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Sept. 17-24 Celebrates National Farm Safety and Health Week

Written by National Education Center for Agricultural Safety

Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. This recognition has been an annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council (NSC), and over the years, the development and dissemination of National Farm Safety and Health Week materials has shifted to the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS).

NECAS is the agricultural partner for NSC and has been serving the agricultural family and business community since 1997. NECAS is dedicated to preventing illnesses, injuries and deaths among farmers and ranchers, agricultural and horticultural workers, their families and their employees.

Our concern for safety in rural areas goes beyond farms and ranches. The need for services spreads from citrus groves in the South to vineyards in the West. It covers cattle ranches in Wyoming, fisheries in Maine and thousands of ventures in between.

The 2017 theme for National Farm Safety and Health Week is “Putting Farm Safety into Practice.” By visiting necasag.org, people will find more information and public service announcements related to ag safety.

This year’s theme is one that hits home and reminds us that it is everyone’s responsibility for safety, both on the farm and the rural roadways of America. New data for the Department of Labor shows the agricultural sector is still the most dangerous in America with 570 fatalities, which equals 22.8 deaths per 100,000 workers. When combining all labor sectors, the death rate was 3.4 percent.

“As the fall harvest begins, we reflect on the vital contributions of hard-working American farmers, ranchers and foresters, and we commit to ensuring their health and their safety.  During National Farm Safety and Health Week, we recognize the men and women of our great nation who work the land, often times at their own risk, to supply the United States and the world with essential products while creating jobs, supporting the economy and protecting our environment and natural resources for future generations,” said President Donald Trump in recognition of National Farm Safety and Health week.

In addition, the U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers (USASHC) provided a YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/USagCenters with resources for ag health and safety. Topics include information on grain bins, heat illness, tractor rollovers and needle-stick industries.

USASHC adds, “Agriculture is among our most hazardous industries, with a work-related death rate of 22.8 deaths per 100,000 workers annually, according to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, far ahead of transportation, at 13.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, and mining, at 12.3 deaths per 100,000 workers.

As we recognize National Farm Safety and Health Week this September, please join us in promoting safe and healthy practices on our farms and ranches across the U.S. and in our neighboring countries as producers enter the harvest season.