact with machinery; and 13% involving incidents with animals and other humans. Additionally, about every day 33 children are injured due to agriculture-related incidents, with 60% of the injuries occurring to children not working on the farm. These sobering statistics keep our mission of providing education, training, and resources at the forefront, with the vision that no child will become ill, injured, or die from farm, ranch, and rural activities.
As parents and grandparents, we need to remember that we are our child’s first teacher. Therefore, it is important to always role model safe and healthy behaviors. While children may want to help on the farm, only assign age-appropriate tasks, never allow children to climb or ride on equipment, and designate safe play areas.
This year’s National Farm Safety & Health Week theme “Farm Safety Yields Real Results,” reminds us that safety should never take a backseat on the farm or ranch. When making safety and health a priority and keeping it at the forefront of all farm-related tasks, we can each play a role in reducing the occurrence of preventable incidents. Throughout the week-long event, held September 19-25, a different safety-related topic is highlighted daily. The daily topics include:
Monday, September 20: Tractor & Rural Roadway Safety
Tuesday, September 21: Overall Farmer Health
Wednesday, September 22: Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
Thursday, September 23: Agricultural Fertilizer & Chemical Safety
Friday, September 24: Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture
For a full listing of events planned during this week, visit the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety at www.necasag.org. Also, follow @PAFSafetyDays on social media for safety tips.
The “Safety Day Corner” is a safety message by the Progressive Agriculture Foundation® (PAF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, with the mission to provide education, training, and resources to make farm, ranch, and rural life safer and healthier for all children and their communities. Recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North American, the Foundation’s Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program, has reached more than 1.8 million youth – and counting – since the program’s inception in 1995. For more information about PAF and its programs, visit: www.progressiveag.org.
–Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist
Progressive Agriculture Foundation
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