Ag Safety STAT : September 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. Cultivating the Seeds of Safety

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    Each September, rural America observes the National Farm Safety and Health Week. This commemorative week has been practiced for 74 years, recognizing the hard work, diligence, and sacrifices made by our nation’s farmers and ranchers to provide a quality source of food, fuel and fiber. Ohio will celebrate this week on September 16 – 22, 2018.

    The 2018 theme is “Cultivating the Seeds of Safety,” which suggests agricultural producers should take time for safety, similar to the efforts they take to manage a bountiful crop. Farmers are faced with a high workload. They often work long hours to accomplish the job, putting their own personal needs and well-being aside. They are known to operate noisy equipment, work in hazardous conditions, skip meals, and forego healthy meals. Unfortunately many agricultural workers also accept injuries as part of the job, and part of the farming culture. This is a tradition that does not need to continue.  

    Over the past 10 years, 128 Ohio farmers lost their lives doing what they love to do – farm. While the number of farm fatalities is decreasing from what they were 20 years ago, an average of 13 deaths per year, is still too many.    

    The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program offers programs and resources for farmers and ranchers on a variety of topics. Our website ( and Facebook page (@ OSU Ag Safety and Health) can lead you to these specific topics. The Ag S.T.A.T. monthly newsletter is also a resource for short safety messages that can be used throughout the year.

    When safety is a part of our lifestyle and our workplace routine, it becomes a way of life. Having a commemorative week is just a reminder of this, no matter the week or the season.

    For more information, contact Dee Jepsen directly at or 614-292-6008.

  2. Check Out Ag Safety at the 2018 Farm Science Review!

    The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health program staff will be available to meet and talk with attendees of Farm Science Review, September 18-20. Find us located on the east side of Kottman Street, between Friday Avenue and Land Avenue.

    The farm safety area will feature these exhibits:
     •  Grain Bin Safety Systems, with Decker Consulting & Investigations
     •  Virtual reality fall hazard training experience with LJB, Inc
      • 3M Drop Demonstration Truck showing the forces exerted on the body during various types of falls.
      • Farm Safety Hazard Hunt, a great activity for farm kids of all ages to spot hazards in a mock farm display.
      • ATV safety exhibit covering how to properly fit a rider for an ATV and see the safety gear to wear while operating an ATV or UTV.
  3. National Farm Safety & Health Week 2018

    Cultivating the Seeds of Safety is the theme of this year’s National Farm Safety and Health Week, taking place September 16 - 22, 2018. Emerging issues and important topics will be highlighted daily such as Rural Roadway Safety (Monday), Health/Suicide/Opioids (Tuesday), Children & Youth Health and Safety (Wednesday), Confined Spaces in Agriculture (Thursday) and Tractor Safety (Friday).  Here is the link to the site for more information:


  4. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Ohio AgrAbility workshops and exhibits at the 2018 Farm Science Review

    Laura Akgerman – Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    If you are going to the Farm Science Review September 18 - 20, make sure you stop by the Ohio AgrAbility tent. You can visit our assistive technology and modified equipment vendors, meet the staff and some of our Ohio AgrAbility farmers.

    Ohio AgrAbility staff will present several workshops about ways to help people continue to farm or garden despite physical challenges that come with aging, injuries or just repetitive, strenuous work.

    Workshops at the Ohio AgrAbility tent, on Land Avenue between Market and Kottman streets

    Modifying a Vehicle for Mobility and Independence, Sept. 19 at 2 p.m.

    • Mobility is more than walking, it is also the ability to safely get in and out of a vehicle, and to safely (and legally) operate that vehicle. Learn about modifications (high-tech & DIY) that you can use to make your vehicle safer & maintain your mobility

    Farm and Equipment Modification, Sept. 18 and Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

    • High tech, low tech and do it yourself modifications and equipment will be discussed. Stop to hear ideas, offer your solutions, or ask for suggestions for updating and modifying your equipment and farm buildings.

    Peer to Peer Networking, 1 p.m. daily

    • Join Ohio AgrAbility staff, farmers and equipment vendors to learn about new technology and equipment. Hear farmer solutions for maintaining productivity, independence and safety while farming with a disability

    Ohio AgrAbility staff will also be presenting workshops at two other FSR venues:

    Designing Accessible AgriTourism, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Small Farm Center Tent at Beef Street and Corn Avenue

    • Is your AgriTourism business accessible to people with disabilities? If it is open to the public, it needs to be accessible. Come learn why and how to make sure your business or event is accessible for everyone.

    Gardening as We Age – It Doesn’t Have to Hurt, Sept. 18 and Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. in Utzinger Memorial Garden, On Friday Avenue between Kottman & Market

    • With good work habits and the right tools, you can keep gardening comfortably and safely, with arthritis or other mobility or age-related limitations.

    Ohio AgrAbility also hosts several companies and vendors that sell assistive technology and modified equipment and tools. The vendors demonstrate their equipment, talk with farmers to problem solve accessibility issues, and suggest ways farmers can modify their own equipment, or upgrade to newer, more accessible technology and equipment. This year, Life Essentials, McCabe Outdoors, Propel Automation of Ohio, K & M Manufacturing, PWR EZ Systems, and Strong-Arm Lift will be in the Ohio AgrAbility tent.

    We hope to see you in the Ohio AgrAbility tent at the 2018 Farm Science Review.

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


  5. Preventing Sprain / Strain Injuries

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Due to the physical nature of agricultural tasks, there can be a tremendous amount of wear and tear on the body. Sprain / Strain injuries are common during physical demanding tasks because your joints and muscles take the majority of the punishment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sprain / strain injuries account for over 38 percent of all workplace injuries requiring days away from work. It is important to understand the difference between these injuries and consider how to prevent these injuries from occurring or even re-occurring over time.

    Sprain: A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament (a band of connective tissues that joins the end of one bone with another). Sprain injuries can be caused by a trauma such as a fall, blow to the body that knocks a joint out of position, rupturing supporting ligaments, or a joint that forcefully moved out of its typical range of motion. Locations at highest risk of a joint injury include; back, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles.

    Strain: A strain is a twist, pull, or tear of a muscle or tendon. It is a noncontact injury that results from overstretching or over-contraction. Symptoms of a strain include:  muscle pain, muscle spasm and loss of function. Locations at highest risk of a strain injury include; calf muscle, hamstrings, muscles in the lower back and shoulders.

    Some guidelines to reduce the risk of sprain / strain injuries include:

    - Use proper lifting techniques when lifting.

    - Avoid reaching, twisting or bending continuously when completing a task.

    - Push items, rather than pull them.

    - Reduce or remove any slip or trip hazards in the workspace.

    - Use extra caution when walking across uneven or unstable surfaces.

    - Minimize repetitive movements during daily tasks.

    - Alternate work tasks to increase a variety of physical movements.

    - Utilize stools and anti-fatigue matting at workstations for tasks with prolonged standing.

    - When stepping off ladders or equipment, always look where you are placing your feet.

    - Use material handling devices, power tools, or efficient work methods to minimize overexertion to joints and muscles.

    - Use ergonomically designed tools and equipment.

    - Allow your body to rest and recuperate, especially when completing physical tasks that are not a part of the normal workday.

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

  6. Are you Prepared?

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    “Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.” is the Department of Homeland Security’s campaign slogan for National Preparedness Month this September. Are you prepared?

    Thinking about and preparing can save response time and give you a jump start on recovery when faced with emergencies. The month-long campaign aims to encourage people to make an emergency plan, learn lifesaving skills and practical safety measures, check insurance coverage for homes and businesses, and save for an emergency by planning financially. To learn more and follow along with the weekly mission of the month-long campaign stop by their website at Resources are available for use by families and businesses. You will find fillable family communications plans, emergency supply lists, information for specific populations (people with disabilities, seniors, kids, commuters, pet owners), videos, social media content, graphics, and numerous links. Make sure you are prepared!

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