Every year we celebrate National Farm Safety & Health Week during the third week of September. As harvest has kicked into gear, this is the perfect reminder for all of those — on and off the farm — to spread awareness about farm safety.
The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the agricultural sector is still the most dangerous in America with 573 fatalities, or an equivalent of 23.1 deaths per 100,000 workers. In an effort to reduce these numbers, farmers, ranchers, and community members are encouraged to put safety first this harvest season.
According to the Proclamation on National Farm Safety and Health Week from the White House, National Farm Safety & Health Week has been celebrated since 1944.
“Despite these challenges [the pandemic], our dedicated farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers have continued to work around the clock, putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones on the line to ensure that families across the country have food on the table. Their sacrifices are commendable, but they should not have to risk injury, illness, or death to do their jobs. Our Nation has a duty to protect agricultural workers and promote safety education for farmers and farm families,” the proclamation from President Joe Biden reads.
“I also urge all Americans to honor the historic and ongoing contributions of our agricultural sector and express appreciation and gratitude to our farmers and ranchers for their vital contributions and tireless service to our Nation,” Biden concluded.
As so many of us know, farming is a family tradition and children also need to be included in farm safety training. According to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, it is estimated that every three days a child dies, and each day 33 children are injured, due to an agriculture-related incident.
“The harvest season is known as one of the busiest, most dangerous times of the year in the agriculture industry,” said Brian Kuhl, president and chief executive officer of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. “We also know that unfortunately the life of a child can quickly be impacted by these industry risks.”
These staggering statics remind us how critical safety and health education is for our youth on the farm, on the ranch, and in our rural communities, added Kuhl.
Throughout National Farm Safety and Health Week, the Progressive Agriculture Foundation will share tips and educational resources designed for youth audiences that align with the national topics for each day.
This year’s theme is Farm Safety Yields Real Results. Daily topics include:
- Monday, September 20, 2021: Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
- Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Overall Farmer Health
- Wednesday, September 22, 2021: Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
- Thursday, September 23, 2021: Agricultural Fertilizer & Chemical Safety
- Friday, September 24, 2021: Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture
To receive daily safety tips and educational resources throughout National Farm Safety & Health Week, visit the Progressive Agriculture Foundation website or follow them on social media @PAFSafetyDays.