Union urges America’s farmers to be mindful of farm safety

US National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson has urged America’s family farmers and ranchers to keep farm safety in mind as they continue to produce the safest and most affordable food supply in the world.

“Family farmers and ranchers must remember every morning as they leave their homes that farm safety will only be improved if it’s a top of the mind issue each and every day,” said Johnson. “Farm safety is an approach to both the workplace and life in general.”

National Farm Safety and Health Week began September 20 and runs through the 26. In an effort to continue to improve safe farming practices, the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) recently announced the availability of safety grants up to $10,000 to encourage ag safety interventions at the local and regional level.

“We are grateful to groups like ASHCA that have put their money where their mouths are and are generously providing funds to make farm safety a top of the mind issue at both the local and regional levels,” said Johnson.

Priority for ASHCA grants will be given to:

Programs that engage both management and workers in the planning and implementation of successful injury reduction programs.
“Hands-on” training initiatives that will increase workers’ adoption of proven safety practices and will be sustained beyond the grant period.
Initiatives that reach under-served or high-risk populations, e.g., non-English speaking workers.

Johnson noted that in an average year, 516 workers die while doing farm work, and each day about 243 agricultural workers suffer lost-time injuries. “NFU has had a longstanding commitment to farm safety and we will continue to do everything possible to raise public awareness about this issue,” he said.

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