Safety Corner

Work Safe Web50_0Welcome to the Safety Corner. Every day, more than 240 agricultural workers and farm employees suffer a serious lost-work-time injury. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment, with the fatality rate for agricultural workers seven times higher than all workers in private industry. The statistics are alarming. It’s important we all do our part to make safety a priority on the farm.

The Center for Dairy Excellence, Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and Penn State Extension Dairy Team are partnering to share a “Safety Share” each month to remind producers and others in agriculture of how closely we have all come to tragic accidents on the farm. Share these with those you work with and encourage them to stop and think before they do something that could risk injury or, even worse, their life.

May: Silage Bunker Safety

Doug DeGroff, owner of Diversified Dairy Solutions in Tulare, California, was collecting a sample from the face of the silage wall when the silage collapsed on top of him. Luckily the farm owner was with him and was able to uncover the silage. Doug suffered injuries but the accident was not fatal. The company halted all work with silage testing until safety protocols were able to be established. Doug recommends that dairy farm workers or industry personnel who work around silage create their own protocols.

Dr. Keith K. Bolsen, Kansas State University, evaluated silage bunker safety risks and created a 17-minute video exploring the potential hazards. Access his silage safety recommendations here or email him at to request a free copy of his DVD to help your farm write silage protocols.