Ag Safety STAT: April 2016

Ag Safety S.T.A.T. – Safe Tactics for Ag Today is an electronic newsletter prepared by team members from the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety & Health Office. The goal is to provide seasonal safety news and activities that may be re-published in your own newsletters or programs. If you have safety-related questions or program ideas that you would like to share, please contact Dee Jepsen at
For a printable version please click here.



  1. Sun Safe Hats Available for Sale

    The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program has sun safe hats for sale. These sun safe hats are great for Master Gardeners, field researchers, golf enthusiasts, local farmers, OSU alumni, etc. The wide-brimmed hats are Columbia brand and are a lightweight, quick drying, khaki colored fabric. The hats are collegiate licensed with a red block O embroidered on the front.

    If you are interested in purchasing sun safe hats, please contact the Agricultural Safety and Health program to order. The cost of each hat is $40. Contact Cora Carter with any questions at or 614-292-0622.

  2. AgrAbility Educational Programs

    To help prevent back injuries for farmers and gardeners, Ohio AgrAbility will be presenting “Oh My Aching Back” presentations throughout the state. The 45-min presentation will focus on back strain and give tips and information for preventing back injuries for both the young and older farmers and gardeners.


    The program objectives are to:

    1. Identify the 3 types of back injuries

    2. Demonstrate proper lifting and work practices to prevent back strain

    3. Learn how various products incorporate Universal Design and Assistive Technology features to make the chores easier


    Other popular program sessions offered by the AgrAbility Program include:

    “AgrAbility and Universal Design: How we can help Ohio farmers”

    Table Top display: The Ohio AgrAbility Program


    For more information and to schedule a presentation contact Andy Bauer, Educational Program Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility at or (614) 247-7681. For more information about the Ohio AgrAbility Program visit

  3. Warning Labels and Equipment Manuals can Help Reduce Injuries

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health

    Today’s agricultural equipment is powerful, very efficient and versatile in how it can be used. Recently while looking over a new piece of tillage equipment, I counted thirty-seven warning labels located all around the unit. Also in the operator’s manual there was a section dedicated to safe operation and a review of the warning labels. Manufacturers use these items to reduce liability while the product is being used by the consumer. However, the warning labels and equipment manual can be great tools for refreshing our memory of the hazards associated with the equipment. Warning labels on farm equipment usually indicate the following potential hazards:

    Wrap Points: Any exposed equipment component that rotates at high speed or with a high degree of torque.  Injuries occur because of entanglement with the part.

    Shear / Cut Points: Shear points happen when two edges come together or move passed each other to create a cut. Cut points happen when a single edge moves rapidly and forcefully enough to make a cut.

    Pinch Points: Any equipment that has two objects that come together with at least one of them moving in a circular motion.  Most pinch points involve belts and pulleys or chains and sprockets.

    Crush Points: This occurs when two objects come together or a single object moves towards a stationary object creating a blunt impact. This can include being caught under or between moving parts or equipment.

    Burn Points: Any area on a piece of equipment that can generate enough heat to cause a burn to the skin if touched.

    Free - Wheeling Parts: Some mechanical systems will take time to come to a complete stop. These parts can include rotary mower blades, flywheels, and equipment that must go through a full revolution or cycle to come to a complete stop.

    Stored Energy: Any amount of potential energy waiting to be unintentionally released. This can include pressurized hydraulic systems, electrical circuits, spring tension, and chemical reactions.

    Thrown Objects: Occurs when material or objects are discarded from the equipment with great force. Injuries occur when the object strikes the individual.

    Take some time this spring to review the safety sections of equipment manuals and walk around each piece of equipment to examine the warning labels. Recognizing the hazards associated with the equipment can significantly reduce the potential for injuries.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at or 614-292-0588.

  4. Overexertion and Fatigue

    Andy Bauer—Ohio AgrAbility Program Educational Coordinator

    Hopefully, spring weather is finally here, bringing with it long hours.  Getting field work done, crops planted and the garden planted in a timely manner are important tasks this time of year. During this time of long hours and hard work, don’t forget about your own health.

    Overexertion and fatigue are two types of injury that long hard days can cause. Remember, your body is your most important tool, so learn to respect it. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and rest. 

    •  In the morning, take time to do some stretching exercises and warm the body up to get ready for a strenuous day.
    •  Remember to use proper lifting technics when lifting objects. Try not to lift more than you can, don’t overextend yourself. Ask for help when it is too heavy.
    • Switch tasks as often as you can when bending, lifting and reaching out to do repetitive jobs.  Take care of your back.
    • When sitting in equipment for long periods of time, stop every couple of hours to get out and stretch your legs. Do some stretching to loosen up your back. Rough ground and old tractor seats can be hard on your back. Stretching and walking around will also help to prevent fatigue.
    •  Try to get a good night’s sleep.
    • Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as you work long hours and temperatures rise.

    Taking care of yourself will help prevent planting delays that are caused by things we can control.

    Overexertion and fatigue are also two concerns to be aware of when working in the garden. Pace yourself when working in the garden. Be careful of bending and reaching out to plant, don’t overextend yourself. Try to limit the hours worked in the garden and get some rest to prevent fatigue the next day. Plan your days out and work smart.

    For more information contact the Ohio AgrAbility Program at or Andy Bauer at 614-247-7681 or

  5. Hazardous Chemical Awareness

    Kent McGuire—OSU Ag Safety and Health

    According to the EPA's Emergency Response Community Involvement Program, individuals should stay informed about the presence of hazardous substances in their local area. An important aspect of emergency management is to recognize a hazardous substance release and understand what to do in the event of a release. Recognizing the warning signs of a chemical release can mean the difference between a minor incident and a tragic event. Should an individual discover a hazardous substance release, report it quickly to local officials and take precautions to put your own safety first.

    There are several ways to recognize the presence of a hazardous substance or the warning signs of a hazardous substance release. An individual’s senses may initially detect hazardous substances: a foul odor, unusually colored flames, visible leak or gas cloud from a storage container, vehicle or facility, even the increased pitch of a pressure relief valve on a container. Never assume gases and vapors are harmless because they lack odor, many odorless gases or vapors can be extremely harmful. It may also be possible to identify hazardous substances from a label or placard. The federal government has a system of labeling containers used to store or transport hazardous substances that uses colors and symbols to designate potential hazards. The following are some of the major colors and symbols of the different hazard classes:


    Hazardous Materials

    Hazard Class






    Non-flammable Gases



    Flammable Gases or Liquids



    Flammable Solids

    Red/White Stripes




    Flaming Ball



    Skull & Crossbones






    Test Tube


    It is always best to be cautious and treat potential releases as real threats involving hazardous substances, until authorities have properly identified the chemical. For more information about the EPA's Emergency Response Community Involvement Program go to

    For more information about Emergency Management contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at or 614-292-0588.

  6. Spot the Safety Violation

    Can you spot the Safety Violations in this photo? 

    Click here to see the answers.