National Farm Safety Week serves as a yearly reminder to not only the general public but also to those in the agriculture industry about the dangers of working on the farm.
“Having a National Farm Safety Week each year is important because safety is always important. It's a way of reminding all of us how important safety is, especially when working on the farm and especially when working during harvest season,” said John Nowatzki, agricultural machine systems specialist at North Dakota State University.
As for the upcoming harvest season, there are a couple precautions farmers can take to ensure their overall health and safety.
“I think the important thing during harvest season is to always make sure that somebody else in your operation knows where you are or what you’re doing. All the time, 24 hours a day. Just make sure to communicate with other people,” Nowatzki said.
While those familiar with the agriculture industry know of the dangers on the farm, some may be surprised by just how dangerous an occupation it can be.
“Farming unfortunately is the eighth-most-dangerous occupation in America, according to the Bureau of Labor. I think farmers today are certainly safety conscious, but there are times when we get in a hurry or think, ‘Well, I can get by with it this time, and then next time I will be careful,’” Nowatzki said.
Due to the range of everyday dangers on the farm, this year’s National Farm Safety Week will offer a variety of online webinars that shed light on several farm safety related topics.
The topics include: tractor and rural road safety, overall farmer health, safety and health for youth in ag, emergency preparedness in ag, and safety and health for women in ag.
The agriculture industry has endured a rough couple of years and, in light of these struggles, National Farm Safety Week is honoring those tough times by using the theme "Every Farmer Counts."
According to the National Education Center for Farm Safety, “The theme is to acknowledge, celebrate and uplift America’s farmers and ranchers who have encountered many challenges over the past couple of years, yet continue to work hard to provide the food, fiber and fuel that we need.”
National Farm Safety Week will be Sept. 20-26. If you are interested in attending any of the virtual webinars or would like more information, please visit https://www.necasag.org/nationalfarmsafetyandhealthweek.