Let's Take a Moment to Salute the Hard-Working Farmer

With all the hustle and bustle of the NSC 2008 Conference & Expo, it's easy to forget that this week is National Farm Safety & Health Week (Sept. 21-27). According to NSC, farming is one of our nation's most dangerous occupations, as more than 700 farmers and ranchers die in work-related accidents each year, and another 120,000 agricultural workers suffer disabling injuries, all for the goal of keeping our nation fed.

Frequently, injuries happen when farm tractors roll over onto their operators and passengers. Mechanical, chemical, and environmental hazards also increase work-related risks. NSC's National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) is leading this annual observation to recognize farmers, ranchers, and others who work in the U.S. agriculture industry, and continues to work year-around to bring safety and health messages home to rural communities.

According to NSC, most farm and ranch accidents are preventable when you consider the following:

  • Only half of the farm tractors used in the United States are equipped with life-saving rollover protective structures with seat belts.
  • Emergency medical care is not readily accessible to farmers and ranchers, due to the isolated nature of farms and ranches in our nation's rural areas.
  • Farm and ranch women are especially at risk.
  • Senior farmers are also at increased risk, especially if they take prescription medication, work with physical disabilities, and/or suffer from hearing loss.
  • Children can be accidentally injured or killed as bystanders to farm work or passengers on equipment.

To learn more about safety risks particular to agriculture and injury prevention tips, go to www.nsc.org/resources/index.aspx.

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