ASSE urges agricultural firms to take steps to curb rising fatalities
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace fatalities in the farming industry rose by 11 percent last year. That increase was led by worker deaths in crop production, which jumped 18 percent. Most farm-related traumatic injuries were caused by machinery, with tractor accidents accounting for a high rate of fatalities.
Based on the report, the ASSE encouraged health and safety professionals to assist agricultural producers and businesses in their area prevent these deadly injuries and illnesses.
"Valuing safety, regardless of the weather, time schedule, commodity markets or economy, is an important message to communicate to agricultural workers," said Terry Wilkinson, ASSE's director of member/region affairs and agricultural safety specialist.
Agriculture is also one of the most dangerous industries for young workers. Because most farms do not fall under the auspices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's rules and regulations, the ASSE is urging agricultural employers to train all workers in injury prevention. In addition, the group established a new agricultural branch to provide a forum for safety, health and environmental professionals in the agricultural industry to discuss risks and address solutions. The branch will provide a venue to network and gain knowledge regarding best practices in safety and health issues affecting agricultural production operations of all sizes, including seed production, agricultural chemicals, transportation, equipment safety, compliance and enforcement.
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October 15, 2009
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