2/21/2012 at 12:00 a.m.
ROCK — Across the country, Farm Bureaus are making safety a top
priority this spring through the Agricultural Safety Awareness Program
(ASAP). As a part of ASAP, March 4-10 has been designated as
Agricultural Safety Awareness Week.
This year’s theme, “Agricultural Safety: Your Best
Investment,” emphasizes making farms and ranches safer for farmers,
their family members and employees, with special emphasis on children.
People of all ages, but particularly children, are at risk
of injuries on the farm. Educating adults about reducing risks to the
children in their care is critical to preventing farm and ranch
incidents and fatalities.
“Most farmers have at least tens or hundreds of thousands
of dollars and countless hours invested in their land, equipment, and
animals,” said Jason Kaufman, safety coordinator for Arkansas Farm
Bureau. “It's important they invest some of their time and money toward
safety to protect their farm, employees and family.”
According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Every day, 243 agricultural workers suffer
lost-work-time injury. Five percent of these injuries result in
permanent impairment. That equates to 12 workers daily who sustain
injuries resulting in permanent disabilities.
Approximately 1,783,000 full-time workers were employed
in production agriculture in the U.S. in 2009. During this same year,
440 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury for a
fatality rate of 24.7 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Of the leading sources of fatal injuries to youth on
U.S. farms, 23 percent involved machinery (including tractors), 19
percent involved motor vehicles (including ATVs) and 16 percent were
due to drowning.
Between 1992 and 2009, 9,003 farmers and farm workers
died from work-related injuries in the U.S. The leading cause of death
for these workers was tractor overturns, accounting for more than 90
The most effective way to prevent tractor-overturn
deaths is the use of a Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS). In 2006,
only 59 percent of tractors used on U.S. farms were equipped with ROPS.
If ROPS were placed on all tractors used on U.S. farms manufactured
since the mid-1960s, the prevalence of ROPS-equipped tractors could be
increased to over 80 percent.
These statistics emphasize the reason why, during Ag Safety
Awareness Week and throughout the year, state Farm Bureaus are focused
on making farms and ranches safer for farmers, their family members and
employees. To accomplish this, Arkansas Farm Bureau has two full-time
safety coordinators on staff.
“The safety coordinators at Arkansas Farm Bureau are dedicated to
educating Arkansans about safety concerns,” said coordinator Amanda
Williams. “Some of the programs offered include Farm/Tractor Safety,
ATV Safety, Distracted Driving Prevention, and Drinking and Driving
For more information, visit the “Programs & Activities” section of Arkansas Farm Bureau’s website, www.arfb.com.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy
organization of more than 210,000 families throughout the state working
to improve farm and rural life.
For more information contact:
Box 31, Little Rock 72203
Box 31, Little Rock 72203