Ag Safety STAT : March 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. Ohio Safety Congress & Expo: March 7 - 9

    The 2018 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo (OSC18) is March 7th – 9th at the Columbus Convention Center. The event, sponsored by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, helps businesses keep their work force safe, healthy and productive. More than 200 educational sessions, guest presenters from various states and more than 250 exhibitors share their knowledge and resources at this free event.

    Individuals with an interest in occupational safety and health, wellness, rehabilitation and medical treatment of injured workers are encouraged to attend. Students are also welcome to attend our educational sessions. For more information visit:

  2. Sun Safety In-Service

    The 2018 Sun Safety In-Service for extension educators will be held March 14th, 2018 at the 4H Center in Gehres Room. Time 10am - 2pm. Cost is $20 a person. To register go to:


  3. Ohio AgrAbility’s “Safety Barn” display

    The Safety Barn is an interactive wooden barn which will be used to demonstrate assistive technology, site and equipment modifications, and safety features. The barn has an LED light and a conventional light, which demonstrate the difference in brightness and visibility between the two light sources. There is also a staircase leading to the hay loft, providing a safe way for our farmer to access the hay loft. Two tractors are also on display, featuring Slow Moving Vehicle signs, and R.O.P.S.

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

  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. Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN)

    The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is a collaborative multistate effort by extension services across the country to improve the delivery of services to citizens affected by disasters. NIFA leads this effort.

    The mission of EDEN is to provide encouragement and support to local extension workers across the U.S. as they:

    • Build working relationships with their local and state emergency management networks
    • Provide educational programs on disaster preparation and mitigation
    • Assume locally appropriate roles during disasters
    • Collaborate in recovery efforts

    EDEN links extension educators from across the U.S. and various disciplines, enabling them to use and share educational resources. Many of these educational resources are available at EDEN’s Website,

  6. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Rolling Lift Carts

    Laura AkgermanDisability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Charlie Landis – Rural Rehabilitation Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Farm equipment is often heavy, bulky, hard to move, and could require two people to safely lift or move items, or to hitch equipment to a tractor. A good alternative to back-straining lifting is a rolling lift cart. Rolling lift carts reduce the risk of injury from lifting and carrying heavy objects. A rolling lift cart allows you to lift an object from the floor, bench, or table with minimal manual lifting, and move the equipment to where you want it and raise or lower the height of the cart to allow easy attachment or transfer of the equipment. A lift cart can be used to unload heavy objects from a truck bed and move them where you want within the shop or barn. The lift table height is raised with a foot pedal and lowered with a hand release lever.

    An Ohio AgrAbility client who has back and neck pain and lifting limitations has used a rolling lift cart to transfer a heavy 3 point quick hitch from the shop floor and over to the tractor’s lift arms. He can use the cart to lift or lower the quick hitch to the desired height to slide the pins into the lift arms, without needing to climb in and out of the tractor to raise and lower the lift arms. The farmer told Ohio AgrAbility staff that he uses his cart almost every day, and if his cart broke, he would replace it immediately. He said it increases his independence, productivity, and has saved him from further pain and injury to his back and neck, which allows him to continue working.

    Farmers of any age and ability can benefit from a rolling lift cart, not just farmers with disabilities. A correctly used rolling lift cart can decrease the risk of injury from lifting, lowering or carrying objects, and minimizes the chances of dropping heavy equipment on yourself or the shop floor. It can also make hitching equipment without help easier.

    Lift capacity of the rolling lift carts ranges from 500  to 2,200 pounds, depending on the brand and model, with prices ranging from $250 for 500 pounds of lift capacity, at,  to $510.00 for 2,200 pounds of lift capacity at Northern Tool and Equipment. Ohio AgrAbility does not receive any payment or benefit from these companies, these carts are listed to provide examples of the equipment, not to advocate for a particular product.

    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.

    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. Preventing Overexertion Injuries

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    With spring approaching, it is time to start preparing for planting season and those spring work activities. As warmer weather increases so does the risk of an overexertion injury because of work practices that the body is not used to.  Overexertion is an injury risk faced by many in the agricultural industry because of labor - intensive tasks and specific work practices over a long period of time. Overexertion is a major cause of sprain /strain injuries and inflammation of joints and ligaments that results from excessive physical effort. According to the National Safety Council, overexertion is the third leading cause of unintentional injuries, accounting for about 3.3 million emergency room visits, annually. There are several causes of overexertion including:

    Fatigue: Burning the candle at both ends is unsustainable and many times less efficient when completing tasks over a long period of time. Sleep or rest is essential to allow the mind and body to heal and recharge after a strenuous workday.

    Force: Force-related hazards can be present when lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, gripping, using tools.

    Awkward or static postures: Posture-related hazards can be present when bending, twisting, reaching, and kneeling.

    Repetitive movements/actions: Repetition-related hazards can be present when doing the same thing over and over again, with little time for rest.

    Rapid movements and unanticipated muscle loading: Slipping, rushing or reacting to the sudden movement of a load, activates muscles quickly and can result in strains and sprains because it does not allow the use of supporting muscle groups.

    Other overexertion injury hazards include contact stress, hand-arm vibration, whole-body vibration, impacts with hands/knees, and working in extreme hot or cold environments.

    Some guidelines to reduce the risks of overexertion injuries include:

    - Use proper lifting techniques when lifting heavy objects.
    - Ask for help when moving heavy objects.
    - Use material handling devices, carts, or hand-trucks to move heavy items.
    - Avoid twisting or bending when you lift or set down your load.
    - Push items, rather than pull them.
    - Plan a route when moving items, free from slip or trip hazards.
    - Avoid the need for “catching” loads or using the body to stop the movement of loads.
    - Use the right tool for the job. Using the wrong tool or a dull tool can lead to using excessive force to operate the tool.
    - Use tools with easy to use handles or grips and have vibration-reducing features.
    - Reduce total exposure to vibration by alternating between tasks that use vibrating power tools or equipment.
    - Use ergonomic workspaces. This will ensure that you use materials and tools in a way that minimizes stress on your body as you work.
    - Establish a suitable working height depending on the type of work being done.
    - Utilize stools and anti-fatigue matting at workstations for tasks with prolonged standing.
    - Place materials used often at appropriate storage heights (18” – 54”) and less frequently used materials in other locations.
    - Utilize different tasks to a job to increase a variety of physical movements, in an effort to prevent repetitive motion injuries.
    - Use kneepads while kneeling or padded gloves when lifting to reduce contact stress over long periods of time.
    - Minimize slip / trip hazards in the workplace
    - Know and respect your body’s limits. This is a key to avoiding overexertion injuries while working.


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


  8. Flood Safety and Preparation

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator
    Flood safety and preparation is not something commonly taught in schools or as one progresses through life. Understandably fire, tornado, and emergency action plans top the list for educational focus. Most of us likely remember lessons picked up along the way that smoke detectors require new batteries, food staples around the house are a good idea, having candles or flashlights available can come in handy, even having a supply of bottled water available for emergencies might bubble up on a mental list of how to prepare, but most do not consider floods in the scope of emergency situations for which to prepare. Knowing your risks can help save your life. Is your residence or workplace located in a floodplain? Plug the address in at the FEMA Flood Map Service Center,, to take a look.

    Floods can result from thunderstorms, heavy rains, or thawing snow and at times can build over the course of several days giving a small window for preparation. Flash floods, on the other hand, can occur within minutes without any time to prepare and sometimes without any sign of rain.

    It takes only inches of flowing water to sweep you off of your feet. Just two feet of water can move vehicles and a surge of water can destroy buildings. Getting to higher ground if possible should always be a priority in a flooding situation.

    Thinking about roadways you travel and where water may collect along the transportation paths you commonly utilize is a good starting point. Stay off of the roads and follow the direction of authorities if they issue closure statements. The National Weather Service reports nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related.

    The Ohio Emergency Management Agency lists the following tips if there is potential for flooding:

    • Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
    • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
    • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 1 foot of water can sweep your vehicle away.
    • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
    • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
    • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

    More information from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency can be found at And, additional flooding resources can be found at the National Weather Service, or FEMA,

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

  9. Weather Safety Awareness

    The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Safety has designated times in March as a concerted effort to focus on and create dialog around preparedness steps that can be taken when it comes to weather safety.

    Please note the upcoming dates:

    Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 18-24

    Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 18-24

    Statewide Tornado Drill, Wednesday, March 21 at 9:50 am

    For more information: