Ag Safety STAT: August 2018

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. Safety videos to round out your summer chores

    Dee Jepsen – OSU Ag Safety and Health Specialist

    It seems that every month of the year is a full of farm activity. Yet August is a month where a little reprieve may be available before the fall livestock activities or crop harvest season kicks into full gear. With that in mind, August may just be the perfect month to conduct inspections, and do a little housekeeping in the shop and around the barnyard.

    Here are two video links to help you start thinking about farm safety inspections. Hope you enjoy their lighthearted approach to serious topics.

    Farm SOS by OSU Ag Safety & Health:

    Farm shop safety: Housekeeping by SAIF Corporation:

    There is also an article in this issue “Injury Prevention: Identifying Agricultural Workplace Hazards” that provides additional detail.

    Keep safety in mind, and have a safe end to summer!

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

  2. Sun Hats

    Protect yourself with a wide brim hat this summer. These hats are perfect for the outdoor sport enthusiast, water lover, farmer or gardener in your office or family. They are also great to wear on C-deck during those first few OSU football games! The hats feature a wide brim, are lightweight, and quick drying. One-size fits all. The cost is $40.00.  Contact Dee Jepsen at or 614-292-6008.

  3. OSHA Agricultural Operations Webpage

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a website section dedicated to agricultural operations. The website includes an overview, youth in agriculture, hazards and controls, standards, resources, and publications.  Here is the link to the site:

  4. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Universal Design House and Garage at Farm Science Review

    Laura Akgerman – Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Universal design is the creation of products and environments meant to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible without need for adaptation or specialization. Ohio AgrAbility often follows Universal Design (UD) principles when recommending modifications to equipment, tools, barns and workshops to farmers and their families. UD is useable by everyone, so modifications made to equipment or a barn will not prevent others from using it, and may make the equipment, tools and barn/workshop safer and easier for everyone to use. Universal Design was first used in architecture, and can be applied to homes, offices, sidewalks and outdoor spaces.

    In 1999 OSU Extension’s Older Adult Development Issues Team, Ohio Department of Aging, and faculty in OSU’s College of Allied Medicine and the College of Family Resource Management developed a plan for curriculum and exhibits to teach Ohioan’s about Universal Design, and aging in place. The Universal Design Display House was built in the McCormick building at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, home of Farm Science Review. The UD House is open for tours during FSR, and is staffed by OSU Educators and volunteers who lead house tours and explain different features of the house to FSR visitors. In addition to FSR the UD House is available for private tours to educational, health care and community groups – to schedule a tour, contact Kathy Goins, Clark County FCS Educator,, 937-521-3860.

    In late July the Universal Design House at the Farm Science Review was the site of a special tour and presentation by OSU Extensions Universal Design team – Extension Educators, OSU professors, State Fire Marshalls, and Ohio AgrAbility. The event was presented to a group of South Korean researchers who had reached out to OSU Extension about their Universal Design work.

    Ohio AgrAbility is responsible for the garage/workshop section of the UD House, and OAP staff presented information about UD in the garage, garden and workshop, as well as disability inclusion at OSU Extension and in the community. The Ohio AgrAbility UD garage features non-slip floors, work-surfaces of different height, as well as tool and equipment storage solutions. The garage also features a display of educational posters with information on modifications to equipment, barns and worksites, measurements for turning spaces, and tips on making your workspace accessible and safe.

    The Universal Design Team has added more features and technology to the house, please visit Ohio AgrAbility’s exhibit tent and the Universal Design Display House during Farm Science Review this year (September 18 – 20).

    One of the missions of Ohio AgrAbility is to work with farmers with disabilities to identify ways to make changes or modifications to equipment, facilities or worksites to allow the farmer to continue farming. Universal Design is one of the solutions we use to help farmers and their families stay safe at home and work.

    The second mission of Ohio AgrAbility is to offer resources and education to all farmers on how to reduce the risks of injury and introduce modifications and technology that help farmers stay safe, and work more efficiently. Universal design solutions can be added to your home, equipment, workshop, barn and garden over months or years and can be upgraded to suit your needs and lifestyle. Ohio AgrAbility Fact sheets about Universal Design, gardening with a physical limitation, farming with chronic back pain, and farming with a disability can be found at OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences resources are available at

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


  5. Identifying Agricultural Workplace Hazards

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    No matter if you are finishing summer farm tasks or preparing for fall harvest, it is important to assess the safety hazards within your work area. The ability to assess potential hazards before an injury occurs is a key component to safety management and protecting the safety of those working around you. All agricultural work environments present their own unique safety hazards. No two areas or work tasks are the same, however there are general guidelines that can be followed:

    - Confirm there are no slip, trip and fall hazards such as liquid spills, tools, grease, loose grain, or elevation changes on the floor or ground.

    - Be mindful of material/chemical injuries due to splashes in the eyes or on the skin. Also watch for over-exposure in dusty environments or with vapors and mists.

    - Read safety labels and understand terms such as flammable, combustible, corrosive and potential for personal injury.

    - Recognize travel patterns of farm equipment and moving vehicles to reduce the potential for collisions, run-overs and other injuries.

    - Verify machine guarding is in place and properly functioning to avoid equipment hazards such as pinch-points, cut points, wrap points, burns, or stored energy.

    - Consider any processes that may generate flying debris or thrown objects that can cause blunt trauma including eye injuries, struck by, or punctures.

    - Ensure emergency stops or shut down procedures work properly.

    - Verify that air, water and hydraulic lines are in good condition to minimize uncontrolled release.

    - Determine if Personal Protective Equipment is being used and is proper for the job.

    - Be aware of any overhead and fall hazards that may be present in your workspace.

    - Consider factors like fatigue and repetitive motion

    The final guideline is the most important. Take the proper actions required to fix a hazard. If immediate action can be taken, such as cleaning up spills, repairing equipment, securing loads or adjusting work processes, then do so.

    A great way to identify agricultural workplace hazards is to do a site walk-through, using a safety checklist.  Agricultural specific safety checklists can be found at: and

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

  6. Back to School Preparedness Tips and Resources

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Back to school is almost a season of its own anymore, one that sneaks in between summer and fall. Those weeks in August bring the familiar sight of aisle after aisle in big box stores dedicated to notebooks, pencils, and glue sticks. Sales signs and flyers appear everywhere. Endless medical forms are delivered via postal service or emailed for parents to complete. Back to school presents the perfect time of year to turn the focus on safety and health preparedness for youth. Listed below are some tips and resources to help put safety first for the start of this school year.

    Personal Safety and Security




    • Know the required vaccinations to start school and schedule a visit with your child’s pediatrician.

    Youth Preparedness

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


  7. Preventing Barn Fires

    Christine Gelley - OSU Extension, Noble County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

    The fire department is a service you hope you will never need to use, but the one you are most thankful for when an emergency occurs and life as you know it is going up in flames. It is crucial that we all do our best to reduce fire risks in our homes and work environments.

    Barn fires are all too common and most are preventable. Common causes of barn fires include electric appliances, heaters and heat lamps, fans, exposed wires, dirty outlets, smoking, wet hay, and machinery. Few barns are appropriately equipped with fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, or smoke alarms. In addition, many barns are inadequately insured for their contents. In order to protect the valuable assets stored in barns including livestock and also the people who work in them, fire prevention needs to be a high priority.

    Here are some ways to improve fire prevention methods on your farm:

    • Make it a point to scout for hazardous conditions around the barn. Inform everyone who works in your barn of what area are concerns for fire development, what to do in the case of a fire, and to always keep exit pathways clear.
    • Establish a cleaning schedule to remove dirt and dust from areas where electrical outlets and appliances are used. Install appropriate covers on outlets and light bulbs. Extension cords should be industrial grade and checked for faults regularly. Permanent electrical wiring should be encased in conduit
    • Store flammable liquids, hay, bedding, and fuel away from animals and machinery. Keep brush and trees trimmed back from the structure and maintain space between structures to prevent fire from easily spreading. 
    • Some tools that are easy to install and help reduce the damage in the case of a fire include: ABC fire extinguishers in reach of high risk areas, smoke detectors with amplified sirens, and/or barn cameras equipped with audio.
    • Always have the contact information for your local fire department readily available in case of an emergency.
    • Check with your insurance agency to verify that you have appropriate insurance for your structures and their contents, just in case.
    • Once you think you have corrected the fire hazards in your barn, it may be a good idea to ask someone from your fire department to visit your farm and do a walk through of your barn. A second set of trained eyes may be the difference between life and death in the event of a barn fire.

    For information about how to select fire extinguishers for your farm, consult OSU Extension Fact Sheet AEX-790.25: Fire Extinguishers, available online at