Ag Safety STAT: February 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. Local Safety Programs

    It’s 2018, and a great year to be involved in agricultural safety!

    There are new safety initiatives taking place on the state and national level. Our state program staff will be sharing new resources with you all year long as these new projects become available.

    As you consider safety for your late winter and early spring producer meetings – or county Farm Bureau sponsored Workers Compensation group rating programs – our staff will work with you to design a safety program specifically for your audience. Feel free to choose a topic of your own, or choose from one of the topics listed below. We make suggestions for 2018 programming based on the type of injuries and fatalities we see reported through our statewide surveillance program.

    Suggested Safety and Health Topics for 2018
    Tractor and Equipment Safety
    OSHA and AG
    Noise on the Farm
    Respiratory Hazards on the Farm
    Grain Facility Safety and Health
    First Aid on the Farm
    Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention
    Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls on the Farm
    Emergency Plans for the Farm and Agritourism Operation
    ATVs and UTVs – training program for all ages and skill level
    Electrical Safety for Farm Buildings and Equipment
    Managing Safety with your Agricultural Employees
    Grain C.A.R.T. – the Comprehensive Ag Rescue Trailer
    Women in Ag – Tractor and Machinery Operation Programs – a hands on workshop

    Contact Dee Jepsen at or Kent McGuire at to schedule.

  2. National Burn Awareness Week, February 4 – 10, 2018

    National Burn Awareness Week runs February 4-10. Stop by the American Burn Association website to download information to display in your place of work or share with your employees. You will find a collection of information for use to promote the week at

  3. Grain Bin Safety Week, February 18 - 24, 2018

    Grain Bin Safety Week runs February 18-24. Stop by the Nationwide website to nominate your fire department to win a grain rescue tube and hands-on training as a part of a contest promoted for the safety week, entries are accepted through April 30. You will find information at

  4. Grain C.A.R.T. Scheduling

    Agricultural rescue training and education are an integral part to protecting our work force of families tied to agriculture in Ohio. The Grain C.A.R.T. (Comprehensive Agricultural Rescue Trailer) was designed and built to do that twofold. Opportunities exist to offer professional training to first responders and/or deliver grain safety awareness curriculum for outreach education to farmers and agricultural industries by scheduling the Grain C.A.R.T. for your area in 2018. Programming is being booked now to kick off in March. Please call or email Lisa Pfeifer at (614) 292-9455,, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around the Grain C.A.R.T. in your geographic area.


  5. American Burn Association: Prevention Resources

    According to the American Burn Association, the majority of burn injuries are preventable. Their website contains a section on burn prevention that houses a variety fact sheets, resource tools, and materials. More information can be found by clicking on

  6. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Upgrade your tractor with a camera system – increase safety, reduce pain and risk of secondary injuries

    Laura AkgermanDisability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    If you have ever had a headache or shoulder pain from frequently turning to look over your shoulder while you are planting, mowing or harvesting, you may want to think about installing a camera and monitor system in your tractor. Chronic headaches and long-term injuries to your neck, shoulders and back can occur from frequently turning to look over your shoulder. Camera systems also make hitching up to equipment much easier and safer, you can position the camera to show the hitch, eliminating the need for a second person to guide you when hitching up equipment.

    Ohio AgrAbility has a few clients who use camera systems, a few of the farmers need the cameras because they have a disability that stops them from turning to look over their shoulder, and also makes it difficult to climb in and out of the tractor while hitching equipment. The cameras allow them to continue farming safely and independently. Other AgrAbility clients use the cameras because of the slow development of arthritis or other degenerative conditions over years of hard work.

    Depending on the type of work you are doing, you may wish to install a one, two or three camera system for your tractor. With any camera system, you will need one or more monitors mounted within easy line of sight in your tractor (typically monitors are mounted in front of the wheel, or near the top of the windshield in a tractor with a cab, wherever is easy to see, and does not obstruct your view.) When purchasing a camera system, consider the size of the monitor you want (5”, 7”, 10”), if you need a heavy duty or waterproof camera, those are available.

    Different cameras and monitors are linked in this article. Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Ag Safety do not receive any benefit from the links, and do not endorse any particular product or retailer.

    One -camera systems work well if you are just looking behind you to see the progress of mowing, planting or other work, and only need one point-of-view. The camera can be mounted on the rear of the fender, or behind the tractor seat.

    Two-camera systems are good if you want one camera to view where you are working, and another camera to help with hitching to equipment. You can use two monitors (one for each camera), or a monitor with a split screen, that would allow you to see both camera viewpoints at the same time.

    Three camera systems are helpful if you use the tractor for multiple tasks, and do not want to have to adjust the camera angle between tasks. The first camera would show the tractor hitch. The second camera would show equipment that was being used/towed and the third camera could show a higher viewpoint (a grain hopper filling, discharging grain into a grain cart or trailer). A split screen or quad view monitor could be used, or you could have multiple monitors if you don’t like looking at ta split screen.

    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. Another 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. Camera systems are great enhancements for any tractor, and serve a variety of farmers’ needs.

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

  7. Safety with Hand and Power Tools

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    It’s time to start those projects or repairs that need to be completed in preparation for the spring busy season. Most of these projects will involve the use of hand or power tools. Common injuries associated with hand and power tools include cuts, burns, blunt trauma, or flying debris, as well as health hazards associated from dust, or fumes. Below are safety considerations when working with hand and power tools.

    General Safety Guidelines:
    - Use tools that are the right size and right type for the job.
    - Operate all tools according to the manufacturers’ instructions and recommendations.
    - Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to prevent injury during use of the tool.
    - Keep all tools in good condition with proper storage and regular maintenance.
    - Examine each tool for damage before use.
    - Secure small or short work with a vise or clamp.
    - Avoid leaving tools on an elevated work area or hanging over the edge of a workbench, where they could fall.
    Hand Tools (any tool not self- powered: hammer, screwdriver, handsaw, shovel, ax, etc…):
    - Inspect hand tools for any damage. Replace any worn, bent, cracked or damaged handles.
    - Only use tools with insulated handles on electrical projects.
    - When using cutting tools, cut away from the body.
    - Make sure saw or knife blades are sharp to promote efficient use of the hand tool.
    - Keep impact tools such as punches or chisels free of mushroomed heads.
    - Keep edges of large tools such as shovels or axes sharp.
    - Avoid laying large handled tools flat on the ground or with sharp edges or points up.
    Power Tools (electric, pneumatic, or gasoline powered):
    - Disconnect power tools when not in use or when changing blades, grinding wheels, or drill bits.
    - Inspect electrical cords before use and replace any damaged cords.
    - Never carry a tool by the cord or unplug by “yanking” the plug out of the outlet.
    - Do not hold finger on the power button or switch to avoid accidental starting.
    - Make sure machine guards are in place and functional.
    - Do not use electrical power tools in wet or damp conditions.
    - Keep a good footing and maintain balance when operating power tools.
    - Consider specific PPE needed when working with “hot work” tools such as welders or torches.
    - Make sure pneumatic tools are properly oiled and hoses / connections are free from damage.
    - Make sure air hoses on the ground do not become trip hazards.
    - Ensure that all safety switches work properly.
    - Work with with gasoline power equipment only in properly ventilated areas.
    - Clean up the work area after the project is complete. Remove any dust, debris, metal shavings, cutting oil, or any other materials from the workspace.
    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at or 614-292-0588.
  8. Is your Emergency Action Plan up to date?

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Late winter is always a great time to review your Emergency Action Plan. Whether it’s a structure fire, traumatic farm injury, or natural disaster, being prepared can help reduce the potential for loss of life or property. An Emergency Action Plan should include:

    - A list of emergency numbers that may be needed.

    - Evacuation and shelter in place procedures.

    - Procedures to shut down specific processes or equipment.

    - Location of electrical disconnects, water or gas shut – offs, and fuel storage areas.

    - Specifying locations of livestock facilities and relocation areas should they need to be moved.

    - Identifying confined space areas such as grain bins, silos or manure pits and hazards associated with each one.

    - Listing areas where chemicals, pesticides, paints, compressed gas cylinders or flammables are stored.

    - Locating access points to water sources such as ponds, rivers or streams, in the event of a large structure fire.

    - Identifying access points to the farmstead and to specific barns, buildings and structures.

    - Determine the use any specialty equipment needed to access remote locations on the farm. Example: Tractor, 4x4 truck, ATV / UTV, or boat.

    - Consider how emergency response could be affected by seasonal changes. (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)

    It is a good idea to involve your local fire department and emergency medical services provider. Ask if the local fire department could visit your facility to get familiar with the overall layout and general operation. This will give them the opportunity to identify any potential hazards or tactical approaches during emergency response and provide feedback on emergency planning.

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