Ag Safety STAT: June/July 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. Welcoming Laura Akgerman!

    OSU Extension and the Ohio AgrAbility Project welcomes Laura Cherry Akgerman as the new Disability Services Coordinator. Laura will serve CFAES faculty and staff, by answering questions and finding solutions for specific disability accommodations for outreach events held around the state. She will also oversee many of the services offered to Ohio AgrAbility clients to maintain their quality of life as they remain engaged in farming.

    Laura is a two time graduate of The Ohio State University, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a Master of Arts in Education: Rehabilitation Services. She comes to us from Ohio Dominican University where she was the Disability Services Coordinator, and an Academic Advisor for almost eight years. She has also worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor for Goodwill Columbus, VocWorks, and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

    Laura grew up on a small farm in Sunbury, Ohio, and was an active member of the Pegasus 4-H club in Delaware County. She showed horses and sheep at the Delaware County fair, the Hartford Fair, and was lucky enough to take her horse to the Ohio State Fair three times.  Her father & brother owned and operated Cherryhill Aquatics, a water lily & aquatics nursery for almost 25 years, and Laura got to work with the water plants every now and then.

    Laura’s campus office is in room 263 of the Agricultural Engineering building. She joins Dee Jepsen and the Ohio AgrAbility team, as well as Kathy Lechman and the CFAES diversity teams. She can be reached at 614-247-7681 or

  2. Welcoming Lisa Pfeifer!

    We welcome Lisa Pfeifer to the Ag Safety and Health team. She will hold the role of our new Ag Safety Program Manager. Lisa will work with the program areas of Ag Rescue, Emergency Management, and AgrAbility.

    Lisa is a graduate and past employee of The Ohio State University. She comes to us with a diverse background rich in community outreach and engagement, education, program development, and hands-on farm experience. She will be out to meet many of you throughout the state as our programming is delivered in the upcoming months.

    Lisa grew up in Crawford County and was a 4-H kid. She first left those roots to attend college at OSU and then returned to Columbus to take a position with Animal Sciences Extension in 2000.

    Lisa can be found in 263 Ag Engineering or out in our counties delivering Ag Safety programming. Please feel free to call her at 614-292-9455 or drop her an email at with any questions or programming needs.

  3. Looking for Farmers to Participate in Grain Dust Study

    Ohio farmers are being asked to participate in a study about their dust exposure while working of their on farm grain bins. The project is funded by the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) to learn the real exposures farmers experience at when they unload and clean their bins. The aim of this research will help identify safety and health practices used on Ohio farms to help solve (or at least reduce) their exposures to hazards.
    The mini study requires participating farmers to wear an air sampling pump while unloading grain and cleaning out their grain bins. The sample will be taken for the time period they are working, and scheduled by the farm operation. There should be limited disruption to the overall production schedule of the farm, or interruption from the farmers’ daily work. No personal identifying information that could be traced back to the producer will be collected.  Dust samples are needed for corn, soybeans, and wheat. All Ohio farmers who own, manage, or use on-farm grain bin structures are eligible to have samples taken at their location. Results will be shared back to the farm operator so they know how their samples compare to other samples taken in the state. 

    Farm workers interested in participating, before their bins are emptied of their current commodity please contact Dee Jepsen, 614-292-6008 or

  4. Tractor and Machinery Certification for Youth-In-service

    Interested in connecting with other agricultural education teachers, OSU Extension educators, and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Organizational Directors? Want access to resources (can be used regardless of offering a tractor cert course)? Then this ONE DAY workshop is for you!

    The U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) has established 11 tasks that are considered "too hazardous" for youth to complete for hire (drive a tractor over 20PTO Hp, work with breeding livestock, etc.). Exemptions from these hazardous tasks include: Working for a parent or legal guardian (farms that are LLC or Inc., or operated by a grandparent/extended family member are 'gray areas'), completing a Tractor and Machinery certification course (can complete tasks 1&2), or enrolled in a "vocational agriculture program" (can complete tasks 1-6, with documentation). 

    The one day workshop will be held on Monday August 1st at the scenic Gwynne Conservation Area at the Molly Caren Ag Center near London, OH (Arbuckle Rd off of US38, just north and west of the FSR main site). Registration will begin at 9:30AM, with the event beginning at 10AM, lunch provided, and concluding by 3PM (unless you have additional questions you would like answered).

    Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions/preferences.

    The cost to reserve your spot is $20 (we can handle up to 40 participants, but space is limited). Checks can be made payable to:
    The Ohio State University
    and can be mailed to:
    ATTN: Dewey Mann
    590 Woody Hayes Dr
    Columbus, OH 43210

    OR checks can be brought to registration the day of the workshop.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions. Dee 614-292-6008 or Dewey 614-292-1952

  5. Slips, Trips, and Falls

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As we progress into summer, there is a full list of work to be done on the farm such as spraying crops, side-dressing corn, baling hay, and moving livestock to pasture.  Throughout the workday, a farmer may encounter several types of walking and working surfaces. Farmers have an increased risk of injury from a slip, trip, or fall because of the variety of surfaces they encounter on a regular basis. Areas which have a greater risk for these types of injuries include: sloped terrain, feed lots, areas that are washed down on a daily basis, hay mows, ladders and equipment steps or platforms.

    Incidents that can occur on walking and working surfaces.

    Trips occur when an obstruction catches the worker’s foot and causes him/her to stumble forward. Tripping hazards include cords, equipment, uneven floor mats, unseen or unexpected objects. These tripping hazards should be picked up and put away after every use. When they are in use, be aware of the danger they could pose in a walkway, such as an electrical cord strung across a sidewalk.

    Slips occur when an individual slides along smoothly causing a loss of balance. Slipping hazards include wet, icy, greasy, or soiled ground or floors. Farmers should wear the foot apparel appropriate for the job, such as steel toed and slip resistant boots. Also, take the time to clean up any spills, especially oily material and corrosive materials.

    Falls occur when an individual descends or drops freely by the influence of gravity. A fall can happen from any surface, however falls from higher elevations such as ladders, large equipment, elevated surfaces, ramps, or platforms have a higher risk for injury.

    Preventing slip, trip, and fall injuries.

    Proper housekeeping and lighting of working and walking surfaces can prevent many slip, trip, and fall incidents. However, some additional guidelines to consider when working in an agricultural environment include:

    - Utilize handrails or grab bars in areas where there are stairs or changes in elevation.

    - Use 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting equipment and using ladders

                 (1 hand / 2 feet) or (2 hands / 1 foot).

    - In wet or slippery conditions, take smaller steps and try to ensure your torso stays balanced over your feet.

    - Use slip resistant matting or provide textured surfaces in potentially wet areas.

    - Maintain good housekeeping in livestock barns and work areas, by removing manure and keeping surfaces clean and dry.

    - Remove obstructions from travel areas, such as extension cords, power cords, hoses, boxes, or tools.

    - Use the proper ladder for the job and follow all warning labels.

    - Repair uneven / warped flooring, protruding nails, splinters and loose boards, or cracks in concrete which can create an uneven walking surface.

    - Sweep loose hay or grains from areas where those materials are handled and stored.

    - Minimize distractions to remain alert to hazards and avoid carrying bulky items that block your view.

    - Stay alert to items projecting from buildings or equipment.

    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.