Ag Safety STAT: January 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 Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention In-Service

    One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Come learn how you can provide Sun Safety programming and Dermascan screenings in your area. This In-service will feature a speaker providing an update on Sun Safety and Skin Cancer. Information on resources OSU Extension has about Sun Safety and Skin Cancer will be provided, along with a list of reliable websites. A Panel of Extension Educators will provide you with programming ideas and helpful tips. Dermascan training will be available. 

    This In-service will be at the Waterman Farms off of Lane Avenue on February 2, 2016. A soup and salad lunch will be provided in the $15 in-service fee. Join us to learn more about Sun Safety and Skin Cancer. Learn how you can do Dermascan screenings in your county or EERA. 

    Registration link:  

  2. A Survey for Ohio Farmers with On-Farm Grain Storage Facilities

    Ohio farmers are being asked to complete a survey about their current grain handling and storage systems. This information will be used to develop future training programs specific for Ohio grain facilities. The research project is being conducted by a graduate student in the OSU Ag Safety and Health program, under the direction of Dee Jepsen. The project was funded by the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC). The aim of this research will help identify safety and health practices used on Ohio farms to help solve (or at least reduce) the hazards when working around grain storage facilities. 
    The survey does not collect personal information that could be traced back to the producer, making the responses anonymous. All farmers who own, manage, or use on-farm grain bin structures are eligible to complete the survey.
    Click on this link to review and participate in the survey. If there are questions about this survey, please contact Dee Jepsen ( 
    Follow this link to the Survey:

    Take the Survey

    Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:

  3. Safety and Health Topics for your Winter Programs

    Please consider the Ag Safety Office when developing your winter and early spring producer meetings or Workers Compensation group-rating programs. Our staff will work with you to design a program specifically for your audience group, or feel free to select a topic from our “Most Popular List” below. The average session is 45-60 minutes, but can be adjusted or combined with other topics to fit your schedule. Our goal is to make safety and health programs fun and interactive, oh yes, and also effective in changing behaviors!  We look forward to scheduling in your area for the 2016 season.

    “Tractor and Equipment Safety – Hazards with the machinery we use everyday” Tractors are the most hazardous injury agents on farms. This program addresses the top safety concerns, and involves the audience in a little game of reaction time. How fast do you have to be to avoid getting wrapped, caught, or entangled in farm machinery? 

    “Grain Storage Solutions for Safety and Health” It’s true, there’s a lot of money tied up in grain storage systems. But if the producer hasn’t considered safety and health factors in the equation, the costs of personal risks could even be higher. This program identifies the top priorities all producers should consider when working around on-farm stored grain facilities.  And it’s not just safety - grain dust is a serious culprit affecting our long-term health situation.

    “OSHA and AG – Busting any myths and learning about safe work practices for the farm and agritainment businesses” What rules apply to family farms, youth labor issues, and other management topics are addressed in this program. What considerations need to be made when the public is invited to the farm for agritainment activities?

    “Noise on the Farm – Detecting and preventing the sound problem” This program explains the effects of noise on the ear and how noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented. For the youngest ears to those senior years, learn what can be done to protect your hearing for a lifetime.

    “ATVs and UTVs – Training programs for all ages” Common utility vehicles used on the farm can also cause serious injury. This course will look at safe operating procedures, recognizing potential hazards and effective uses for ATVs and UTVs on the farm.

    Other general Agricultural Safety & Health Programs can be developed to suit your audiences’ needs.  Please contact Dee Jepsen or Kent McGuire to schedule.


    Ohio AgrAbility Would Like to Conduct an Educational Program in your Area

    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

  4. Universal Design and Assistive Technology

    Andy Bauer—Ohio AgrAbility Program Educational Coordinator

    Now that the winter weather is knocking on our doors, it may be time to start getting ready for spring field work. When working on equipment in the shop, give some thought to Universal Design concepts and make life and work easier on you and your help. Universal Design is the design of products or environments to make life easier for all people. Most people have Universal Design concepts in their homes, but don’t realize it. For example, lever style handles on doors and faucets, flat rocker style light switches make opening doors, turning on water and lighting a room easier. Can you think of other items in your home that can make life easier? Several of these concepts can be applied to your farm shop and buildings to make work outside easier for you not only in cold weather, but also throughout the year. When carrying heavy or awkward loads in your arms it is easier to turn on lights with the bump of an elbow on a rocker switch than a toggle switch. Think about changing some of those sliding doors to overhead doors or put in an electric opener to make it easier to get equipment in and out in bad weather.

    Assistive Technology includes any kind of device, modification, or service that will help a person with a disability work and live more independently. Ultimately, it makes it possible for someone to complete a job that might otherwise be difficult. While assistive technology can make farming possible for individuals with limitations, it can also make life easier for everyone. When working in the shop this winter, think about the changes or modifications that you could do to your equipment to make your jobs easier to do or reduce stress on your body. Reducing some of the stress on your body now will help extend your ability to work longer the future. Maybe the steps could be extended to get on or off equipment easier, saving stress on your joints. If your legs, knees and back need more help then just extending the steps, consider hand rails in addition to the extended steps. A lift mounted on the equipment or independent of the equipment could make your access easier and extend the length of time you can continue to do your job. Change worn out tractor seats to reduce stress on your back, consider an air ride seat, or maybe a seat that will swivel to make it easier to see behind you. Another consideration of assistive technology would be the addition of mirrors or cameras to see equipment behind you and beside you to save stress on your back and neck to keep you working safely.

    Assistive Technology ideas are designed to help the farmer with disabilities to be able to continue farming. Even for persons without disabling limitations, assistive technology allows the person to continue farming with reduced stress, and extend their ability to work.

    For more information on the Ohio AgrAbility Program contact us at or Andy Bauer at or (614) 247-7681.        


  5. Caught-in or Caught-between Objects

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Throughout the year there are a variety of farm tasks that involve working around equipment or livestock.  In some instances farmers can find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and be in a situation to be caught-in or caught-between objects, which can lead to serious injuries. Caught-in or between incidents occur for some of the following reasons:

    - Working on or around moving equipment
    - Working on equipment with stored energy (Example: Hydraulic cylinder)
    - Inadequate guarding on equipment or guards have been removed
    - Incorrect hitching practices
    - Not being visible to the equipment operator
    - Unaware of approaching danger in the work environment
    - Being pinned against equipment or solid surfaces when working livestock

    Some guidelines to use to prevent caught-in or caught-between incidents should include:

    - Always shut down equipment before doing repairs or inspecting of equipment.
    - Chock the wheels on equipment that could move or roll.
    - Never work under equipment that is supported only by a jack. Use a secondary support device.
    - Use the cylinder safety locks on equipment that support hydraulic cylinders, to prevent the release of stored energy in    the cylinder.
    - After servicing equipment make sure all guards are in place and properly secured
    - When hitching or unhitching equipment, stand to the side, and be clearly visible to the tractor driver.
    - Leave an escape route to prevent getting pinned between two objects.
    - Use extra caution when working around equipment that uses belts / pullies: chains / sprockets: or PTO shafts.

    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit or 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.