As producers begin to hit the fields for the start of the 2023 planting season, its always a good idea to remind ourselves of the practices that keep farmers, their families, and their workers safe. National Grain Safety Week, which runs March 27-31 this year, is an industry wide initiative aimed at raising awareness of the preventable hazards that impact hundreds of farmers every year.
Unfortunately, farming is also one of the deadliest and most hazardous professions in the world. Globally, agriculture ranks alongside construction and mining as the most dangerous industry. Nationally, 60 to 70 per 100,000 farmers are killed annually. Nonfatal injuries occur to about 33% of the farming population in the United States, with 3% of accidents resulting in a permanent disability.
Most farm accidents occur when grain is being moved or transported and someone enters a bin to walk down the moving grain or is buried by falling grain that was bridged to the walls and suddenly collapsed. Moving grain acts like quicksand and can bury a worker in seconds.
The seventh annual “”Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week” is hosted by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) together with its partners in the ag industry. The week-long awareness campaign will provide employers and workers with educational opportunities, resources, and training on best safety practices.
Free virtual safety session begin at 10 a.m. CST each day, with a hybrid in-person and online kickoff event scheduled for today, March 27. The kickoff will be livestreamed from the Wayne County Fire & Rescue Association Regional Training Facility, Apple Creek, Ohio. Registrants will have free access to virtual training sessions during the rest of the week, with each day featuring a different focus and resources. More details about the presentations and registration instructions can be found HERE.
The virtual event schedule includes:
March 28: Powered industrial trucks (presented in Spanish at 2 p.m. Central)
March 29: Preventive maintenance and a bonus event, emerging health issues in agricultural settings
March 30: Heat and extreme weather (presented in Spanish at 2 p.m. Central)
March 31: Anhydrous ammonia and fumigation