Ag Safety STAT: August 2017

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. COSI Farm Days, August 9 – 13

    COSI brings the farm to the city during Farm Days. Learn where your food comes from by meeting local farmers and climb aboard tractors and even a combine. You can also test your driving skills on a pedal tractor course and even milk COSI’s fiberglass cow, Daisy.

  2. ATV Safety Resources

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) continue to be in the top 5 most dangerous vehicles operated by workers and family members in rural areas and farm operations. Not just in Ohio, but around the U.S., ATV crashes are a cause for concern… and also an area to improve training.

    Overall, fatalities have decreased in the U.S. by 31%. And youth fatalities have declined by 50%. This is good news, and news worthy to share! Good training programs, along with continued practice, help develop riding skills needed to encounter various types of terrain.

    Ohio is one of the few states in the nation to offer a 4-H project in ATV Safety. Not just for youth, this project is good for riders of all ages. The book helps develop riding skills based on the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) training recommendations. Highlights include: protective gear, riding techniques, respecting the environment, and practice records. The booklet is available in all Ohio county Extension offices or online at

    An ATV Safety video is also available through OSU. This ten-minute educational DVD provides instruction on safe operating procedures and proper protective gear when using the ATV for farm use. Some of the tasks highlighted in the video include: proper ATV fit, add-on equipment, hauling loads and herding livestock. The DVD can be purchased through OSU Extension eStores at:

    A 1-minute video is available in the Farm SOS training program. This YouTube video takes a lighthearted approach to a serious farm topic. It emphasizes that hazards are everywhere – so be aware and get trained.

    New safety gear will be featured at the 2017 Farm Science Review. An ATV crush bar – mounted to an ATV – will demonstrate how an after-market roll bar was designed to protect riders in the event of a roll-over. This hairpin shaped hoop will keep the vehicle from crushing the operator. A new lightweight helmet is also coming onto the market. This helmet is not recommended for high-speed operation, but rather in working situations on ATVs and side-by-side utility vehicles (UTV’s) wear off-road vehicles are used in occupational settings. Come see these new products at the safety area of OSU Central (at the corner of Land Ave and Kottman Street during the Farm Science Review, Sept. 19-21.

    All ATV operators are encouraged to practice safe riding habits. The more skilled the riders, the better experience and enjoyment during recreation or work activities.  

    For more information about ATV safety visit or contact Dee Jepsen, OSU Ag Safety & Health, at or 614-292-6008.

  3. USDA Disaster Resource Center

    Resources about how to prepare and recover from disasters and emergencies,

  4. Don’t let arthritis or chronic pain stop you from gardening: Garden carts, rolling work seats and storage

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Getting your tools and supplies out to the garden can be difficult if you have arthritis or another physical limitation. Tools, plants and supplies are bulky, heavy, and awkward to carry. It is tempting to load up and haul everything to the garden in one trip, but that is an easy way to aggravate your arthritis, overexert yourself, or drop valuable supplies, and ruin a good day in the garden. Having the right equipment can make it easier and safer to transport your supplies, work in the garden, and store your tools.

    This article highlights useful equipment and storage ideas, and includes links to equipment and supplies. Ohio AgrAbility does not endorse, support or benefit from any of the vendors listed, these are merely examples of the items discussed.

    Garden Carts

    If you need to transport tools, supplies and plants from your storage area to the garden a garden cart or wagon is a good investment. Garden carts with two or more wheels are more stable than traditional wheelbarrows, and can provide additional balance and stability when pushing or pulling the cart.

     When choosing a cart, consider the terrain you will be pushing your cart. Pneumatic tires will help you push through mud, uneven ground, or loose gravel. You also need to think of the weight of the cart, and the weight of the items you will be hauling; this garden cart can haul up to 400 pounds, and it weighs 95 pounds. If that is heavier than you are able to haul, a good alternative is this lightweight folding cart, which weighs 21 pounds, and can haul up to 150 pounds. A lighter cart may carry less, but it could also prevent injury by limiting the weight you are hauling. 

    A garden cart with a removable front or back panel allows you to remove items from the cart without lifting them over the sides of the cart. Before you buy a cart check to see if you can lift items over the sides of the cart without straining your back and shoulders.

    Rolling work seats

    A basic rolling work seat allows you to sit while you are working, and adjust the height of the seat to suit your task. If you want a more comfortable option a deluxe rolling work seat has tool holders, a tray for storage, and a padded seat. When choosing a rolling seat, consider if you want a long handle for pushing or pulling it to your work site, or if you would want to bend over and push the cart into place. Think about how high and low you want to adjust the seat, and how much storage you want built into the cart. A sturdy plastic cart may be weatherproof, allowing you to leave it outside in the garden, so you would not have to move it from place to place.


    Storing your tools and equipment in or near the garden will eliminate the need for carrying tools and supplies to the garden when you want to work. A resin or plastic storage shed, bench or container that can be locked could be left in or near the garden. If you can’t find garden storage you like, look for patio or pool storage containers, they are designed to be kept outdoors, and many have interior shelves to help you organize your tools and supplies.

    If you are storing supplies and tools in a shed or garage, use adjustable shelving so you can arrange your items at easy to reach heights. If you have a garden cart, store bulky items at the same height as the cart bed, so that you could easily transfer items from the shelf to the cart without extra lifting.

    Store your most frequently used items on a shelf that is easy to access, and remember to put heavy or bulky items on lower shelves to eliminate the need to reach overhead and remove items. Install magnetic strips on walls to hold your garden tools, this keeps your tools organized and visible, and you won’t have to dig through drawers and risk getting stabbed by your pruners. Work benches should be at a height comfortable to stand or sit at, and if you have room for a few tables, set them at different heights so you can sit or stand comfortably, depending on the task. Work benches and counters should be narrow enough that you can reach the far edge of the work surface without straining your back or shoulders.

    Check back next month for information about raised, elevated, hanging and container gardens.

    For information about useful products, see the Gardening with Arthritis: Adaptive equipment and tools resource list.

    For more information please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at, or 614-292-0622.

  5. Check Your First Aid Kits

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety & Health Coordinator

    It has been a busy year so far with spring planting and all of the farm activities through the summer. As we start to plan for fall harvest, don’t forget to check the first aid kits.  Over the course of time items in the first aid kit get used, while not being restocked or items become expired and outdated. When in a time of need, the worst thing that can happen is to open the first aid kit and there is nothing left to use. A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. Basic items in a first aid kit should include:

    - Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
    - Absorbent compress dressings (at least 5 x 9 inches)
    - Sterile gauze pads (at least 3 x 3 inches)
    - Adhesive cloth tape (at least 1 inch wide)
    - Roller bandages (at least 2 inches wide)
    - Triangular bandages
    - Instant cold compress
    - Antibiotic ointment
    - Antiseptic wipes
    - Non-latex gloves
    - Scissors
    - Tweezers
    - First aid instruction booklet

    Many store bought first aid kits will have additional items such as aspirin, sterile eyewash, an emergency blanket, hand sanitizer, and small splints. If any of the items have an expiration date, make sure to replace items that have expired.

    One item that should be added to the first aid kit is a specific list of contact numbers, emergency phone numbers, poison control center information, and even chemical spill contact information. An updated list can easily be taped to the inside of the lid of the first aid kit so it can be referred to during an emergency.

    Keep first aid kits in easy-to-retrieve locations based on the workplace environment, the number of people that may use the kit, and type of activity being conducted. Keep at least one first-aid kit in the home or workplace, and consider keeping one in vehicles or equipment that are used on a regular basis.

    For more information about agricultural safety, visit, or contact Kent McGuire, Safety & Health Coordinator for the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, at or 614-292-0588.

  6. Flooding and the Aftermath

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Rain, rain, and more rain has been the common thread of our mid-summer month in Ohio. Rain, often desired by farmers in the weather forecast, can bring with it some less desirable aftermath when it all descends at once. The aftermath of impassable roadways, mud-laden pastures, flooded basements, washed up debris and rushing rivers can wreak havoc on farmstead operations. Below you will find a compilation of resources to help navigate the problems that can arise from the rapid rise of water. The resources provided by the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) can be helpful when trying to clean-up and recover from flooding. Remember to make safety your first priority!

    Links to explore:

    Floods, Disaster Fact Sheet,

    Agricultural Issues,

    Resources Collected,

    Recovering from a Flood,

    Advice for Saving Damaged Family Treasures, Family Treasures CO Flooding_0913.pdf


    Returning to a Farm after a Flood,

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety, visit or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at or 614-292-9455.