Welcome 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.
July: Vehicle Safety Training for Young Drivers
Kids growing up on the farm learn early how to maneuver a vehicle in and out farm driveways and around farm buildings. It gives them an advantage when turning 16, but can be a formula for disaster if safety protocols aren’t enforced.
Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation Board Member Carissa Itle Westrick is part of Vale Wood Farms in Loretto, Pa., which hosts thousands of school children throughout the spring tour season. “We get a lot of family involved in giving the tours, and every year we have new drivers, with younger cousins and new employees helping with the tours,” she told other board members during last month’s Foundation board meeting.
“Vehicle safety is really important. Things can happen really quickly,” Carissa said. “So every spring, before the tours begin, my uncle, the mechanic, goes through all of the equipment with all employees as a reminder of the safety procedures.”