Ag Safety STAT: May 2017

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. NIOSH Website

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed an extensive agricultural safety and health program to address the high risks of injuries and illnesses experienced by workers and families in agriculture.   The website contains injury data, publications, safety resources and additional links of interest. To review the site visit:

  2. Is Your Summer Event Welcoming and Accessible to People with Disabilities?

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Summer is the season for outdoor events – street fairs, farmers markets, county fairs, and Agritourism. If your event or business is open to the public, it must be accessible to people with disabilities.

    The American’s with Disabilities Act is a federal law that requires businesses and events to be accessible to everyone. Not only will ADA guidelines benefit the 14% of Ohioan’s who have a disability, they also make your event open and welcoming to everyone.

    Having accessible entrances is the first step to providing access to your facilities and programs. Facilities which have wide entrances with ramps or no steps, easy to open doors, and large restroom stalls are easier for people with baby strollers or carts, as well as people who use canes or walkers.

    However, providing access is more than getting people through the gate, it also includes, advertising, parking, restrooms and more. Here is a list of topics to consider when making your event accessible to people with disabilities.

    Promotional materials and websites

    All websites and advertisements should be accessible. Include information for whom to contact about requests for accommodations to the event, such as sign language interpreters, accessible seating, or accessible programs or maps. If the event is accessible, including an accessibility symbol on advertising indicates your event welcomes everyone.


    When parking is provided for the public, accessible parking spaces must be allotted for those with disabilities. For every 25 spaces, at least one space must be designated as accessible. The accessible parking space should be the space closest to the accessible entrance.  If you have van accessible spaces, there should be additional space located either to the right or left of the space, to serve as an access aisle. This additional space allows a person in a wheelchair or other mobility device to get out of the vehicle freely. Accessible parking spaces should be on level ground, and should be free of debris or obstructions.

    Walking paths and surfaces

    Walking paths should be designed for easy travel. They should be clear of debris, equipment, and other barriers (for example hoses, tools, or piles of dirt). Their surface can be a solid or hard packed material, easy for a person using a wheelchair or walker could safely and easily traverse.

    Entrances and ticket booths

    Entrances for buildings and facilities must contain at least one accessible entrance. Accessibility can be achieved with a ramp, or an entrance with no thresholds, steps or barriers. Accessible entrances should be at least 36” wide.

    Accessible entrances must be unlocked during business hours, and if the door or entrance does not have an automatic opener, it should have a bell or buzzer to notify staff to open the door.

    If your event has ticket booths, the counter height of at least one ticket booth should be a maximum of 36” high. If you use turnstiles, there must also be a gate, or accessible entrance to bypass the turnstile.


    Clear, easy to read signs are necessary to direct people to accessible entrances, parking, and restrooms. Signs in or around permanent buildings should have both text and braille lettering.


    ADA Standards require that at least 5% of portable toilets be accessible. Permanent bathrooms should have at least one toilet and sink that are accessible.

    Counters and dining tables

    Counter height should be a maximum of 36” high, with clear floor space under the counter to allow a person in a wheelchair to pull up to the counter.

    If tables are provided, 5% of tables should be accessible, with at least 27 “ of space between the floor and the underside of the table.

    Access to stage areas and seating

    Accessible seating must be available throughout an event space. If someone attending your event needs to go on the stage, the stage must be accessible. Ramps can be rented to make a stage accessible, or a temporary lift can be used to allow access to the stage.

    Service animals

    According to the ADA, service animals are dogs or miniature horses only. There is no required or official certification for service animals. The animal must be under the handler’s control at all times, and may be asked to leave if the animal is aggressive or out of control. The handler is responsible for cleaning up after the animal.

    To determine if an animal is a service animal, and must be admitted to an event or business, there are only two questions you can legally ask:

    1. Is the dog/mini horse required because of a disability?

    2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

    (You cannot ask for a demonstration of the animal’s work)

    Emotional support or therapy animals are not covered under the ADA guidelines, and do not have to be admitted to events or businesses.  However, emotional support and therapy animals are covered under certain housing laws; if you offer temporary or permanent housing, the animals may be admissible.

    More information about the ADA can be found at Specific information about how the ADA applies to small businesses can be found under the Technical Assistance Materials link on the website. For information about making temporary events accessible, go to

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


  3. Safe Handling of Pesticides on the Farm

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances used to prevent unwanted living organisms from causing damage to crops, animals, or humans. Common pesticides used on the farm include herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Exposure to pesticides causing poisoning or a health condition is the most common injury. Exposure can be through ingestion (through the mouth), inhalation (breathing) or skin absorption. Following some safety guidelines for pesticides can greatly reduce the risk of an unhealthy exposure causing an injury.

    Pesticide Handling:

    - Become familiar with the pesticide being used. Read and follow the information on the label.

    - Use all label recommended personal protective equipment for mixing, application, and clean up.  Examples include: chemical gloves, goggles, respirator, chemical apron, long sleeve shirt, long pants, and proper footwear

    - Mix or pour concentrated pesticides below waist level, to minimize any splash or fumes near the face.

    - Stand up wind so that fumes or dusts are blown away from the body.

    - Mix or pour in a well - ventilated area.

    - Prepare only the amount needed for application.

    - Clean up spills or leaks immediately.

    - Follow first aid procedures on the label if an exposure occurs.

    - Securely close containers immediately after use.

    - Use the proper equipment and follow the label requirements for application.

    - Exercise caution when applying in sensitive areas where drift could affect others.

    - Follow the pesticide’s re-entry time and procedures after application.

    - Triple rinse and dispose of empty containers properly

    - Wash personal protective equipment and exposed clothing immediately after use.

    Pesticide Storage:

    - Keep pesticides and related materials in a designated locked cabinet, isolated room or separate building.

    - Control access to the storage area and post “Pesticide Storage” signs to warn others.

    - Never store pesticides near food, seed, feed, fertilizers or other products that can become contaminated.

    - Always store pesticides in the original container with an attached label.

    - If storing pesticides on shelves, store liquids below dry powders or granules.

    - Check pesticide containers periodically for leaks, breaks, or corrosion.

    Working with pesticides can be done safely when precautions are taken and users read and follow the pesticide’s label.

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


  4. Safe Driving Through Work Zones

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    It is the start of road construction season, as signified by orange barrels, directional arrow signs, and the sight of heavy equipment beside the road. It is also a good time to encourage safe driving practices and consider the safety of those working in highway work zones. According to “Safety Now” here are ten tips for driving safely in construction work zones.

    1. In any work zone along any road, major or minor, expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people and vehicles may be working on or near the road.
    2. Obey warning signs – they are posted in advance of road construction projects to give you time to follow their instructions to merge, slow down or stop.
    3. Stay alert and minimize distractions. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and resist the temptation to get on your cell phone or engage in other distracting behaviors while driving through a work zone.
    4. Stay calm. Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you. They’re necessary to improvethe roads for everyone.
    5. You may see flashing arrow panels or “lane closed ahead” signs. Merge as soon as possible. Don’tzoom right up to the lane closure, then try to barge in – if everyone cooperates, traffic moves more
    efficiently. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by moving to the appropriate lane at first notice of an approaching work zone.
    6. Slow down when the signs say to. Speeding is one of the leading causes of work zone relatedcrashes so slow down and take your time.
    7. The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision, so remember to leave atleast two seconds of braking distance between you and the car in front of you. The amount of space
    required to provide two seconds of stopping time will increase the faster you’re driving!
    8. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, trucks, construction equipment andworkers. Just like you, highway workers want to return home safely after each day’s work.
    9. Just because you don’t see the workers immediately after you see the warning signs doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Some work zones – like line painting, road patching and mowing are mobile,
    moving down the road as the work is finished. Observe the posted signs until you see the one thatstates you’ve left the work zone.
    10. Highway agencies use many different and varying ways to inform motorists about the location and duration of major work zones. Often, the agencies will suggest a detour to help you avoid the work
    zone entirely. Plan ahead, and try an alternate route.
    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at or 614-292-0588.
  5. "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"

    The Ohio Emergency Management Agency advises to consider these tips if there is the 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:   Additional flooding resources can be found at: