How Prepared Are You?

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

In recent years, horrific wildfires spread along the West Coast, while tropical storms devastated popular vacation spots through the South. This year alone, we experienced blistering cold temperatures with the polar vortex this winter in the North and Upper Midwest, saw the Midwest face a bomb cyclone leaving detrimental flooding to homes and farms, and most recently this summer California experienced a 6.4 magnitude earthquake. Natural and man-made disasters can strike at any time and it is important to have a planned response. These events could happen while you’re at home, at work, on vacation or even on the road.

18-1721_FirstAid_11482In September, when we celebrate National Preparedness Month, we are reminded to prepare ourselves and our families for emergencies or disasters that could occur with a moment’s notice. In 2017, 59,985 weather-related events resulted in 592 deaths and 4,270 injuries in the United States. Flash floods, tropical storms and heat waves resulted in the most deaths that year; however, tornadoes, ice storms, and thunderstorms and wind were responsible for the largest number of injuries.

18-571_Faces_10966For many communities, especially our rural and farming communities, we may be the first ones to act after a disaster strikes before first responders arrive. Therefore, it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community. Although disasters don’t plan ahead, we can! Here are a few safety tips or things to consider to be prepared when faced with an emergency or disaster:

  1. It’s always better to be safe, than sorry! Don’t ignore updates on severe weather conditions and listen to local weather reports on the television, radio or internet. If electric and cell phone service become disabled, be prepared with flashlights, batteries and other important items.
  2. Make sure to have a family communication plan in place and all members of the family should review and practice the plan. Have all family members’ and other important phone numbers written down or memorized.
  1. Have an evacuation plan in place for your home or farm. You should not only consider how to escape but think about where your family and/or livestock will go next.
  2. Check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornados.
  3. Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water at home.
  4. Be sure to store all important documents, like birth certificates, insurance policies, etc., in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box.
  5. Learn life-saving skills like first aid and CPR.
  6. Know how to shut off utilities, like gas and water.
  1. Hazards still exist when returning home after a disaster. Be aware of debris, mold, asbestos, chemical, sewage, etc. Always use proper personal protective equipment (PPE) during any clean-up effort.

To date, nearly 1.8 million children & adults have been reached by Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, which is recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Learn more about the program by calling 888-257-3529 or visiting progressiveag.org. You can 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

Photos: Through activities like putting together first aid kits and creating fire escape plans to learning to administer CPR and create a disaster preparedness kit, Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® participants learn to be prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster.

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Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® – Making farm, ranch and rural life safer for children and their communities

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

25YearLogo_NoDatesFor 25 years, Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, a program of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF), has been on a mission to provide the education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. By partnering with local communities throughout North America, vital safety lessons on relevant topics are delivered to youth. Life-saving information on agriculture-specific topics such as power take-off, tractor and grain bin safety are often covered, as well as other rural topics not specific to farming like staying safe around bodies of water, recreational equipment and utilities like pipelines and railroads.

16-1596_LawnEquipSafety_1715With the support of dedicated volunteers and generous partners, more than 1.7 million children and adults have been reached since 1995, helping Progressive Agriculture Safety Days become recognized as the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Each year, we train hundreds of volunteers to coordinate a one-day, age-appropriate, hands-on, fun and safe event for children, ages 4 to 13. Once trained, coordinators receive access to peer-reviewed safety and health curriculum including hundreds of hands-on activities and demonstrations, a planning manual and various other resources. PAF provides all youth participants and adult volunteers with a t-shirt, insurance coverage, and a take-home bag. Applications to coordinate a 2020 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day are being accepted through July 15, 2019.

Progressive Agriculture Safety Days works diligently to bring our safety messages and resources to local communities in need. Every $13 raised helps send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, where they will receive hands-on learning in a variety of safety topics for use on the farm, ranch or at home. Donations can be made in memory or in honor of a loved one. Text the word “SAFETYDAY” to 41444 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate/. In addition to sending more children to Safety Days, we seek funding to incorporate new lessons on topics such as outdoor safety, weather safety, on-line safety, mental health, tobacco prevention and vaping cessation, bullying and other safety and health concerns impacting children living in rural communities.

In addition to support from businesses and organizations, PAF has been successful in obtaining funding support from UNMC’s Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH) for their project, Creating Enduring Resources for Farm Safety Education. The project focused on the development of digital resources demonstrating how to both assemble and utilize props for the purpose of teaching farm safety and health-related topics. All the videos can be found on the PAFSafetyDays YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/ProAgFound). Most recently, PAF was awarded a Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention (CAIP) Workshop Grant through the National Children Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS). Our project, Initiating the Conversation: Developing Educational Resources Supporting Rural Families, will focus on the development of educational resources to aide in the sometimes-difficult conversations regarding agricultural safety and health-related topics.

On May 16th, the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program was named the recipient of the National Safety Council’s Green Cross Safety Award for the Advocacy Category, which recognizes the advancement of evidence-based best practices to raise awareness or change policy to prevent further injuries and deaths.

For safety resources or details about coordinating, volunteering or attending a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, call 888-257-3529 or visit progressiveag.org.

Photo: Sadly, according to the NCCRAHS, sobering statistics reveal that in the U.S. every three days a child dies and every day 33 children are injured due to an ag-related incident. At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, community volunteers engage with local youth through age-appropriate, hands-on learning in a fun and safe manner.

It’s National Safety Month: Creating a Safety Culture Starts with YOU!

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

June is upon us, which means it is time to celebrate National Safety Month! During the entire month of June, the National Safety Council, along with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation, encourages you to learn about a new safety topic each week and we challenge you to adopt safer practices while at home, work or at play.

Week 1 focuses on Hazard Recognition: All too often, we become complacent or immune to hazards all around us. Training yourself to spot hazards will help you notice and create a solution to the problem to avoid risk of injuring yourself or others. From lighting, air quality and overexertion at work to the accessibility of prescription medications and cleaning products at home, potential hazards are everywhere. Therefore, ask yourself, “what risks aren’t you seeing?”

Week 2 focuses on Slips, Trips & Falls: Did you know that more than 8 million preventable fall injuries occurred in 2017? We have all heard of distracted driving, but with cell phones and other advancements in technology, distracted walking is now a thing. Although they may seem harmless to you, spills, clutter and other tripping hazards should be cleaned up immediately, as they may not be as obvious to someone else.

Week 3 focuses on Fatigue: Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Are you one of them? Chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue are a dangerous combination that can lead to incidents and injury, as well as other health issues like depression, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Little changes like stretching and taking breaks during the workday, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and trying to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night can have positive effects on your health. This may seem easier said than done, but by securing a comfortable environment and turning off electronics, lights and other distractions that may stimulate the brain, you are preparing yourself for a restful night’s sleep. You should also avoid caffeine and adopt stress management techniques, like an exercise regimen, yoga or meditation to get you to a relaxed state.

Dem5pZZWsAABCoK.jpg largeWeek 4 focuses on Impairment: When we think of impairment, we often associate with drugs or alcohol, but driving while drowsy is no different. No level of impairment is safe. With the legalization of cannabis, for both recreational and medicinal purposes, and prescribed opioids on the rise, new safety concerns are emerging at both work and at home. Many workplaces value the safety of their employees and therefore have a zero-tolerance policy. Don’t risk it or take a chance! Failure to comply may not only cost you your job, but more importantly your life or the life of someone else.

Since 1913, the National Safety Council has been working to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Progressive Agriculture Safety Days has also been on a mission since 1995 to provide the education, training, and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. Many of the topics highlighted during National Safety Month are some of the lessons children learn about when they attend a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, the largest rural safety and health education program for children in North America. Find out if one will be taking place in your community this year by visiting http://www.progressiveag.org. Looking for a safe investment? Help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day with a modest donation of only $13. Donate by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 41444 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.

For more materials on National Safety Month, visit the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org

Photo:  At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, vision impairment goggles help simulate what it feels like to drive impaired from being either under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving while drowsy.

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day Selected as Recipient of the National Safety Council’s Green Cross Safety Advocacy Award

NSC Green Gross Photo 1 Close UpOutstanding achievements in safety were recognized at the Green Cross for Safety Awards celebration held on May 16 at the Swissotel in Chicago. Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, a program of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation®, took home the National Safety Council’s Green Cross Safety Advocate Award.

This prestigious award recognizes the advancement of evidence-based best practices to raise awareness or change policy to prevent further injuries and deaths. The annual celebration of safety, put on by the National Safety Council, brings together mission-driven advocates, safety professionals, corporations and government officials from around the country with the common goal of creating a safer world.

“To be recognized with a National Safety Council Award is validation of the hard work by many in the name of safety, both inside and outside the organizational setting,” says Amy K. Harper, PhD, CSP, SMS director of workplace strategy and consulting operations, National Safety Council. “Those dedicated to safety as a profession are passionate advocates for improvement and are skilled leaders and listeners. It is our hope that recognition of excellence in safety will not only encourage other companies to emulate what works, but provide a benchmark and inspiration for what is possible.”

The Progressive Agriculture Foundation was recognized for its recent project with the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health and the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health called Creating Enduring Resources for Farm Safety Education. This program provided Progressive Agriculture Safety Day coordinators with a collection of digital resources highlighting various safety topics, as well as instructions on how to build props to effectively demonstrate proper farm and health safety strategies to children at Progressive Agriculture Safety Day events.

NSC Green Cross 2019 Photo 2The Green Cross Safety Advocate Award was sponsored by FirstGroup, a leading provider of transport services in the UK and North America. Brian Kuhl, chief executive officer, and Jana Davidson, education content specialist, accepted the award on behalf of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation.

“Looking back to the early 1990s, the foundation for our program began,” shared Kuhl. “Jack Odle, then the editor-in-chief of The Progressive Farmer magazine, became frustrated writing about heartbreaking incidents causing injury and death among farmers and farm families, which were shared through the magazine’s series called ‘Our Deadly Harvest.’ Jack vowed to lead an effort to help reduce these occurrences, gathering several agricultural safety and health professionals to make a positive change.”

“This is a recognition of the past 25 years of growth and a rallying cry for the next 25 — a step that brings us closer to our vision of living in a world where no child will ever become ill, suffer an injury or die from farm, ranch or rural activities,” said Kuhl.

Other award recipients included Nationwide, which took home the Safety Excellence Award, and Schneider, which earned the Safety Innovation Award. For more on the event and the award winners, visit greencross.nsc.org.

PHOTO 1 (left to right): Progressive Agriculture Foundation’s Jana Davidson, education content specialist, and Brian Kuhl, chief executive officer, accept the National Safety Council’s Green Cross Safety Advocate Award at an award celebration held on May 16 in Chicago.

PHOTO 2 (left to right): Darryl C. Hill, senior vice-president of safety at FirstGroup America, presented the National Safety Council’s Green Cross Safety Advocate Award to Progressive Agriculture Foundation’s Jana Davidson, education content specialist, and Brian Kuhl, chief executive officer, along with Nicholas J. Smith, interim president and CEO of the National Safety Council, and Mark Vergnano, National Safety Council chairman and CEO of The Chemours Company.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL — The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

Add a Safety Focus to Your Spring Planting Season

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® Program

The agriculture industry continues to remain the most dangerous in the U.S. with farming leading as one of the most hazardous occupations. Just like fall harvest, with putting in long hours and rushing to complete tasks, the likelihood of a preventable incident occurring increases during spring planting season. Most farms are safe places; however, during these busy times of year, we tend to abandon our safety focus.

The risk of cutting corners to get tasks accomplished in a short amount of time can be deadly; therefore, setting realistic, daily goals can help you start off on the right foot. Reviewing safety protocols with all workers, both new and seasoned, is essentially in the safety and well-being of all. Avoid skipping meals and dodging breaks and stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep, as this is not only detrimental to a farmer’s health but can affect concentration. Losing focus can result in injury or death to not only the farmer, but other workers. Continuously check for blind spots and take time to do a walkabout around your equipment.

Spring planting means more farm vehicles will be sharing the roadways with other vehicles; therefore, be mindful as you transport equipment on public roadways. Do your best to be visible and warn the public that you are moving more slowly than they are by using warning systems such as flashing lights, extremity markings and slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblem. SMV emblems should be in place and clean from dirt and debris and on all tractors and machinery that cannot maintain speeds above 25 miles per hour.

Tom WallThe family of Tom Wall know far too well about the dangers of spring planting season. Tom was a beloved husband, father and active within his community. He was recognized as an Iowa Master Farmer and served as a long-time leader of a local 4-H club. Sadly, Tom was tragically killed in a tractor-roadway incident on May 26, 2016 at the age of 55. Since the day of Tom’s passing, the Wall family vowed to turn their loss into a positive purpose for others and increase safety for those living on farms, ranches and rural areas.

For more information or to locate a Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® near you, visit www.progresiveag.org or call us toll-free at 888-257-3529. The program is celebrating 25 years with more than 400 events planned in rural communities this year. You can help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, just like the family of Tom Wall, with a modest donation of only $13 by texting the word “SAFETYDAY” to 41444 or visiting progressiveag.org/Donate.

Photo:  To honor her father’s legacy, Tom Wall’s daughter Sarah, who participated in a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® as a child, decided to ask people to donate in her dad’s name. To date, this small act raised more than $500 and will enable the Progressive Agriculture Foundation to send at least 44 participants to a local Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in their community.

Unsure What’s Below? Don’t Start Digging Before You Know!

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® Program

With the snow melting, a ground ready for planting is beginning to reveal itself. Many eager homeowners are gearing up to start those outdoor digging projects. However, before you reach for that shovel, remember to call 811, the national call-before-you-dig number, to ensure that your buried utility lines are marked.

Did you know failure to call 811 before digging results in damage to a buried utility once every six minutes across the United States? Disturbance to an underground utility line can cause damage to the environment, serious personal injuries, disruption of service for the neighborhood and lead to expenses in fines and repair costs. Now in its eleventh consecutive year, National Safe Digging Month celebrated during April, symbolizes the start of many spring digging projects. Although installing a new mailbox, building a deck, and planting a tree or garden may seem like a simple task, it still warrants a call to 811. The call before you dig process is both free and simple, consisting of 5 steps:

  1. Notify your local one call center by calling 811 (or making an online request) 2-3 days before work begins. This lead time may vary from state to state; therefore, visit call811.com to locate the rules for your state.
  2. Wait the required amount of time for affected utility operators to respond to your request.
  3. Confirm that all affected utility operators have responded to your request and marked underground utilities.
  4. Respect the marks or markers.
  5. Dig carefully around the marks with care.

Bunge SD Council Bluffs, IA May 2018Since children are curious and love to dig, it is never too early to teach them about the importance of safe digging. At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, activities and demonstrations are designed to reinforce underground utilities safety using verbal, visual and hands-on learning opportunities. Thanks to a unique partnership with our 5-star sponsor, TransCanada, a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure, this topic has been propelled to the forefront with an Underground Utilities Safety Module. The module focuses on two main objectives: The importance of calling 811 before you dig in the United States (and the importance of call or click before you dig in Canada) and pipeline leak recognition and response. The complete module, including curriculum, an interactive display and scratch & sniff cards are available for use at all Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® throughout North America. Additional support for awareness of underground utilities safety has been received from 4-star sponsors CHS, Enbridge and Alliance Pipeline.

Remember, for all digging projects large or small, be sure to start with an important call!

To date, more than 1.7 million children & adults have been reached by Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®. Learn more about the program by calling 888-257-3529 or visiting progressiveag.org. You can 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: In 2018, more than 27,000 youth participants and adult volunteers were educated on Underground Utilities Safety at one of the 380 Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® held throughout North America. The topic was reinforced through various demonstrations and hands-on activities.

Let’s Call Your Attention to the Importance of Poison Prevention

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among people ages 1 to 44 and continue to be the fifth leading cause of death overall, according to the National Safety Council. The top three causes of fatal unintentional injuries include motor vehicle crashes, poisoning, and falls. In 2016, nearly 69,000 deaths were related to poisoning. Every day, more than 300 children in the United States, ages 0 to 19, are treated in an emergency department as a result of being poisoned.

We highlight the importance of this issue and these sobering statistics during National Poison Prevention Week, held annually during the third week in March. Congress first recognized this week in 1961 to raise awareness, reduce unintentional poisonings and promote poison prevention. At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, chemical safety continues to be one of the most popular topics offered reaching nearly 52,000 youth participants and adult volunteers in 2017.

5b21f0b43ed1b.imageFor young children that cannot read labels, many products around the home can look like popular candy or drinks. Even products that can be good for you, like vitamins and medicines, can become harmful if you do not follow the label directions. Common poison look-a-likes you may find around your home may include gummy vitamins that look like fruit snacks or gummy bears; laxatives resembling chocolate; household cleaners, liquid medications or mouthwash that may look like sports drinks or juice; and bleach or rubbing alcohol that resembles water. In recent years, we witnessed the dangers of laundry or dishwasher pods that look like candy. Also, with the legalization of marijuana in many states for recreational or medical use, the danger of edibles in baked goods, candy and beverages are a new concern. Despite their ordinary appearance, a single pot cookie or candy bar can contain several times the recommended adult dose of THC. Anyone who eats one of these edibles, especially a child, can experience overdose effects such as intoxication, altered perception, anxiety, panic, paranoia, dizziness, weakness, slurred speech, poor coordination, apnea, and heart problems according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Living with chemicals is a reality, but the National Safety Council encourages making informed decisions about the type of products you bring into your home. Understanding risk and limiting exposure are paramount to keeping your family safe. Before you buy, read the label to make sure you know exactly what you’re purchasing and understand terms and definitions found on product labels. Caution indicates the lowest level of potential harm, Warning indicates a higher level of potential harm meaning you could become seriously ill or injured, and Danger indicates the highest level of potential harm: tissue damage to skin, blindness, death or damage to the mouth, throat or stomach if swallowed. As parents, grandparents and caring adults, it is our responsibility to keep our children safe. Let’s be proactive by following these five safety tips:

  1. Label harmful products and place them out of the reach of children.
  2. Periodically clean out storage cabinets and carefully following disposal instructions indicated on product labels.
  3. Avoid moving poisons or chemicals from their original container.
  4. Lead by example and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when handling chemicals.
  5. Keep the telephone number of the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) in a place easy to locate in case of an emergency.

For more information or to locate a Safety Day near you, visit www.progresiveag.org or call us toll-free at 888-257-3529.

Photo: Participants at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® try to differentiate the poison and safe items in a chemical look-a-like activity. This year, National Poison Prevention Week will be celebrated March 17-23, 2019.