By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
Most farms are safe places; however, during busy times of year, like spring planting season, we tend to lose our safety focus. Sobering statistics reveal that every three days a child dies and every day 33 children are injured in agriculture-related incidents. The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program provides the education, training and resources to make farm and ranch life safer and healthier for children and their communities. By not cutting corners and avoiding the urge to rush to accomplish many tasks in a short amount of time, we can maintain a safety focus.
Here a five safety tips to ensure safety is always at the forefront this spring:
- Wear Your PPE – Whether leisure activities like ATV and bicycle riding to daily farm tasks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including helmets, gloves, sunscreen, wide brim hats and dust masks can save a life and keep you healthy for years to come.
- Hydration & Sleep – Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest to stay focused and alert during long, hot days.
- Equipment Safety 101 – Spring planting season is busy; however, it is important to take extra time to complete tasks safety.
- Take extra time to do a walkabout around your equipment to make sure it is free from debris and other factors that could make it unsafe.
- Ensure all tractors have Rollover Protective Systems (ROPS) and seat belts in place.
- All tractors and machinery that cannot maintain 25 miles per hour should be equipped with a visible Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem.
- Kids are curious and are attracted to large equipment, but can be hard to spot around large equipment. Equipment operators should always check for blind spots.
- Chores for Children – When assigning youth chores on the farm or ranch, be sure to take into account the child’s size, age and abilities.
- Role Model Safe Behavior – Remember, your children are always watching, so show them the correct and safe way to do something. We are counting on them as our next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders!
Nearly 475 applications to host a 2018 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® throughout North America were received last year. Will one be taking place in your community? Visit progressiveag.org to find out. Simply click on the Safety Day List located under the 2018 Safety Days tab. Looking for a safe investment? Help send another child to a Safety Day with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “safetyday” to 41444 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.
Photo: Learning to be a good egg! During an activity called, “Mr. Good Egg,” participants at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in Illinois learn how valuable Rollover Protective Systems (ROPS) and seatbelt are on tractors and other equipment.