Ag Safety STAT: November 2019

Ag Safety S.T.A.T. – Safe Tactics for Ag Today is an electronic newsletter prepared by 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

  1. Lifts for Tractors & Combines

    Rachel Jarman – Ohio AgrAbility, Rural Rehabilitation Coordinator

    Have you ever seen a person using a lift to get in and out of their vehicle at the local grocery store? Did you know that similar equipment is available for the ag industry? Farmers and other equipment operators can now return to the seat of their tractor or combine with the assistance of hydraulic driven lift mounted to their tractor, combine or other piece of equipment. These lifts can provide a safe alternative for farmers who have back injuries, arthritis, artificial hip, knee replacement or other circumstances that otherwise prevent them from climbing in to the seat of their machine. These lifts can be mounted directly to the tractor or combine with a platform that the person is able to step on. The cost of the lift depends on type purchased and how much fabrication goes into mounting it to the desired vehicle or piece of equipment. A lift company is 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.

    Life Essentials Lifts:

  2. National Rural Health Day

    Dee Jepsen – Agricultural State Safety and Health Leader

    National Rural Health Day is Thursday November 21, 2019. This day brings attention to the unique challenges the rural communities face when it comes to health services and healthy people. This year’s theme is Plug into the Power of Rural.

    When it comes to health care services, 50% of Ohio counties are designated as Governor’s certified shortage areas. There are 44 counties, or regions within counties, considered underserved.

    Rural communities do not see the same health advancements as urban counties. Within these areas residents face accessibility issues and an overall lack of providers. Access to ambulatory and emergency medical services are especially critical in rural America, where only 20% of the nation’s population lives but where the majority of trauma deaths occur. The opioid crisis can also affect rural communities’ need for first-responder services.

    Rural residents are typically an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions. Another statistic about rural Americans is that a large percentage are uninsured or underinsured when it comes to health care.

    Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates rural areas have a 50% higher rate of unintentional injuries than in urban areas. There are increased injuries from falls, motor vehicle crashes and drug overdoses.  

    In Ohio, rural health care is a critical topic. The one-day celebration of National Rural Health Day allows individuals and organizations to rally behind the valuable services provided to the rural communities. Collectively these activities are designed to improve the quality of life for rural Americans and sustain our rural communities as wonderful places to live and work.

    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit or contact Dee Jepsen, at or 614-292-6008.


  3. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Fitness for Farm Life – Two Stretches for Harvest Season

    Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator, Ohio AgrAbility Project

    During harvest season farmers spend hours sitting – in combines, trucks, tractors –all that sitting can make you stiff and sore. Next time you are sitting in line at the elevator or waiting on trucks to come back to the field try these stretches to loosen up your neck and shoulders.

    Shoulder Circle Shrugs

    • Start either in a standing or seated position, sitting upright and hands to your sides.
    • Begin by moving your shoulders forward, up, back and down in one continuous circular motion. Shrug 10 times then switch directions and start with your shoulders down and back, and shrug forward.
    • Repeat 10 times.

    Neck stretches

    • Start either in a standing or seated position.
    • Place right hand on left ear
    • Keeping shoulders relaxed, pull your right hand to your right ear until you feel tension on your left side of the neck. Try not to twist your neck or lean your head forward.
    • Hold for 10 seconds, then switch hands and stretch the right side of your neck.

    Repeat these stretches throughout the day to keep your shoulders and neck from getting stiff and sore.

    Please do not do these stretches while you are driving or operating machinery.

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




  4. Respiratory Safety

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Protect yourself, employees, and family members by wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Find out more in our fact sheets on how to protect against dust and mold at, or respiratory diseases at Put a box of N-95s in the farm truck and shop so PPE is accessible when needed.

    Please visit for information about the OSU Ag Safety and Health Program or contact Lisa Pfeifer, at or 614-292-9455.

  5. Hazard Control in the Workplace

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    There are multiple ways to control hazards in the workplace. The “Hierarchy of Controls” is often used to demonstrate the most effective method of controlling hazards to the least effective. The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety has a great graphic that explains the “Hierarchy of Controls” and the steps to minimize hazards in the workplace.

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