This Is Farm Safety Week

Northwest, Iowa — This week of September 20th through the 26th is not only Farm Safety and Health here in Iowa, but it is also National Farm Safety and Health Week.

Charles Schwab, Iowa State University professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, took some time to explain just what farm safety’s primary goal is.

(as said) “Primarily the whole purpose of the National Farm Safety and Health Week is taking a moment to look at, probably, the most dangerous part of the year for farmers, and we know that within the industry in the United States, agriculture is ranked as the most dangerous because of the number of deaths per hundred thousand workers.”

The theme for Farm Safety and Health Week is “Every Farmer Counts”, and this is reflected by emphasizing the importance of continuing to make good decisions.

(as said) “‘Every Farmer Counts’,” Schwab explains, “is the theme and that’s what we are trying to emphasize is that every farmer counts. They count in lives saved, they count in safety choices, and they count in bringing in a great harvest.”

Schwab explains that farmers are going through a lot of stress this year with the pandemic, derecho, and drought, and that is being factored into farm safety with the emphasis on making good choices. For example, keeping your body healthy during the harvest season, eating breakfast, and taking breaks when needed.

(as said) “All these things add other levels of stress, and so when you are working long hours and hard work, and you have that stress that just adds and complicates the decision process, sometimes we don’t always make the safest choice.”

One thing that is being very heavily emphasized is using tractors that have rollover protective structures (ROPS).

(as said) “Tractors with rollover protective structures, it’s what I would classify as a good choice. There’s so many different types of operations that you have and, if you’re using a tractor with rollover protective structure, then you’re greatly increasing your chance of not having a fatality.”

These are just a few of the many lessons being taught to help farmers make good decisions and how they can stay safe this harvest season. for more information, visit www.extension.iastate.edu.

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