Safety program equips farmers with valuable tools – Farm Progress

First in a series of four articles on farm safety and the Farm Safe program.

In 2020, there were 11, 880 on-farm injuries in the U. S. that required time away from work. During that time 368 deaths occurred due to plantation related accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most of those incidents could have been prevented.

A team at Agricenter International in Memphis is working to lower all those numbers through Farm Secure , a farm safety education program free to the public.

Initially, a program was developed at the Agricenter to serve the on-site needs of the education, agribusiness, research and agricultural hub off of Germantown Road in Memphis. It has grown in order to serve the particular needs associated with anyone who needs security training in the ag community.

Pam Robinson heads up the system which offers grown to include users outside of the Memphis area throughout Tennessee and neighboring states, as well as some international participants as far off as Australia and India.

“Safety training is very important, ” Robinson said. “Because after the accident is not the time to get the training. That’s too late. inch

Security background

Johnson has a track record associated with coordinating protection programs for ag. Before coming to Agricenter, she worked as a safety coordinator with regard to Stoneville Pedigree Seed Company and its later iterations. She spent 18 years coordinating safety awareness at sites across the Cotton Belt, including facilities on the Agricenter property.

“I found that I really, really love safety, ” she stated. “It brought out the mother in me. You start out mothering your children and then you decide, well I can spread this love everywhere. inch

When she retired from the cottonseed industry, she got bored plus decided in order to start volunteering in the Agricenter and eventually found herself working full-time matching the center’s safety plan.

“Pam is the heart and soul of the particular program, ” said John Butler, president of Agricenter International. “She not only poured her heart and soul into it, but she also conveyed that will to other team members. inch

Roots of the program

Butler developed basic safety modules for the center. It was after he lost a close friend in a farm accident that this individual asked Brown to coordinate a program regarding the business at large.

“I went to her office one day after the accident, ” he mentioned. “I sat down and I couldn’t say anything for a little while. ”

After some coaxing from Robinson, an emotional Butler told her that he or she wanted the girl to build the program for that industry at large, like the girl had done for the Agricenter.

“I think it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve seen developed, inch he said.

The program started in 2018. They planned for it to be taken off-site in order to farms plus ranches, ag meetings or at home in the Agricenter.

“But because of COVID we realized that wasn’t gonna work, ” Butler stated. “So, all of us pivoted like everybody else provides and proceeded to go to more of a virtual module. inch

Both Retainer and Johnson agree that will what happened because of the pandemic modified the particular plan into a nimbler and more accessible product. They were able to adjust the original plan to incorporate an user -friendly platform where ag personnel can access any of the needed safety modules when they have time to do so.

Safety modules

Seventeen online modules range from equipment safety to environmental health concerns. They furthermore include sessions for Spanish speakers.

Modules include:

  • General harvest security
  • Combine protection
  • Picker basic safety
  • Harvest equipment safety
  • Hay and silage security
  • Manual harvesting protection
  • ATV basic safety
  • Tractor operation safety
  • Tractor maintenance security
  • Heat stress
  • Cold tension
  • Bites and stings
  • Urban farming
  • Ag confined spaces
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Worker injury prevention: Animal
  • Behavior

New sessions will be created as needed.

Each module is easy to access via the FarmSafeEveryDay. com website.

“You may virtually take a module off the shelf plus go via it in 20 minutes, ” Brown said.   “You have a pretest and a posttest. You can retake it again if you need in order to, you can take your own time. ”

They possess producer buy-in as well. Butler asked Willie German, the Fayette County, Tenn., producer and Agricenter board member to be a spokesman for your project.

German farms a substantial number of acres across a wide area within southwestern Tennessee. He has seen how important a good safety program is for an operation. He supports the Farm Safe program and uses the particular modules intended for safety training in his operation.

“I agreed to talk about the program because I know how important it is in order to train your people to be safe, inch German mentioned. “We farm a lot of miles and move lots of gear. So , it’s necessary that those operating a tractor or moving equipment from field to field or even those guys on the particular ground know how to work safe. ”

The program is supported by the Occupational Safety plus Health Administration through a Susan Harwood grant, named for the past due Susan Harwood, a former director in OSHA’s Office of Risk Assessment. The money provides funds in order to build and promote the program.

“OSHA has been a great partner, ” Retainer said. “They help us to make sure we are covering all that we need to. ” 

Farm Secure program can be accessed by means of FarmSafeEveryDay. com .

“In the end, if it impacts just one family in a positive way, then we’re the success, ” Butler said.

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