:

Ag Safety S.T.A.T. – Safe Tactics for Ag Today is prepared by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety & Health Team. 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 jepsen.4@osu.edu.

Ag Safety S.T.A.T. – Safe Tactics for Ag Today is prepared by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety & Health Team. 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 jepsen.4@osu.edu.

In This Issue:

Fall Season

Summer Season

Spring Season

Winter Season

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
 

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

In This Issue:

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 
 

 

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

In This Issue:

Thoughts from the Editor

Injury Prevention

Emergency Management

Monthly Safety Snicker

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

In This Issue:

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

In This Issue:

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu
For a printable version please click here.

 

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 jepsen.4@osu.edu

  1. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT – Fire Extinguishers on the Farm

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Fire extinguishers can often be the difference in saving a life, piece of machinery, or a structure. Take inventory of the number of fire extinguishers and the location on your farm property. If you come up empty, it is time to do something about the safety of your property. Consider placing extinguishers in the shop, barns, equipment cabs and on the baler. When properly maintained and used correctly the safety equipment may be able extinguish a small fire or contain it until help arrives. The farm environment has no shortage of combustible materials and accelerants that can lead to a fire. You might encounter bedding, grain dust, cobwebs, fuels, and chemicals while working on the farm, each of which can contribute to a fire under certain conditions. Good housekeeping practices can eliminate much of the dust accumulation that can fuel fires, so be mindful of the condition in barns and shop spaces.

    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimated 326 deadly barn fires occurred during 2013-2017.

    Take the time and steps to establish fire prevention practices on your farm operation. Start by installing fire extinguishers. For more help deciding what type of fire extinguisher to purchase and how to properly operate the device, take a look at some of the resources listed below.

    An Ohio State University Extension fact sheet on fire extinguishers is located on Ohioline at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79025.

    Find information on “Choosing and using fire extinguishers” at the U.S. Fire Administration webpage, https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/extinguishers.html. There you will find:

    • The types of fire extinguishers explained
    • A checklist for knowing when to use one
    • Instructions for use
    • Maintenance recommendations

    The National Fire Protection Association has a list of fire extinguisher safety tips on their public education webpage at https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Fire-and-life-safety-equipment/Fire-extinguishers.

    Make your farm a safer place by installing fire extinguishers and training employees how to properly use them.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety, visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455

  2. Fire Prevention – Portable Space Heaters

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    When the temperature starts to drop, portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat. Unfortunately, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards if not used properly. When using a portable space heater, safety should always be a top consideration. The following information from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission can help keep your space safe and warm.

    A picture containing screenshot

Description automatically generated

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

     

  3. Thoughtful Gifts for the Season

    Dee Jepsen – Agricultural State Safety and Health Leader

    Safety is important year-round – giving gifts of safety is a thoughtful idea to show you care. Here are a few safety and health gift ideas to show your family, friends and employees how much you value them.

    Stocking stuffers include new work gloves, ear plugs or muffs, flashlights and smoke detectors with new batteries.

    Another popular gift is a fire extinguisher - there are many sizes available to suit the needs for the home, garage, RV, or farm implement. For the vehicles, consider a small first aid kit, emergency kit, or long handled snow brush.

    Don’t forget the helmets! With so many activities requiring helmets, it’s good to replace older style helmets. Motorized helmets (for motorcycles, dirt bikes and ATVs) should be replaced every 3-5 years, unless they have been involved in a crash or had a significant impact from being dropped or rolled off of a moving vehicle, in which case they should be replaced immediately. Welding helmets and gloves make great additions to the farm shop. Then there are helmets for the equestrians and bicyclists – many times the straps on older helmets become frayed and loosened – and are recommended to be replaced once they are stretched and worn out. Helmets come in a variety of styles and sizes – it is not possible for everyone to share a helmet. Be sure head gear is fitted properly for the best protection.

    On the farm, other great gifts include a fall protection harness when climbing grain bins or working from heights greater than 6 feet. Retrofitting a tractor with a Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) is an affordable option for keeping an older model tractor operational and safe for the operator – check with a local dealer for a retrofit suitable to your model.

    Prepare for safety and have a happy holiday season!

    For more information about the OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ for contact Dee Jepsen at Jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  4. The Silent Killer, Carbon Monoxide

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Ohio temperatures have dipped into winter and climbed right back out into early spring over these last few weeks, but temps are forecasted to flatten out on the colder side throughout the next month and the heat is likely to stay on. With heating season comes the threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. It is key to remember you can’t smell, taste, or see carbon monoxide! To be alerted of CO, install a battery-operated CO detector and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state, “Although CO poisoning can be prevented, each year, approximately 438 people in the U.S. die as a result of unintentional, non-fire related exposure to this toxic gas.” The following infographic released for a government health campaign in Canada, highlights some important items to remember about carbon monoxide:

    For additional information about Nonvented Portable Heaters, often used on the farm or in shop areas, find our factsheet at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79029.

    Please visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ for information about the OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program or contact Lisa Pfeifer at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455.

     

  5. Dressing for Cold Weather

    Kent McGuire – CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    It’s that time of year…Winter! Long exposure to cold, wet, and windy conditions can be dangerous even at temperatures above freezing. For outdoor workers it may be tempting to “tough it out” or “work through it”.  Prolonged exposure to winter conditions can be dangerous and precautions should be taken to minimize the risk injuries like frostbite or hypothermia. Clothing should be your first consideration when working in cold weather. Clothing should be selected to suit the temperature, weather conditions (e.g., wind speed, rain), the level and duration of activity. The following are recommendations from the National Weather Service for working in cold environments:

    For more information visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Kent McGuire, CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

     

  6. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Fitness for Farm Life – One stretch, 3 ways

    Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator, Ohio AgrAbility Project

    Farmers spend hours every day sitting, standing, carrying, lifting, pushing and pulling. Add in cold weather and it is natural to hunch your shoulders and back, just trying to stay warm, and a stiff back and upper arms can be the result. Try this stretch when you are sitting or standing – you can even use a wall, pole or fencepost to give your back a good stretch.

    Upper Back/Triceps Stretch (back of upper arm)

      • To do this exercise using a wall:
      • Start in an upright standing position
      • Place elbows on the wall at face height
      • Take one step back
      • Bending at the waist, fold forward with back straight until forehead touches the wall
      • Hold for 15-30 seconds
      • To do this exercise using a chair
      • Start in an upright standing position
      • Place elbows or hands (arms straight) on chair
      • Take one step back
      • Bending at the waist, fold forward with back straight until you feel slight tension in the upper backs and/or triceps
      • Hold for 15-30 seconds
      • To do this exercise using a pole/fencepost:
      • Start in an upright standing position
      • Place hands (arms straight) on top or around pole
      • Take one step back
      • Bending at the waist, fold forward with back straight until you feel slight tension in the upper backs and/or triceps
      • Hold for 15-30 seconds

    Repeat these stretches throughout the day to keep your back and upper arms 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 Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  7. 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: https://www.lifeessentialslifts.com/agriculture-lawn-mower-lift-mobility-equipment/

  8. 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 https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Dee Jepsen, at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

     

  9. 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 Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

     

     

     

  10. 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 https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79010, or respiratory diseases at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-591105. Put a box of N-95s in the farm truck and shop so PPE is accessible when needed.

    Please visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ for information about the OSU Ag Safety and Health Program or contact Lisa Pfeifer, at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455.

  11. 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 https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Kent McGuire, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  12. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: 2019 Farm Science Review – A Review of the Review

    Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator, Ohio AgrAbility Project

    The Ohio AgrAbility Program’s dual missions of education and assistance to farmers with disabilities were on display at the 2019 Farm Science Review September 17 - 19. Staff, farmers and vendors were on hand to answer questions, greet visitors, demonstrate assistive technology and equipment, and talk about Ohio AgrAbility.

    OAP featured a new exhibit area in 2019 – Ohio AgrAbility: A Focus on Livestock, with adapted equipment and information posters detailing how modifications and Assistive Technology can help famers with and without disabilities farm safely. The equipment featured included an automated door from Propel Sliding  Door Automation which  opens and closes heavy and cumbersome doors with no effort, and no need to leave the vehicle. The doors can be installed on existing sliding doors, and the doors lock when closed. This benefits a farmer who has limited or no mobility, or difficulty climbing in and out of their vehicle to operate a door.

    The PWR EZ systems power fold auger can be operated from the operator’s seat, and eliminates the need to climb onto the combine and into the grain bin to fold the fountain auger up or down. This increases safety for anyone operating the combine, and allows a farmer who cannot climb onto the combine to move the auger to continue working safely and independently.

    The vendors displayed and demonstrated their products, answered questions, and worked with staff and farmers to problem solve issues that may limit the farmers productivity or ability to safely use and access their equipment and facilities.

    For more information, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  13. Safety at the Bin

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Approaching harvest makes for a busy time on the farm. Stop and take the time now to inspect on-farm grain handling facilities before the combine heads to the field. Assess the 10 items on our list and make repairs or improvements to deficiencies. OSU Ag Safety & Health wishes you a safe fall harvest.

     

  14. Open Burn Laws for Ohio

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety & Health Leader

    October and November are two months in the fall where open burning is a fire concern for Ohio residents. It’s a good idea to know the type of fire permitted for your area.

    The Ohio EPA determines the types of fires that are restricted inside and outside of a village or city. For the most part, open burning of residential and land-clearing wastes are not permitted within city limits. Restrictions do not apply to barbeques, campfires, cookouts, and bonfires (with wood stacks no larger than 2ft. high X 3ft. wide) – these types of fires are permitted.

    Agricultural products, such as wastes and plant matter from tree trimmings, stumps, brush, weeds, leaves, grass, shrubbery and materials from crop or livestock production, are permitted to be burned with restrictions. Likewise burning of fence posts and scrap lumber (but not from buildings or land clearing waste) are also permitted. All open fires must be more than 1,000 feet from a neighbor’s home or inhabited building. 

    Wastes that are never permitted to be burned include: garbage, dead animals, and products containing rubber, grease and asphalt. Fires cannot be near, or block vision of, roadways, railroads or airfields.

    The months of October and November carry open burn restrictions. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, fires can become out of control due to windy and dry conditions. Because of these conditions, open burning is not permitted in rural areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the ban, fires must be in a plowed field with a 200 feet distance of woodlands or brush.

    With any fire, small particulates are suspended in the smoke that could lead to health disorders. Open fire burning has been linked to asthma and respiratory illnesses. Household wastes contain various chemicals and these toxins can emit high levels of sulfur dioxide, lead and mercury. Airborne pollutants can lead to more severe health conditions such as nervous system damage, kidney and liver damage, and reproductive disorders.

    For additional questions about Ohio’s open burning regulations, contact the Ohio EPA Division of Air Pollution Control at (614) 644-2270. Local EPA districts are also available to answer questions. Their website contains a complete list of agencies available in the state, http://epa.ohio.gov/dapc/general/openburning. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources website is http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/burninglaws.

    For more information about other Ag Safety topics visit https://agsafety.osu.edu or contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

     

  15. DANGER! – Overhead Power Lines

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    America’s Electrical Cooperatives reminds everyone to keep the following electrical safety guidelines in mind when working around overhead electric lines during harvest season:

    • Use a spotter when operating large machinery near power lines.
    • Keep equipment at least 10 feet from power lines—at all times, in all directions.
    • Use care when moving any equipment such as extending augers or raising the bed of grain trucks around power lines or poles.
    • Inspect the height of farm equipment to determine clearance.
    • Never attempt to move a power line out of the way or raise it for clearance.
    • If your equipment does make contact with a power line, immediately call 911 and warn others to stay away.
    • If you can drive away from the power source safely, travel at least 40 feet away before exiting the equipment.
    • If you are unable to drive the machinery, do not exit the cab. Instead, wait for local electrical crews to cut the power so you can exit safely. 
    • The only reason to exit equipment that is in contact with overhead lines is if the equipment is on fire. Do not touch the ground and the equipment at the same time. Jump as far away from the equipment as you can with your feet together. Then, with feet together, hop to safety as you leave the area.  

    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Kent McGuire, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  16. THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR – National Farm Safety & Health Week

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader:
     
    National Farm Safety and Health Week is September 15 - 21, 2019.
     
    This year’s theme is “Shift Farm Safety into High Gear.”  Each day of this week special messages will promote a different topic. Be ready to engage with us on social media and share with others in your network. Our Facebook page is OSU Ag Safety & Health, our Twitter handle is OSUAgSafety.  Be sure to check us out for regular safety related messages and events.
     
    Daily Themes:
    Monday September 16, 2019 – Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
    Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – Farmer Health & Opioid/Suicide Prevention
    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 – Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
    Thursday, September 19, 2019 – Confined Spaces in Agriculture
    Friday, September 20, 2019 – Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture
     
     
  17. Announcements

    CHECK OUT AG SAFETY AT THE 2014 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 17-19. Look for us at the following locations:
     
    Agricultural Safety - OSU Central, on the east side of Kottman Street, between Land and Friday Avenues – daily exhibits on Sun Safety, Farm Safety Hazards, Whole Body Vibration, Hearing Loss Prevention, Farm and Rural Stress, and Women In Ag. Guest partner for FSR 2019, the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health.
     
    Ohio AgrAbility: A Focus on Livestock- OSU Central, on Land Avenue between Market and Kottman – see interactive equipment and vendor exhibit for farming with a disability
     
    Peer-to-Peer Meetings: Meet our Ohio AgrAbility farmers, listen to their DIY solutions, AgrAbility stories, and information about becoming an Ohio AgrAbility client every day at 1 pm at the Ohio AgrAbility exhibit tent.
     
    Fitness for Farm Life: Stretching and Everyday Exercises, session every day at 11am at the Ohio AgrAbility exhibit tent. An Occupational Therapist and Exercise/Fitness Coordinator will be offering tips on preventing injury, teaching the exercises, demonstrating how to modify exercises to match participants’ ability, and answering questions.
     
    Ohio AgrAbility and Universal Design for Garages and Farm Shops - McCormick Building, Friday Ave
     
    Ohio AgrAbility in the Garden – Utzinger Garden on Friday Ave.  Learn about helpful gardening adaptations from our Garden Signs as you walk through the garden.
     
    Gardening Across the Lifespan – Utzinger Garden on Friday Avenue. Tips for gardening with arthritis, low vision, and other age-related conditions Tuesday 11 am
     
    Farmer Stress – We Got Your Back during Question the Authorities – in OSU Central on Wednesday @ 11:20am, Tuesday @ 1pm, and Thursday @ 10:20am.
     
    Special Presentation for Farmer Stress – Stop Fighting on the Way to the Funeral Home, with National Keynote Speaker Jolene Brown -  in OSU Main Tent on Wednesday at 1pm and Thursday at 10am. This 1-hour event will take a light-hearted look at a serious problem of juggling the everyday tasks and emotions involved in farming.

    Also available for Farm Science Review attendees:

    * A mobile scooter charging station at the Ohio AgrAbility tent.

    * The "AgrAbility" Bus will be available from noon to 4 p.m. daily to transport individuals between the exhibit area and field demonstrations. The bus will be available at the main shuttle location near the Review administration headquarters building.

    For more information about the Farm Science Review, visit FSR.osu.edu.

     

    UPCOMING EVENT – 6 LOCATIONS ACROSS THE STATE
    Local Response to Zoonotic Disease Outbreaks: Tabletop Scenario Exercise Training –
    This training will help to prepare human and animal health professionals and local responders for a major zoonotic disease outbreak in Ohio via two tabletop scenarios with significant impact at the local level.
     
    During the interactive exercises the participants will discuss the roles/responsibilities of different agencies and professionals during the early stages of a major outbreak involving human and animal disease, with serious public health and agricultural implications.
     
    This exercise will prompt trainees to prepare for trending social media/public panic and to respond to familiar, unfamiliar, suspicious, and potentially significant circumstances at the local level.
     
    The dynamics of this activity will provide an environment conducive to networking and connection-building amongst participants from multiple disciplines and backgrounds.
     
     
     
  18. Using cameras to monitor equipment function

    Rachel Jarman – Ohio AgrAbility, Rural Rehabilitation Coordinator:

    Using cameras to monitor equipment function has grown in popularity as well as affordability in recent years. Have you ever thought about how those cameras can do more than help you place every last kernel of corn in the semi from the grain cart? AgrAbility has assisted numerous clients who once suffered from back and neck pain, relieve strain by using cameras to provide additional views of equipment running. Imagine how you would feel if you did not have to turn to look how the tillage tool was pulling after every turn. A small monitor mounted in the cab accompanied by 1 or more cameras, depending on desired views, could save your back and neck from all the strain of twisting to check implements. There are many options for vendors of such cameras, including online and brick and mortar dealer sources. Cost of the camera systems vary due to options chosen, but prices have decreased making this more affordable to any size of operation. Different cameras and monitors are 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.

    Camera Source: https://camera-source.com/agriculture-cams.html

    Rosco: https://www.roscovision.com/industry-solutions/agriculture-market

    For more information about this and other assistive technologies or Ohio AgrAbility visit https://agrability.osu.edu.

     

  19. The Ohio AgrAbility Peer-to-Peer Network

    Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator, Ohio AgrAbility:

    One of Ohio AgrAbility’s great strengths is its farmers and their families, and their combined experience, life stories, resilience and adaptation to farming with a disability. Every summer Ohio AgrAbility holds a meeting for the famers (Peers) and their families. They share information, ideas, struggles and triumphs, and help each other solve problems or suggest DIY fixes for equipment and tasks. You may have heard the expression that there is no one who can understand you like someone in your same situation, and this is true for the AgrAbility Peers, regardless of their disabilities or what they farm. The farmers are also our best resource for referrals to the AgrAbility program, and advice for other farmers about “working smarter (and safer), not harder.”

    The Ohio AgrAbility Peer-to-Peer Network will be meeting every day at 1 pm in the AgrAbility tent, and farmers will be working alongside staff every day in the tent, answering questions, giving advice, problem solving, and talking about their AgrAbility experiences. Please stop by the AgrAbility tent on Land Avenue between Market and Kottman during Farm Science Review 2019 to meet our Peers and the staff.

     

  20. Safe Combine Operation During Harvest

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator:

    As we head into fall and look forward to harvest season, consider safety as part of your harvest planning process. It takes multiple pieces of equipment working simultaneously to have an efficient harvest season and no piece of equipment is more important than the combine.  It is important to keep safety in the forefront when operating or working around the combine and combine safety starts with the operator.  Combine operators should consider these guidelines during harvest:

    - Follow the procedures in the operator’s manual for safe operation, maintenance, dealing with blockages and other problems.
    - Check all guards are in position and correctly fitted before starting work. Do not run the combine with the guards raised or removed.
    - Keep equipment properly maintained and ensure equipment has adequate lighting for working in low light conditions
    - Reduce the risk of falls by ensuring access ladders, steps, or standing platforms are clean and free of mud or debris.
    - Never carry passengers on the combine unless seated in a passenger seat and do not mount or dismount the combine when it is moving.
    - Make sure to keep cab windows clean and mirrors are properly adjusted. Operator vision to the rear may be poor so be particularly careful when reversing.
    - Keep the cab door shut to keep out dust and reduce noise. Ensure any pedestrians are clear of the combine before moving.
    - Be alert to your surroundings. Know where other equipment is being positioned and be observant to individuals who may be walking around the equipment. Maintain eye contact and communicate your intentions with the other person.
    - When unloading the combine on the move, you will need to plan and coordinate your movements carefully to match the tractor/grain cart working with you.
    -  Remember the hazards posed by straw choppers and spreaders – allow adequate rundown time before approaching the rear of the combine.
    - Do not operate the machine beyond its capacity or overload it.
    - Regularly clean straw and chaff deposits from the engine compartment and around belts or pulleys to reduce risk of fire.
    - Carry suitable fire extinguishers. These should be regularly checked and properly maintained/ serviced.
    - Use extreme caution when working around overhead power lines, especially when extending the unloading auger or bin extensions.
    - Follow correct procedures when transferring the header on and off the header cart or working under the header (use the manufacturer’s safety supports).
    - Utilize safe travel routes between fields and take into account overhead height and roadway width clearances. 
    - Pre-plan road travel to account for potential problems with automobile traffic. Utilize escort vehicles when needed.
     

    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Kent McGuire, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

     

  21. “Shift Farm Safety Into High Gear.”

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator:

    National Farm Safety and Health Week is September 15-21, 2019. Farm safety is a necessary every day practice, but this week allows advocates and safety professionals across the country to turn the spotlight on safe worker practices on the farm by highlighting a topic each day and providing an information push of resources as we all work to “Shift Farm Safety Into High Gear.”
    OSU Agriculture Safety & Health would like to share some Ohio State University Extension and federal information resources to support improving safety in each of the daily focus areas.
     
    Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety (Monday, September 16, 2019)
    Compact Utility Tractor Safety -- https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79032
    No Riders on Farm and Lawn Equipment -- https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-59117
     
    Farmer Health & Opioid/Suicide Prevention (Tuesday, September 17, 2019)
    Mental Health First Aid – https://cfaes.osu.edu/mental-health
    Should I Continue Farming? -- https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/anr-71
     
    Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture (Wednesday, September 18, 2019)
     
    Confined Spaces in Agriculture (Thursday, September 19, 2019)
    Liquid Manure Storage Safety -- https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-59193
     
    Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture (Friday, September 20, 2019)
    Ohio Women In Agriculture -- http://u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag/
     
     
  22. Think Differently: A Path Toward Tranquility

    Joseph Maiorano, PhD, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Harrison County 

    Farming, as life, is neither easy nor predictable, and it does not ask our permission. We make mistakes, others treat us unfairly, and conditions don’t cooperate. When these adversities knock us from our groove, we may respond by raging, at ourselves, others, or conditions. Such reactions rob us, members of our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers of a creative, fulfilling, and tranquil existence.

    Based on his research, psychoanalyst Albert Ellis (1997, 2016) reminds us that people and events do not upset us. Rather, we upset ourselves by what we think, or believe, about those people and events. When we are upset, we may react with aggression, depression, anxiety, and/or feelings of worthlessness. If we change our thinking, or beliefs, about people and events, we may reduce our negative emotions, and respond more appropriately.

    Irrational Thinking

    When an unexpected event occurs, we choose to think rationally or irrationally about that event. Irrational thinking lacks logic and sound judgement. For example, after returning from a trip to purchase a fitting for your tractor, you realize that you bought the wrong part. If you react by insisting that you are stupid or demand that this mistake should not have happened, then you are thinking irrationally. You made a mistake, but you are not stupid, and what should not have happened did happen. Irrational statements may include terms, such as, awful, terrible, always, never, must/n’t), should/n’t). Irrational thinking will hijack your brain, allowing only negative emotions. In the example above, you might react with anger at yourself.

    Rational Thinking

    Different thinking about your mistake: After realizing that you made a mistake, it would be rational, or reasonable, to think, I prefer that I had bought the correct part. I am disappointed at my mistake. I feel frustrated at this inconvenience. Rational statements liberate your brain to devise solutions. Let’s take a test drive: Imagine arriving home after a thirty-mile round trip to the dealer and realizing the fitting doesn’t fit. Say aloud the rational statements (above). How's your pulse?, respiration?, muscle tension? Might rational thinking be for you?

    Work and Practice

    If you have long been an irrational thinker, then you may have to work at thinking differently. Yet, because you, me, others, and conditions are prone to thwarting goals, you will have plenty of practice. When you feel upset, substitute rational for irrational statements, devise and try solutions, then savor some tranquility.

    Joseph Maiorano, FCS Educator Harrison County can be reached at 740-942-8823 or maiorano.2@osu.eduJoseph works for Ohio State University Extension, Harrison County. Joseph and his wife, Mary, live in Steubenville, Ohio. They have four sons, including two who live at home.This article is a part of The Thriving Farmer series authored by Joseph. The Thriving Farmer—information to help farmers and their families make healthful choices. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

    Soures

    Ellis, A.; Harper, R. (1997). A guide to rational living. 3rd Ed. Chatsworth, CA: Wilshire Book Company.

    Ellis, A. (2016). How to stubbornly refuse to make yourself miserable about anything, yes anything! New York, NY: Citadel Press.

    Photo 

    KlausHausmann. Downloaded on November 30, 2021, from, https://pixabay.com/illustrations/rage-angry-explosion-head-explode-2317...

     

  23. Do You Get the Winter Blues?

    Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Field Specialist ANR

    Those that work in the agriculture industry know that it doesn’t matter the time of year, it is always busy. The Winter season is no different it just has its own unique demands. However, there may be other things going on in our bodies right now. During this time of year, many people often begin expressing a feeling of sadness or mild depression. Did you know that feeling sad during this time of year is very typical, and many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder?

    What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

    • A type of depression that typically lasts 4-5 months a year during the winter months
    • There are many different types of potential signs just to list a few:
      • Feeling sad, lonely, depressed for more than 2 weeks 
      • Tired, sluggish, upset 
      • Loss of appetite, having low energy, or thoughts of suicide.

    Many people are often ashamed or worried to share with others when they are feeling sad or lonely. But there is nothing to be ashamed about. Just like we take care of our equipment, friends, and family, we need to care for ourselves.  

    • 1 in 5 adults will suffer from a diagnosable mental illness this year
    • Approximately 50% of Americans will experience a mental health challenge

    What causes SAD? Many researchers believe it has to do with an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain including serotonin and melatonin.

    • A decrease in the sunshine, the shorter days mixed with cloudy skies make for less.
    • Vitamin D deficiency
    • Our body’s struggle to adjust to the shorter daylight hours and stay in a routine. 
    • It is easier for us to feel more tired during the longer, colder night hours.

    How is SAD treated?

    • Keeping up with a routine
    • Talking with a physician
    • Light therapy
    • Medication to treat depressive symptoms
    • Vitamin D supplement
    • Finding a self-help or support strategy that works for you!

    If there is ever a concern of feeling depressed know it is okay to seek out support from a doctor, friend, pastor, or family member. There is also the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, if ever needed call 1-800-273-8255.

    Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Field Specialist ANR, can be reached at 330-365-8160 or britton.191@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, agsafety.osu.edu.

  24. The Thriving Farmer – Information to Help Farmers and Their Families Make Healthful Choices

    Joseph Maiorano, OSU Extension, FCS Educator Harrison County

    Lunch: The Fuel You’ll Need

    Farmer, you work hard. During a 10-15-hour workday, you will burn between 2,500 and 6,750 calories (captaincalclulator.com, nd)! Before leaving for work, you may eat a nutritious breakfast, yet few farmers consume enough breakfast calories to fuel them for the day. In other words, you will need additional energy to fuel you through the afternoon and into the early evening.

    One size does not fit all

    Some farmers may go home for lunch, others leave home with a packed lunch, and some may have a loved one deliver their lunch. Also, some farmers stop working to eat lunch, but others may continue working while they eat lunch. So, lunch happens, yet what are some healthful lunches to fuel a hardworking farmer (Six healthy...ideas, 2019)?

    Soups

    Homemade soup, comprised of protein, vegetables, and legumes, can be nutritious. If you make a big pot-o-soup, then you could freeze, or pressure can, individual portions. Packing soup in an insulated or vacuum sealed container can help soup to stay hot or cold. A hot soup may not be a one-handed work-through-lunch option, but it could help warm up a wintry afternoon. 

    Sandwiches 

    By varying combinations of proteins, dairy, condiments, vegetables, and breads, sandwiches offer endless possibilities. Moreover, sandwiches made with whole grain bread may help lower your risks of health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers (Whole grains, 2020).

    Salads

    Salads, as sandwiches, have limitless combinations. A salad, made with fruit, cruciferous vegetables, dairy, protein, and whole grains, can be a hearty one-container lunch with plenty of fuel for a busy afternoon.

    Leftovers, Planned Overs, and Make Aheads

    Sometimes after dinner, you might have leftovers, which can be packed for next-day's lunch or frozen for another day. Similarly, planned overs, or intentionally making more food than one plans to serve for a meal, are set asides for lunches. A make-ahead is preparing and storing specific food for future use. For example, you might spend Saturday morning packing lunches for the upcoming week.

    Farming is demanding work, so farmers burn many calories. Eating healthful lunches is one way to help you get the fuel you’ll need to be at your best.

    Joseph Maiorano, FCS Educator Harrison County can be reached at 740-942-8823 or maiorano.2@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

    Sources

    Captaincalculator.com. (nd). Downloaded on October 27, 2021, from, https://captaincalculator.com/health/calorie/farming/#:~:text=The%20average%20person%20burns%20250,350%2D450%20calories%20per%20hour.

    Six healthy and delicious lunch ideas. (January 23, 2019). Gina Abernathy. Downloaded on October 27, 2021, from, https://homeatcedarspringsfarm.com/6-ideas-for-packing-healthy-and-delicious-lunches-for-work/.

    Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet. (August 20, 2020). Downloaded on October 29, 2021, from, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/whole-grains/art-20047826.

     

  25. Rural Roads in the Autumn

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County

    Harvest season started several weeks ago and in many areas is well over halfway complete.  With the changing of the seasons, we also see changes that need to be considered when it comes to roadway safety in agricultural communities.  

    Agritourism and fall colors have brought more urban traffic to rural areas this time of year, and farm equipment and trucks are still busy on roadways getting the harvest completed.  This combination of large vehicles and motor vehicles unfamiliar with their presence leads to an increased risk of incidents on local roadways.

    In 2020 alone, the total number of incidents between farm units (farm equipment and farm trucks) and motor vehicles in Ohio was 380 (Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ohio Traffic Crash Facts).  Distracted driving is a continued concern on local roadways.  It is important to remember closure time when coming up behind slow moving vehicles.  In less than 7 seconds, a motor vehicle traveling 55 mph will close 400 feet behind a tractor traveling 15 mph.

    Being aware and anticipating farm equipment actions on the roadway will help decrease the risk of collisions.  When approaching from the rear, watch for signals from the operator whether it be a yellow turn signal or hand signal.  With larger equipment, often it is difficult for the operator to see traffic coming from behind.  Watch for upcoming farm and field drives where the operator may be turning before attempting to pass.  If preparing to meet a piece of equipment, watch for guardrails, mailboxes, and road signs that may prevent the operator from getting over far enough to meet safely.

    In this stage of harvest, lighting and marking on equipment and trucks may be obscured with dust and field material or lightbulbs may have blown since checked prior to the season beginning.  Farm equipment operators can do their part by ensuring their safety lighting and marking equipment are clean and functional.  Using escort vehicles in both the front and rear may increase visibility and keep the operator in communication of upcoming hazards or situations while moving from farm to farm.  Finally, when possible, attempt to move equipment at off-peak motor vehicle travel times.

    Weather has been favorable in many areas for harvest this season, but we are starting to see a more rainy trend that shortens the windows for field work and makes conditions less than ideal.  While it may be more practical on back roads to park grain trucks on or partially on roadways to avoid getting stuck in damp fields, it is prohibited by Ohio Law. Carrying a large amount of field debris or mud out onto the roadway is also prohibited and efforts should be made to keep to a minimum or have a plan in place to clean off immediately.  Enforcement of these laws may vary around the area if flashers and triangles are utilized for trucks, but if an incident were to occur, liability would be placed on the party in violation.

    On November 7th clocks will be set back an hour and it will be getting dark earlier.  While this won’t likely affect the amount of time farmers will be working, it will increase the amount of time equipment will be sharing the roads with higher volumes of traffic from commuters in lower light situations.  Caution must be taken from all involved by making equipment visible and a more conscious effort to watch for equipment.

    Autumn is a great time of year to enjoy the scenery of rural landscape.  Be safe and share the roads.

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County, can be reached at 937-644-8117 or dellinger.6@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  26. Prevent Combine Fires During Fall Harvest

    Dee Jepsen, Extension State Safety Leader and Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County

    Autumn weather conditions have led to an increase in combine fires. Two recommendations to prevent injuries and property damage include: preventative maintenance and pre-planning for fire emergencies. 

    Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for combine fires. Other states leading the list include Minnesota (1st), Iowa (2nd), Illinois (3rd), Kansas (5th), Nebraska (6th) and South Dakota (7th). 

    The majority of harvester fires start in the engine compartment. Contributing factors for heat sources include faulty wiring, over-heated bearings, leaking fuel or hydraulic oil. The dry crop residue makes a ready source for rapid combustion to occur when the machine is operated in the field. Birds and wildlife are known to make nests in the engine compartment or exhaust manifolds – which can add fuel sources for unsuspecting combine operators.

    TIPS TO PREVENT COMBINE FIRES INCLUDE:

    • Have a daily maintenance plan during the harvest period. Keeping machinery well maintained plays a large role in preventing fires from these sources. Cleaning up spills, blowing off chaff, leaves, and other plant materials on a regular basis, proper lubrication of bearings/chains, and checking electrical connections should be part of the daily routine. Farmers may choose to do their daily maintenance in the morning while waiting for the dew to burn off the crops. However, performing maintenance at night will highlight any hot-spots or smoldering areas as the machine is cooling down. Removing chaff at the end of the day will reduce the amount of debris available to spark a fire.
    • Eliminate static electricity. A chain may also be mounted on the bottom of the machine to drag on the ground while in the field. This decreases the buildup of static electricity.

    IF A FIRE BREAKS OUT, IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN IN PLACE:

    • Call 911 or your local first responders at the first sign of a fire. Don’t wait to know if you can contain a fire yourself, rapid response is important to saving valuable equipment. Combine fires are often in remote locations where a specific address may not be available and access is limited. Emergency response times will be longer in these situations.
    • Have (2) ABC fire extinguishers mounted on the combine. A 10-pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in the cab or near the ladder of the cab is quick access to protect the operator. A second extinguisher (20-pound ABC) is recommended to be mounted on the outside of combines where it is accessible from the ground. It’s possible that one unit will extinguish a small fire; having the second unit will help with any additional flare-ups. Don’t forget to check that the extinguishers are fully charged at the beginning of the season. Not having extinguishers ready when needed leads to a helpless feeling of watching one of your most expensive pieces of equipment go up in flames.
    • Have a water truck positioned by the field. Hot mufflers and catalytic converters from other vehicles driving in the field can pose a risk to the dry field fodder. Smoldering materials may go by 15 to 30 minutes before being noticed. A small gust of wind could rapidly turn that smoldering into a fire. In extreme dry conditions, a water truck may help protect against field fires. Never use water on fires that are electrical or fuel-sourced.  
    • Have an emergency plan in place and discuss it with the other workers or family members. Knowing what to do in the event of a fire emergency is important. Knowing the address to the field and how to contact fire departments directly instead of through the 911 system are important safety conversations for the entire harvest crew.

    Don’t get caught thinking it can never happen on your farm.  Take preventative action and be prepared.

    Dee Jepsen, Extension State Safety Leader, can be reached at 614-292-6008 or jepsen.4@osu.edu. Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County, can be reached at 937-644-8117 or dellinger.6@osu.edu.

    The above article is a cross-posting originally released in the Crop Observation and Recommendation Network Newsletter.

     

  27. AgrAbility 30 Year Anniversary

    Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator, Ohio AgrAbility Program and OSU Extension

    Ohio AgrAbility invites you to join us in celebrating 30 years of AgrAbility! In October AgrAbility projects will be on Facebook and Twitter posting stories, videos and resources about the farmers, staff, stakeholders, Assistive Technology and equipment vendors who make AgrAbility possible. Join us at the AgrAbility Virtual State Fair on Facebook or Twitter Ohio’s AgrAbility Project has been housed in CFAES Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering since 2009, and works with farmers across the state. We will be posting farmers stories and resources for the Virtual State Fair October 11, please join us and learn more about Ohio AgrAbility.

    AgrAbility is a national program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA). AgrAbility assists farmers and other agricultural workers with disabilities by providing the resources and support they need to live independently, and to continue or return to working in production agriculture. AgrAbility consists of the National AgrAbility Project (based at Purdue University), and 20 State/Regional Projects. 

    Laura Akgerman is the Disability Services Coordinator College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension. She can be reached at Akgerman.4@osu, or 614-292-0622.

  28. Store Pesticides Safely and Securely

    Mary Ann Rose, Ohio State University Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program

    The beginning and end of the growing season are good times to assess your pesticide storage. It’s wise to view your pesticide storage from a risk perspective – risks to workers and pesticide applicators, other people, and the environment.  Let’s start with people who have no business being in your pesticide storage area!  Accidental poisonings to children and intentional tampering come to mind.  Keeping your pesticide storage area or cabinet securely locked is the first and most important step to prevent potentially disastrous or even tragic occurrences.  Posting “No Smoking” and “Pesticide Storage – Keep Out!” are also important to prevent harm to unauthorized users.  

    Protecting farm workers. While in some cases a small farm pesticide storage shed may not be marked on the outside to prevent it from becoming an “attractive nuisance,” this would not be appropriate on a farm with workers who need to know where hazardous materials are stored. Furthermore, workers have a legal right to access Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all hazardous materials in the workplace, pesticides being just one kind of hazardous substance.  In addition to having SDS sheets available, post the emergency contact numbers for poison control and the nearest emergency medical facility near your storage area.  

    Protecting pesticide applicators.  Next look at your pesticide storage from the perspective of workers and pesticide applicators who use the pesticide storage area.  Are the containers intact, and are the pesticide labels securely attached to the containers?  Or do you see leaking containers, torn bags, and illegible labels? These problems present multiple hazards including unacceptable exposure to pesticides, cross contamination of pesticides, and the potential for misuse.  Keep your dry pesticides away from moisture, and above or away from the liquid materials. If your pesticide containers are leaking, transfer the pesticide to a cleaned, recycled pesticide container or other appropriate container.  NEVER use a food container such as a drink bottle for pesticide storage.  This is illegal, and sadly, has resulted in fatalities.  Make sure the pesticide label is firmly attached to the container, if necessary, print a new one and re-attach. 

    Good lighting and ventilation in the storage area contribute to safety of those who use the facility.  Where the personal protective equipment (PPE) is stored is another important consideration.  Keep your PPE in a separate area from the chemical storage to prevent contamination of the PPE before you even wear it!

    Protecting the environment. Potential environment contamination is the third perspective to consider.  Are you keeping old pesticides around that you will never use, or stockpiling uncleaned containers?  Are you prepared for a fire with a fire extinguisher or a spill with a spill kit?  For spill readiness, always have these items available: absorbent material, PPE to protect yourself,  and materials to sweep up and dispose of the waste.  

    Ohio Pesticide law requires any drains to be plugged in areas where pesticides are stored in bulk, and furthermore it is a best practice for any pesticide storage area.  Bulk pesticide means pesticide stored in a single container with a capacity greater than 100 lbs. (dry) or 55 gallons (liquid). There are additional regulations for non-mobile bulk pesticide storage. 

    What about waste pesticides?  Never pour pesticides down any kind of drain, this is illegal. Burning pesticide waste or containers also is illegal in Ohio.  The best way to dispose of unneeded farm pesticides is to take them to one of the Ohio Department of Agricultures “Clean Sweep” events held in July or August each year.  For pesticide containers, follow the pesticide label for disposal.  Also, consider using the free Ag Container Recycling Council program to recycle your properly rinsed agricultural pesticide containers - www.gpsagrecycle.com

    This fall, take a close look at your pesticide storage area.  Resolve now to put safety first!

    Contact the Pesticide Safety Education Program with your pesticide safety questions: pested@osu.edu / 614-292-4070. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, agsafety.osu.edu.

  29. U-Pick Apple Orchard Safety

    J.T. Benitez, OSU Extension, ANR Educator Butler County

    Late summer into autumn means it is u-pick season on many agritourism farms across Ohio.  It is a time for visitors to make a trip out to the farm to pick their favorite fruit or vegetable and spend quality family & friend time on your farm.  As a farmer, it is a great way to diversify your business and bring in a much higher farm income on commodities that you sometimes may be lucky to break even on.  Not only are you selling the intended commodity at a premium, but you also have value added products to sell that will also boost profits.  While you see your farm income improving, you are also seeing you have added a lot of additional risk because now having hundreds or even thousands of people visiting your farm with dozens of additional employees to manage, much more than just your regular farm chores.    

    U-pick apple orchards are one of many agritourism activities available late summer through fall.  Families visit these farms to experience a small piece of what life is like on a farm, learn where their food comes from and take home some fresh apples they pick by hand.  Typically, this is a positive experience for the visitor but there are some risks to u-pick apple picking.  Below is a listing of things to think about at your u-pick apple orchard.

    Visitor Risks to Consider

    Unstable Footing Areas:  

    • Loose apples on the ground
    • Uneven areas in orchards
    • Groundhog holes or other holes in orchards
    • Limbs and roots of trees
    • Uneven steps, broken concrete/pavement 
    • Tree climbing (fall risks)
    • Ladders (fall risks)
    • Areas around the farm 

    Food Safety

    • Rotten apples (disease potential)
    • Washing apples before eating (bacteria, dirt, spray residue, etc.)
    • Allergies (example:  nuts on the caramel apples in Market Barn)

    Lack of Maintenance 

    • Tractors & Wagons for transportation to orchard (Is something going to break)
    • Tree trimming (dead limbs, problem limbs)
    • Mowing areas of u-pick orchard (trip hazard, unpleasant for visitor to walk through)

    Outdoor Unknowns

    • Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, etc. (stings)
    • Weather (lightning, flash flooding, wind, heat, cold)

    You as the operator, do you have a plan for the risks listed above?  Do you have a farm safety or emergency plan? Have you had an outside party evaluate your farm risks so you can make corrections? Do you have warning signs, rules of the farm or some other type of posted statement for your visitors to observe?  All questions to think about!  You may have more risk to add to the list than what is listed.  

    Now is the time to look at your operation and see what you can do to lower risks.  

    Creating a safe farm environment also extends to all your workers.  They are a vital part of your operation and require a respectful, safe work environment.  While many of the risks listed above also apply to workers on the farm, there are additional risks to consider for worker safety.  Below is a listing of additional risks for workers.  

    Worker Risks to Consider

    Lack of Maintenance or Usage Risk

    • Tractors, wagons, bushhogs, etc.  (general risks, do workers know how to operate machinery)
    • Weed eaters, mowers, chainsaws, tools, etc.  (loss of limbs, lack of operation knowledge)
    • Barns & other structures (holes in barn floors, unstable buildings or structures, etc.)

    Ladder Dangers 

    • Falls
    • Incorrect usage of ladders 
    • Types of ladders used

    Should all these risks keep you from conducting a u-pick operation?  Absolutely not!  Be smart, think things through and think safety first!  Overthinking safety is better than underthinking as that is when accidents may occur.  Have a great u-pick apple season! 

     

    Please follow up with the additional information listed below to assist you in your operation.    

    Orchard Ladder Safety - AEX-591.7.10, Ohio State University Extension

    https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-591710

     

    Orchard Safety Stats, University of Washington, Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety & Health Center

    https://deohs.washington.edu/pnash/orchard-injuries

     

    Food Safety Considerations in Vermont Apple Orchards, University of Vermont Extension

    https://www.uvm.edu/~orchard/fruit/treefruit/tf_horticulture/AppleHortBasics/foodsafety.html

     

    FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (FSMA), Ohio Department of Agriculture

    https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/food-safety/resources/produce-safety

     

    J.T. Benitez, OSU Extension, Butler County, Agriculture & Natural Resource Educator, can be reached at (513) 887-3722 or benitez.6@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu.

  30. National Farm Safety and Health Week 2021

    Farm Safety Yields Real Results
    September 19-25, 2021

    National Farm Safety and Health Week is a time to turn the spotlight on far too overlooked practices in agriculture. Safety and health always seem to ride under the radar. This week provides a space and platform for safety and health professionals across the country to curate a collective of resources to help farmers address safety and health needs and practices. Yields, loans, conservation efforts, innovative technologies, weather, inheritance tax laws and carbon credits all seem to steal the thunder and the daily headlines, but farm safety yields real results and brings everyone home at night. Take some time out of your week to turn a focus to safety, not just this week but every week! Farmers are always short on time with a long list of to-dos but setting a pace that includes doing things safely can save lives. Put safety first! Talk with your employees and family members today. Schedule safety meetings with employees or conversations around the kitchen table with family to discuss safety rules and the safety culture on your farm. Decide to tackle one area and make it better, then another, and before you know it you will lead by example to your family, employees, and community. The daily topics of focus for this year are outlined below:

    Daily Topics of Focus

    Monday – Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety

    Tuesday – Overall Farmer Health

    Wednesday – Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture

    Thursday – Agricultural Fertilizer & Chemical Safety

    Friday – Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture

    Head over to the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), https://www.necasag.org/nationalfarmsafetyandhealthweek/, for resource in varying formats on numerous topics.

    Also plan to join the AgriSafe Daily Webinars, with two topics offered each day. To see the schedule and register follow the link, https://www.necasag.org/media/necas/documents/NFSHW-2021-Webinar-Promotional-Flyer.PDF.

    Have a happy, healthy, safe fall harvest!

  31. It’s Time to Break Down the Stigma

    Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Field Specialist ANR

    September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and with that comes the opportunity to raise awareness to help prevent even one more suicide from happening. When you live where you work the stress often never leaves a person’s mind. Unfortunately, people become overwhelmed to a point where they feel there is no other option beside suicide. For that exact reason it is important to talk about suicide, and how can we support those going through a mental health challenge in effort to prevent a future suicide. 

    How is this affecting our community?

    • The agricultural community is 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than any other population in the United States according to a CDC study published in 2017. Suicides are up by over 40% in the last 20 years according to this same study. Farmers and foresters experience unique stressors, whether related to health insurance, market prices, weather, or legal issues it all compounds impacting the mental and physical health of our ag community.
    • We all struggle to talk about suicide and mental health. Though the conversations are happening they are still quiet. The stigma or fear of admitting a person needs support is still very real. Bringing this conversation out to the light allows for more open discussion. 

    What can be done to help support?

    • Many local communities will come together for rallies, walks, or speaking events this month. Check with your local mental health and recovery board to see what may be going on in your area. Seek out education on how to support others that may be walking through challenging times. Trainings are available to help spot warning signs and symptoms of potential mental health challenges or crises. These trainings do not make you a licensed professional, but they do provide tools to support family, friends, or strangers going through a difficult time and may help prevent suicide.

    All trainings are offered through OSU Extension. The next Mental Health First Aid will be offered virtually through Extension on October 1st. Contact Bridget Britton, britton.191@osu.edu, for more information or to register for any of these trainings. The farm stress team has developed a website with more information and resources on the topics of mental health and farm stress for our ag community at u.osu.edu/farmstress/resources. Visit and subscribe to the blog page for the most up to date information.

    Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Field Specialist ANR, can be reached at 330-365-8160 or britton.191@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. agsafety.osu.edu.

  32. Safe Handling of Livestock on the Farm and at the Show

    Richard Purdin, OSU Extension, Adams County ANR/CD Educator

    As fair season rolls along many 4-H and FFA members are still proudly exhibiting their livestock projects they have worked hard all year to raise. Tending to livestock can be a lot of hard work and long hours but with all the hard work comes a feeling of accomplishment. No matter if you are raising your livestock for show or sell off the farm, it is important to remember the following livestock handling safety steps.

    Livestock Are Not Pets

    It is easy to get attached to an animal, especially for 4-H and FFA youth. It is important to remember that livestock are not pets and should be handled with caution. Never let your guard down when working with livestock. Animal behaviors can be unpredictable especially when introduced to a new environment such as a fairgrounds or new farm. New conditions such as noise, different people, other livestock, and new facilities can make livestock feel threatened and stressed. 

    Steps For Safe Handling

    The following steps should be followed when working with livestock or transporting livestock to a new location.

    • Understand your animal’s behavior patterns and attitude towards you and other handlers.
    • Learn to recognize when livestock are becoming agitated or nervous.
    • Be calm, move slowly, and avoid yelling when handling livestock.
    • Understand the livestock’s depth perception, flight zone, and blind spots.
    • Make sure loading ramps and trailers are clean and well lighted to prevent balking and slipping. Proper loading equipment will prevent injury for both livestock and handlers.
    • Have another handler with you when working with livestock, never work alone.

    Prevent Livestock Stress

    Changes to an animal’s environment such as weather, feed, water, barn space, and handlers can create a lot of stress. When livestock are stressed, they can react in different ways. As a livestock handler, reducing the amount of stress placed on the livestock will go a long way in reducing the occurrence of human and livestock injury. Some tips to reducing stress are as follows:

    • Keep herds together- when herd animals are separated from one other, they can become agitated.
    • Keep show stalls and barn spaces clean to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
    • Avoid changing rations or quantities of feed given to livestock when relocated to a new environment.
    • Always provide clean water to livestock.
    • Wear proper personal protective equipment when working around livestock. This can help prevent disease transfer and injury.

    For more information and safety steps you can go to https://cfaessafety.osu.edu/cfaes-safety-program/livestock-handling-safety

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at 937-544 2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/

  33. Stay Safe Watching Aerial Applications Over Farm Fields

    Gigi Neal, ANR Educator Clermont County and Dee Jepsen, Professor and State Agricultural Safety Leader

    Many times, we see an airplane or helicopter going over head and it catches our attention to look up and see what kind of plane it is, or what they are doing. Some aircrafts can be personal planes, while others can be military or law enforcement units. Some medical helicopters are easily noticed, especially if they are nose down, on the way to an incident scene. 

    Airplanes and helicopters are also used in agriculture production to plant seeds for agronomic crops, cover crops and also to apply fertilizers and pesticides. Aerial applications, also known as crop dusting, is common in Ohio. It is a specialty service for fields that are in their advanced growing stages - where equipment can no longer pass through without ruining the crop. The property owner who hires this work to be done, may not know exactly when this application is going to occur, which makes it difficult to let the neighbors know. 

    As you see these aerial devices above, it is interesting to watch them in action. However, it is also important to respect the work zone. Here are a few recommendations for safely watching aerial applicators.

    • Stay a safe distance away from the field where the aircraft is working. Do not stand on the edge of the field where you might encounter chemical particles. While these pilots are highly skilled, and use GPS coordinates for pesticide application, there may be a small chance to feel the spray if you are within the mapped area of the field.
    • If you watch the field application from a vehicle, please practice roadway safety. Do not stop on a road – pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and use warning flashers. Do not stand in the roadway.

    Watching aerial applicators at work is exciting site to see. It is important for by-standers to respect the safety zone. 

    For more information about aerial applications, and the celebration of 100 years of aerial applicators, read the story at: https://www.richlandsource.com/area_history/born-in-ohio-aerial-application-turns-100-on-aug-3/article_aca5cac6-f39a-11eb-856e-077006b8e76d.html.

    Gigi Neal is an ANR Educator Clermont County, can be reached at 513-732-7070 or neal.331@osu.edu. Dee Jepsen, Extension State Safety Leader, can be reached at 614-292-6008 or jepsen.4@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  34. Hay Baler Safety

    Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension, Hardin County ANR Educator

    Operating a hay baler safely is a concern in late July and early August when there is still straw in the field and later cuttings of hay to be made. Oftentimes wheat and hay fields that have more slope than row crops like corn and soybeans, and because of this, the fields can be rough or steep, making tractor and machinery operation a concern.

    Because changing weather conditions can quickly lower hay and straw quality, baling is often done with limited time. Therefore, operators must always work safely as no hay or straw crop is worth injury or death. Careless operation that saves time but injures workers is never a good option.

    Balers can cause considerable harm if not serviced or operated safely. Knives, belts, power take-off (PTO) shafts, augers, knotters, and mechanical arms must be regarded with extreme caution. Driving at the correct ground speed will help eliminate possible breakdowns and injury. If service is needed, the operator must disengage all power, shut off the engine, and wait for the flywheel and all other moving parts to stop completely before beginning any repairs.

    Other recommendations for safe baler operation include:

    • While someone is working on the machine, never allow anyone to turn the flywheel. Moving parts can easily injure someone.
    • Be sure bale twine or wire is properly spliced and threaded in the machine to avoid knotter problems.
    • While the knotter is in operation, never pull anything out of it. You can easily become entangled in it.
    • When the machine is running, don't hand feed material, such as broken bales or heavy windrows, into it. Instead, spread the material on the ground so the machine can pick it up.  
    • Wear close-fitting clothing: no hooded shirts or jackets with drawstrings, and tie hair back.

    Bale Ejectors

    The two most common bale ejecting or throwing mechanisms are hydraulically powered, high speed belts and bale-throwing frames. Each type can throw heavy bales of hay, and cause seriously injury if not respected. There is risk for workers being struck by a bale as it is ejected, or by the throwing frame and pan if standing too close.

    Safety precautions to take with bale ejectors:

    • Disengage all power, shut off the engine, and move the ejector lockout control into locked position before inspecting, servicing, or adjusting the bale ejector.
    • No one should stand behind or work on the ejector while the PTO and engine are operating, or while a bale is in the ejector.
    • Shut off tractor engine, disengage the PTO, and engage ejector lockout control before hitching or unhitching wagon behind ejector.
    • Don't allow anyone to ride in the bale wagon.

    Manual Bale Loading

    Manual bale loading is safe if it is done carefully. The nature of wagons and bale handling requires extra caution due to the following potential hazards:

    • Starts and stops can cause handlers to fall off the wagon or truck.
    • Workers might step off the wagon or truck while loading bales.
    • Falls from the wagon or truck can result in fractures, sprains, and concussions or getting run over.
    • Tossing bales could knock someone off balance.
    • Use hand signals to communicate when working with baling equipment (refer to “Hand Signals for Agricultural Safety” module).

    For more information, go to https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-59126.

    Mark Badertscher, ANR Educator Hardin County, can be reached at 419-767-6037 or badertscher.4@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  35. Safely Keeping The Farm Clean Cut

    Tractor and rotary brush mower.

    Richard Purdin, OSU Extension, Adams County ANR/CD Educator

    Summer is here and many of the spring farm chores are complete, for many farmers this means cleaning up overgrown pastures, buffer strips, grassy waterways, and roadside ditches. Mowing road banks or field edges is a good practice to help control invasive weeds, increase visibility, or just make the property look nice. Operating a brush hog can be a very dangerous chore due to many risk factors -- steep topography, operating along roadways, propelled objects, and various moving equipment parts. Before hopping in the tractor, here are some steps to help keep you safe while making your property a showplace!

    Check and Maintain Equipment

    • Follow an equipment lubrication schedule and read the operator’s manual thoroughly.
    • Sharpen blades.
    • Install chain or belt guards to reduce the hazards of thrown objects.
    • Inspect for properly working lights and clean visible SMV sign.
    • Ensure all shields and guards are in place.

     

    Wear Proper PPE

    Wearing the proper clothing can help you avoid entanglement, injury to the eyes, hearing loss, and other physical injuries. Here is some suggested clothing:

    • Close-fitting clothing
    • Heavy boots
    • Safety glasses
    • Heavy textured gloves
    • Hearing protection

     

    Mowing on Slopes

    Brush hogging usually involves working over rough or uneven topography and in many areas of Ohio this involves steep slopes. Some ways to avoid equipment rollover include:

    • First read the tractor operator manual, familiarizing yourself with the weight of the tractor and the points of adjustment.
    • Add weight to the front and rear end of the tractor to improve balance and control.
    • Adjust rear and front tires to sit farther out, increasing stability on slopes.
    • Wear a seat belt when the rollover protective structure (ROPS) is in place.
    • Avoid extreme slopes of 35% or greater.

     

    Be Aware of your Environment

    • First walk unfamiliar fields or areas to help avoid accidents or damage to equipment while operating.
    • Pick up tree limbs, rocks, or garbage prior to mowing. If you need to dismount the tractor to remove forage material, disengage equipment and wait for all moving parts to halt.
    • Be aware of utility lines, poles, and boxes when mowing along roadways to help avoid costly utility damage and potential injury.

     

    Additional resources are available at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79031 and https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-892257.

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at 937-544 2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  36. Stay Hydrated this Summer

    Water bottle

    Kate Homonai, OSU Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Vinton County 

    My dad tells a story about the summers he spent helping bale hay at his uncle’s farm. He and his cousins would spend hours outside each day, working beneath the hot sun and becoming drenched in sweat. Being teenage boys, they would toss their sweat-soaked t-shirts aside each night and be amused when they tried to put on the now dried and “crispy” clothes again the next morning. As a child, I thought the story was very funny. As an adult, I still smile at their innocent fun, but the Educator in me wants to interject and ask any number of questions, including, “Weren’t you worried about dehydration?!”

    Working outside in the summer puts a significant strain on our bodies. When our bodies warm up from physical exertion and the effects of the sun, we begin sweating to help cool off and control internal body temperature. Sweating is obviously an important safety function, but it also uses the same water that our bodies need to perform basic functions like carrying oxygen, balancing chemicals, and clearing waste.  With all that water going out, it is easy to become dehydrated if we aren’t putting enough fluid back into our bodies.

    Dehydration can lead to several different health concerns. Minor dehydration can result in symptoms like increased thirst, headaches, or muscle cramps. Severe dehydration can limit your body’s ability to sweat, which could cause you to overheat and experience heat stroke or heat exhaustion. These side effects can be anything from unpleasant to even life-threatening, but there are simple ways to prevent dehydration and stay healthy this summer.

    Consider the following tips:

    1. Keep water on hand. You are more likely to drink water if it is easy to access. If you’re working in the shop or barn, fill a large water jug and keep some reusable cups nearby. If you’re working outside or traveling between locations, fill several reusable water bottles and carry them with you in a cooler.   
    2. Schedule breaks. It is easy to get in a groove and work for an extended period without taking a break. Set an alarm, place a notecard in a visible area, or use another effective method to remind yourself to stop and get a drink. 
    3. Limit sodium. Eating foods high in salt can cause your body to draw water from the cells, possibly leading to dehydration. Examples of foods high in sodium include chips, processed meats, and fast food.  
    4. Choose foods with a high water content. Many types of fresh produce are in season right now and make great snacks or meals that add to your total water intake. Choose foods like peaches, melons, peppers, or tomatoes to help you stay hydrated.

    Kate Homonai, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator Vinton County, can be reached at 740-596-5212 orhomonai.3@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  37. Keeping the Next Generation Safe

    Kids on top fo round bales, jumping into the air.

    Lydia Flores, OSU Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Morgan County

    Imagine a calm humid morning walking the fields with dad and the dog. The sun is just coming up over the trees as you check the moisture of the hay. Growing up on a farm is not always easy, but it does teach you the value of hard work. All the time spent on the farm watching parents feed the cattle and work the ground really motivates the next generation to be a part of the operation. A significant safety factor lies with the child’s desire to make their parents proud. However, that is where parents must have a discussion with their child(ren) to determine what tasks are developmentally appropriate for them.

    According to Farm Progress (2014) “About every three days a child on a U.S. farm dies from an agriculture-related incident. Every day some 38 children are injured on a U.S. farm…Vehicles and machinery account for 73 percent of the deaths of working youth on farms.” Unfortunately, issues concerning farm safety and children are often controversial and emotionally driven. One point that can be agreed upon is one death is too many, especially if it is your child.

    Chores Will Vary

    A child’s size, motor skills, and cognitive skills are all factors in determining whether they are physically and mentally able to complete certain tasks. The Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice (2012) listed key points about children working on farms and ranches:

    • A child should never be an extra rider on a tractor. A good rule of thumb is “one seat one rider.”
    • Supervise all children. Do not leave them alone on the farm or ranch.
    • Provide children with the appropriate person protective equipment (PPE) for a given task and teach children the proper use and fit of any items of PPE.
    • If children are not physically and cognitively ready to work on the farm, ensure that they have appropriate childcare and are not in farm work areas.
    • Routinely inspect your farm or ranch for hazards and immediately remove these dangers.
    • Encourage children to participate in local farm and ranch safety activities. 

    Developmental Stages

    An article by Penn State Extension (2014) provides a comprehensive chart of the developmental characteristics of children from birth through age 18 and offers details about how children develop, common causes of injury or death for each age group, strategies to prevent accidents, and appropriate work tasks.

    Check out this link to view the table: https://extension.psu.edu/children-and-safety-on-the-farm.

    This article also includes a preventive measure to help farm families record the age-appropriate tasks for the child(ren). “Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is a method that helps parents find job safety hazards and eliminate or minimize them by providing a written set of safe job-task steps for children before the job is performed” (Murphy, 2014). 

    When used correctly, a JSA form will remind children and the parents how to do the work correctly and safely each time, but as a reminder, a JSA form should never replace good initial instruction and close supervision.

    Lydia Flores, 4-H Educator Morgan County, can be reached at 740-252-5430 or flores.191@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

    Sources

    Age-appropriate tasks for children on farms and ranches. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from https://ag-safety.extension.org/age-appropriate-tasks-for-children-on-farms-and-ranches/.

    Murphy, D. (2014, June 20). Children and Safety on the Farm. Penn State Extension. https://extension.psu.edu/children-and-safety-on-the-farm.

    Smith, R. (2014, June 2). Farm-related childhood deaths are down, but still too many. Farm Progress. https://www.farmprogress.com/equipment/farm-related-childhood-deaths-are-down-still-too-many.

  38. Take Action Against Combine and Field Fires

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County and Dee Jepsen, Professor and State Agricultural Safety Leader

    Weather conditions have helped Ohio wheat fields mature – but these same conditions can lead to an increase in fires to combine harvesters and crop fields. Unintentional fires are never an enjoyable event. Two recommendations to prevent injuries and property damage include: preventative maintenance and pre-planning for fire emergencies. 

    Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for combine fires. Other states leading the list include Minnesota (1st), Iowa (2nd), Illinois (3rd), Kansas (5th), Nebraska (6th) and South Dakota (7th). 

    The majority of harvester fires start in the engine compartment. Contributing factors for heat sources include faulty wiring, over-heated bearings, leaking fuel or hydraulic oil. The dry crop residue makes a ready source for rapid combustion to occur when the machine is operated in the field. Birds and wildlife are known to make nests in the engine compartment or exhaust manifolds – which can add fuel sources for unsuspecting combine operators.

    Tips to prevent combine fires include:

    Have a daily maintenance plan during the harvest period. Keeping machinery well maintained plays a large role in preventing fires from these sources. Cleaning up spills, blowing off chaff, leaves, and other plant materials on a regular basis, proper lubrication of bearings/chains, and checking electrical connections should be part of the daily routine. Farmers may choose to do their daily maintenance in the morning while waiting for the dew to burn off the crops. However, performing maintenance at night will highlight any hot-spots or smoldering areas as the machine is cooling down. Removing chaff at the end of the day will reduce the amount of debris available to spark a fire.

    Eliminate static electricity. A chain may also be mounted on the bottom of the machine to drag on the ground while in the field. This decreases the buildup of static electricity.

    If a fire breaks out, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place:

    Call 911 or your local first responders at the first sign of a fire. Don’t wait to know if you can contain a fire yourself, rapid response is important to saving valuable equipment. Combine fires are often in remote locations where a specific address may not be available and access is limited. Emergency response times will be longer in these situations.

    Have (2) ABC fire extinguishers mounted on the combine. A 10-pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in the cab or near the ladder of the cab is quick access to protect the operator. A second extinguisher (20-pound ABC) is recommended to be mounted on the outside of combines where it is accessible from the ground. It’s possible that one unit will extinguish a small fire; having the second unit will help with any additional flare-ups. Don’t forget to check that the extinguishers are fully charged at the beginning of the season. Not having extinguishers ready when needed leads to a helpless feeling of watching one of your most expensive pieces of equipment go up in flames.

    Have a water truck positioned by the field. Hot mufflers and catalytic converters from other vehicles driving in the field can pose a risk to the dry field fodder. Smoldering materials may go by 15 to 30 minutes before being noticed. A small gust of wind could rapidly turn that smoldering into a fire. In extreme dry conditions, a water truck may help protect against field fires. Never use water on fires that are electrical or fuel-sourced.  

    Have an emergency plan in place and discuss it with the other workers or family members. Knowing what to do in the event of a fire emergency is important. Knowing the address to the field and how to contact fire departments directly instead of through the 911 system are important safety conversations for the entire harvest crew.

    Don’t get caught thinking it can never happen on your farm.  Take preventative action and be prepared.

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County, can be reached at 937-644-8117 or dellinger.6@osu.edu. Dee Jepsen, Extension State Safety Leader, can be reached at 614-292-6008 or jepsen.4@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  39. Manure Pit Safety

    Manure Pit

    Denny Riethman, ANR Educator Mercer County

    Wheat harvest will happen soon.  A common practice with livestock farmers is to apply manure nutrients following harvest of the wheat.  This increases the importance of reminding operators and applicators of following safety precautions when working around manure pits.  Planning ahead, developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), ensuring everyone is trained, and good communication helps reduce the risk and keep everyone safe.

    Manure pit gases are the biggest concern for health and safety around manure handling and storage pits. Hydrogen Sulfide, methane, carbon monoxide and ammonia are gasses of concern. Pit gases from any storage pit, whether closed, open, or under barn storage, can be toxic to both humans and livestock.  Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas is the biggest risk and is extremely dangerous and highly unpredictable.  Hydrogen Sulfide gas is released when agitating and pumping manure.  The gas is colorless, flammable and extremely hazardous with a rotten egg smell.  The gas is heavier than air, and will collect is low lying areas without good air movement.  If it is in the breathing area for people and animals, it can be immediately dangerous to life and health.

    Manure applicators and individuals working around the barn and confined spaces are recommended to be equipped with H2S monitors or multi-gas detectors that will provide alerts when levels are increasing.  The alert system will give workers time to move away from higher gas concentration areas.  H2S gas concentration levels of 2 to 20 ppm will cause symptoms of nausea, headache, and dizziness.  H2S levels greater than 100 ppm will cause alerted breathing, collapse, and death.  Exposure to ammonia results in immediate burning sensation and redness in the eyes.  Methane and carbon monoxide are odorless and difficult to detect by smell.  The dangerous consequences from all of these gasses increases the importance of having multi-gas monitors in livestock buildings with manure pits below or around them.

    It is important to understand the different types of personal protective equipment (PPE) available and the levels of protection they provide.  Having a self-contained breathing apparatus or supplied air respirator on hand is recommended.  Establishing a “Buddy System” in your operating procedures is important when working around manure pits in the event something happens, and someone collapses.  A safety belt or harness should be worn as a lifeline, should a worker need to enter a manure pit.  This allows a co-worker to stay in the peripheral area and keep a safe distance away and pull them to safety should the need arise.  The second person can also call for emergency help if needed.

    Properly operating ventilation systems are very important for enclosed barns with manure pits below.  The ventilation system needs to exhaust the gases out of the barn especially while stirring and agitating the manure.  This is important for people working in the area, as well as the animals, to keep them from being fatally exposed to gases.  Think ahead to the process, make sure you are working with partners for maintenance.  If you need to enter a confined space, ventilate the area for a period of time before entering the area.  Follow the “Lock Out, Tag Out” procedure when doing maintenance or fixing equipment to ensure no one else accidently starts equipment you are working on or repairing.

    Fencing and signage are important considerations around open manure pits to ensure that children, visitors, and animals are kept out.  Placing signage that indicates hazardous gases are present provides a visual warning and helps alert people to the risks in the area.

    Producers and workers do not often see the susceptibility or severity of manure gas hazards.  Building awareness and communication for everyone in the operation is key.  Developing SOPs, training, and communication when working around manure pits is important.  Along with making safety a mindset and part of the thought process as you go through daily tasks, will reduce risks, and keep people and animals safe.

    Denny Riethman, ANR Educator Mercer County, can be reached at 419-586-2179 or riethman.24@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/

  40. Can Animals Spread Disease to Humans?

    Lydia Flores, OSU Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Morgan County

    What is Zoonosis?

    While traveling or enjoying some outdoor activities, many people might encounter animals in either an urban or rural setting. Animals provide many benefits to people such as food, fiber, travel, sport, companionship, and education. However, animals can sometimes carry harmful pathogens that can spread to people and cause illness – these are known as zoonotic diseases or zoonosis. According to the World Health Organization (2020), a zoonosis is an infectious disease that has jumped from an animal to humans. Zoonotic pathogens can be either bacterial, viral, or parasitic. 

    How can they spread?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2017) states that it is important to be aware of the common ways people can get infected with pathogens that can cause zoonotic diseases. Including:

    • Direct contact – Coming into contact with salvia, blood, urine, mucous, feces, or other body fluids of an infected animal. Examples include petting or touching animals, bites or scratches, or your dog lying in bed with you licking your face.
    • Indirect contact – Coming into contact with areas where animals live and roam, or objects that have been contaminated. Examples include aquarium tank water, pat habitats, chicken coops, barns, plants, soil, and pet food/water bowls.
    • Vector-borne – Being bitten by a tick, mosquito, or flea.
    • Foodborne/Waterborne – Eating or drinking unsafe food or liquids. For example, unpasteurized (raw) milk, undercooked meat or eggs, and raw fruits or vegetables that are contaminated with feces from an infected animal.

    What are some ways to help prevent the spread?

    The AgriSafe Network states that farmers, farm employees, and youth livestock exhibitors have higher levels of risk for contracting zoonotic diseases because of the frequency of their exposure to animals. Prevention is the best defense. Understanding how the disease transmission process works, building a team, and effectively communicating within that team are essential in preventing the spread of zoonotic disease. Quality Assurance programs delivered to both youth and adults help address the issues of food safety which includes a link to biosecurity, animal health, and zoonotic disease risks.

    Ways to Protect Yourself

    • Choose and use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE):
      • Respiratory protection
      • Gloves
      • Safety glasses
      • Clothing and footwear
    • Designate specific clothes and spaces.
      • Choose clothing that will only be worn in barns or exposed areas.
      • Keep that clothing in a separate area than personal/family clothes.
      • Wash the clothing in a separate area or machine, if possible.
        • If you must use the same machine or area for washing, launder separate from personal/family clothing and clean washing machine between washes.
    • Disinfect workspaces and provide a designated hand washing station.
      • Make sure cleaning solutions are clearly labeled.
      • Hot water must be available for hand washing.
      • Use only paper towels to dry.
    • While walking or working, wear:
      • Sturdy shoes
      • Long pants
      • Insect repellent
    • Inspect entire body, neck, face, and hair for cuts, scrapes, or bites daily.
    • Maintain accurate and current medical records.

    For more details and information on signs and symptoms, communication needs, and special considerations for children or during pregnancy, check out this resource: https://agn.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/OSHAResources/zoonotic_diseases_resource.pdf

    Lydia Flores, 4-H Educator Morgan County, can be reached at 740-252-5430 or flores.191@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

    Sources

    World Health Organization. (2020). Zoonoses. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/zoonoses.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, July 14). Zoonotic Diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/basics/zoonotic-diseases.html.

    Zoonotic Disease in Agriculture. AgriSafe Network Inc. https://agn.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/OSHAResources/zoonotic_diseases_resource.pdf.

  41. Staying Safe in the Sun

    Sunrise over a farm field

    Kate Homonai, OSU Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Vinton County

    Do you ever stop to think about how amazing the sun is? It is a star that is tens of millions of miles away from earth, yet provides just the right amount of heat and light to support life on our planet. The sun plays an important role in the hydrological cycle that provides us with water and the process of photosynthesis that enables our crops to grow properly.

    Sunshine is critical for farm life, but like anything else, too much of a good thing could also be a bad thing. For example, working outside and exposing your skin to the sun can lead to damage like tans or sunburns. That damage can increase our risk of developing skin cancer. Farmers and other individuals who work outdoors are more likely to experience skin cancer than the general population due simply to the nature of their work.

    While that is a grim fact, there are steps we can take to protect our skin while we go about our daily tasks:

    • Check the local UV index here , including on cloudy days. When the UV forecast is 3 or higher, be sure to apply sunscreen before heading out to work. 
    • Apply sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher before heading out for the day, then reapply every 2 hours while you’re out in the sun. You may need to reapply sunscreen more often if you’re sweating heavily or frequently wiping off sweat. 
    • Wear a widebrimmed hat (the brim should be 3” or more) to protect your ears, temples, and the back of your neck. Baseball caps do not protect these areas. If you prefer to wear a baseball cap (or even no cap), protect these sensitive areas with sunscreen.
    • When possible, plan to work in the shade or indoors when UV rays are strongest, which is typically between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    These simple steps take only a few minutes of our time, but go a long way in protecting our skin while we work outside beneath our amazing sun. 

    Kate Homonai, FCS Educator Vinton County, can be reached at 740-596-5212 or homonai.3@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  42. Stay Safe Making Hay When the Sun Shines

    Tractor and Baler

    Richard Purdin, OSU Extension, Adams County ANR/CD Educator

    For many livestock producers June is a busy month, finishing the crop planting, caring for livestock, and harvesting first cutting of hay. Hay harvest can be a very labor intensive and time-consuming job. Hay harvest involves working around many different types of equipment, long hours spent in the field, exposure to dust, and numerous hours exposed to the sun. Here are some tips to stay safe and healthy while making hay in 2021.

    Pace Yourself

    The hay making process is a very fast pace and labor-intensive process. Baling and storing hay should be done as fast and efficient as possible to maintain the quality of the hay. Changing weather conditions can easily shorten the harvest window making the process very challenging. Harvest your hay crop in intervals rather than trying to harvest the whole crop in one week.

    Protect yourself

    It is a good practice to drink plenty of water (8 ounces every 15-30 minutes) and stay hydrated even if you are just operating equipment.

    Harvesting Hay involves many hours in the sunlight, over exposure can cause many health effects with skin cancer being at the top of the list. Wear proper clothing to protect your skin, such as:

    • Long sleeved shirts
    • Long pants
    • Wide brim hats
    • Sunglasses

    Apply sunscreen routinely or every 2-3 hours is a good practice to avoid over exposure and burning. Sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher are recommended.

    Hay harvest is a dusty job, wearing a clean tight fitting dust mask while handling hay or cleaning equipment is recommended to avoid lung damage or irritation.

    Prevent Injury 

    • Follow and maintain safety signals on equipment.
    • Disengage all power units before servicing equipment.
    • Maintain equipment by lubricating and cleaning routinely, being sure to replace all safety shields following maintenance.
    • Have a fire extinguisher attached to the baler.
    • Wear heavy gloves when handling small square bales.
    • Be aware of field conditions and maintain a safe speed.
    • Watch for sink holes or ground hog holes.
    • Watch for the safety of other workers and use proper hand signals to communicate in the field.
    • Have a first aid kit on hand.

    Newly developed sink hole

    For more information and safety steps you can go to https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-59126 and https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-892276.

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at 937-544 2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/

  43. Deliver Your Hay to the Market Safely

    Load of hay ready to transport.

    Richard PurdinOSU Extension, Adams County ANR/CD Educator

    Spring 2022 has been a wet spring and forage producers have had a challenge to harvest forage crops at the proper timing to capture quality. With all the delays farmers have still managed to harvest their hay crop between the spring rains. As a hay producer myself I feel very rushed these days to not only harvest the hay but also getting the hay in the barn before the next rain. As with any chore, rushing can equal disaster! From rushing harvest and putting wet hay in the barn to hauling an unsecure load down the highway. Today’s farming operations cover multiple farm acreage away from the home farm, meaning that traveling state highways, county roadways, and township roadways with equipment and truck and trailers is essential. Forage producers that do not feed the hay they produce to livestock will sale the hay at a local auction house, this means hay will have to be loaded on a trailer or wagon of some sort and transported to the auction site. There are multiple processes hay can be baled, small square, large square, large round, and small round bales. The size and shape of the bale can make a significant difference in how one should secure and transport to the market. It is hard enough to load the hay once, but it is even harder to load the hay twice, especially on a busy highway. Here are some steps to safely secure and transport your load of hay to the market.

    1. Load the hay safely- Make sure the truck and trailer or wagon is in a level spot with room to maneuver loading equipment. Make sure the vehicle hooked to the trailer is in park. 
    2. Read the trailer weight limits- Before loading any bales make sure you know your trailer or wagons weight limit and read and check tire pressure to know the weight bearing capacity of the trailer tires. It might be a good idea to check the weight of the bales before loading if possible.
    3. Keep load heights low to avoid possible overhead obstructions- According to ODOT a permitted vehicle and load must not exceed 14ft, check out https://www.transportation.ohio.gov/working/publications/shp-op-guide#:~:text=The%20permitted%20vehicle%20and%20load,of%20the%20Ohio%20Revised%20Code to learn more about load restrictions in Ohio.
    4. Keep others safe- Make sure farm workers helping with loading process can hear each other and keep at a safe distance when loading with a machine.
    5. No riders allowed- In small square bale production it can be tempting to ride on a load of hay from the field to the barn, but this can be extremely dangerous, leading to injury or even death. Do not allow workers to ride on a unsecure or even a secured load.
    6. Is your trailer or wagon road ready- Making sure the trailer or wagon is equipped with the proper reflector, slow moving vehicle sign (for wagons) and signal/warning lights work properly. Take time to adjust the braking system that trailers are equipped with, allowing for safe stopping. Always have safety breakaway chains attached to the pulling vehicle. If you are pulling a wagon, make sure to use the proper sized hitch pin WITH A SAFETY KEY, hitch pins have a tendency of working out of the drawbar or receiver hitch.
    7. Avoid wide load- try to avoid loading or hauling wide loads, this is any load 10ft or greater. If the load is wider than 10ft think about having someone drive as an escort vehicle.
    8. Follow the rules of the road- It sounds simple but when you are in a hurry it can be easy to forget you are hauling thousands of pounds. Dive at a safe speed (check tire specification for speed limit loaded) and avoid taking curves too fast. Stop every so often to check tie down straps to make sure they have not loosened on long trips.

    The price of hay this season is strong, avoid rush and take time to secure your load of hay so you can enjoy the bounty of your hard work and avoid causing an accident or injury on the roadway. Happy hay harvest!

    To learn more about transporting hay safely check out these useful resources.

    https://extension.psu.edu/safely-making-and-handling-large-package-hay-baleshttps://agsafety.osu.edu/towed-implement-lighting-markinghttps://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-59115

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at 937-544 2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  44. Have No Fear..Honey Bee Swarms are Near

    Beth Scheckelhoff, ANR Educator Putnam County

    Honey bee swarms are common this time of year. They often go unnoticed because swarms do not stick around for very long, usually one to three days at most. A honey bee swarm is a natural process of one hive splitting into two. As a honey bee colony grows within a hive, it becomes crowded. The bees instinctively begin to nurture a new queen while preparing for the current queen to leave. 

    Once she is ready, the existing queen leaves the hive in search of a new location for her colony.  She takes hundreds to thousands of worker bees (all female) and some drones (all male) with her, and together, these form a swarm.

    Worker bees that are good at foraging for food are called scout bees. Scout bees find a suitable place for the queen to rest until they go off and identify a more permanent location to call home. The queen is often led to a tree or shrub branch or another object not too far from the original hive. Worker bees follow, milling around her to keep her safe and warm. 

    honey bee swarm

    Scout bees search for an ideal location to begin the new hive. The swarm will stay put until the scouts report back and signal that they have located a suitable new home. While the honey bees wait, the swarm can be collected and relocated. If the swarm is not collected and left alone, it will move on once the suitable nesting site has been identified. This can take one to several days.

    During this time, homeowners should not fear. Honey bees in a swarm are generally docile. They do not have growing brood in a hive to protect and are simply keeping the queen comfortable. Have patience, and the swarm will move on within a few days. If you are concerned about a bee swarm, however, please contact your local extension office, a local beekeeper, or a beekeeping association. Most extension offices have a list of local beekeepers that will happily collect bee swarms. In most cases, beekeepers will travel to collect the swarm at no cost to you.

    Once the swarm reaches its new home – whether that be a hollowed-out tree or a beekeeper’s hive box, the colony will begin to grow as the queen lays new eggs.

    If you have an interest in honey bees or other types of bees, you may wish to check out the Ohio State University’s Bee Lab website: u.osu.edu/beelab. It is full of information on bees of all types – including honey bees and native bees. There are many presentations posted as well for you to watch and learn about all things bees!

    Beth Scheckelhoff, ANR Educator Putnam County, can be reached at scheckelhoff.11@osu.edu or 419-523-6294This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  45. Roadway Safety During Crop Scouting Activities

    Dee Jepsen, Professor and State Agricultural Safety Leader

    Taking a drive through the countryside can be an enjoyable leisure activity. When you drive as part of your job, it takes on additional attention towards safety and roadway courtesy. For agronomists employed with an agricultural business, it may also mean abiding by a company policy. This article serves as a reminder for consultants and others who drive and frequently park in rural areas, related to crop scouting activities. 

    Company policy:

    Always check with your employer for policy regarding vehicle operation. While each company may vary, some of the common rules may include:

    • Restrictions on the number of persons permitted in a company vehicle or persons permitted to drive a company vehicle.

    • Drivers are bound to follow all traffic laws, i.e wearing a seat belt, following posted speed limits, signaling when making turns, never carrying passengers in the cargo area of pickup trucks, and others.

    • Refrain from any type of distracted driving, which includes phone calls, texting, and computer use.

     

    Best practices for courteous vehicle operation:

    Customer relations is an important aspect of the job. Being considerate of your driving and parking habits goes a long way for your clients.

    • Drive slowly when entering their driveways and barn lots. A speed of 5mph is a good rule of thumb, but even that may be too fast if there are poor driveway conditions, children, workers, livestock or pets on the premises.

    • Do not park in barnyard areas that affect normal traffic patterns of the driveway or block access to farm buildings and homestead areas.

    • When parking on the roadway, do your best to pull completely off the roadway. Park in high visibility areas avoiding curves or dips in the road that obstruct the sight line. 

    • Use flashing lights to warn of a parked vehicle along the roadway when this is a short-term stop. Be aware of how long you leave on the flashers, as it will affect your vehicle’s battery life.

    • For longer parking stops, look for an area of a field where there is semi access designed for vehicles. Pay attention to field conditions, i.e water-logged areas, holes, and fence lines. 

    • Know the property lines when assessing fields and avoid parking and/or driving on property of other owners.

    • Consider backing the vehicle into areas that you will want to pull out of later. This is especially helpful when accessing field driveways from a public road.

    • Identify fields or farms that are centralized to the area(s) you want to access. Find a place that you know is safe from other moving vehicles and secure from possible theft.

     

    Field safety:

    When accessing a field that is actively utilized by the farm operation, consider these practices:

    • Stand clear of field equipment and field operations.

    • Know and utilize hand signals to communicate with equipment operators.

    • Be cautious of fields that had recent spray applications and adhere to posted re-entry interval signage.

     

    Roadway safety for agronomist scouts is an important component to keep injuries low and property damage at a minimum. As field activity picks up for the 2022 crop season, be aware of operating your motor vehicle in a safe and courteous manner on every drive.

    This article is provided by the OSU Agricultural Safety and Health ProgramDee Jepsen, Professor, can be reached at jepsen.4@osu.edu; and Lisa Pfeifer, Program Manager, can be reached at pfeifer.6@osu.edu. Their website can be accessed at https://agsafety.osu.edu/

  46. CDL Update

    Amanda Douridas, ANR Educator Madison County

    OSU Extension recently hosted State Highway Patrol officers and a local Sherriff’s Department to discuss the recent CDL changes and answer general farm hauling questions for a program offered jointly to Delaware, Madison, and Union counties. The take aways from the Q&A are summarized below.

    Required Course

    Any new person trying to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) must now take a course which typically runs 5-6 days a week for 4-5 weeks and costs $4,000-6,000. For example, Clark State College runs Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. for 4 weeks and costs $5,500. 

    Are Farmers Exempt?

    The big question – are farmers exempt from needing a CDL? The answer of course is it depends. Farmers are exempt from having a CDL and medical card when hauling commodities or equipment used to raise crops within 150 miles of his/her farm. If hauling further than that or going to pick up a piece of machinery outside of that range, farmers are required to have a CDL, medical card, USDOT# and log.

    Livestock going to market are exempt 150 miles from the farm and 150 miles from the processor for a total of 300 miles. 

    CDLs are Based on Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

    Any vehicle or vehicle combo over 26,000lbs requires a CDL if being used for commercial purposes. A pickup truck rated at 14,000lbs towing a gooseneck trailer rated at 14,000lbs requires a CDL if hauling anything other than farm commodities or equipment. Private for-hire vehicles between 10,001 -26,000lbs do not require a CDL but you must have a medical card, USDOT# and keep a log if traveling over 150 miles.  

    What Items Require a CDL

    If a farmer hauls something other than farm commodities, then a CDL is required. This includes gravel, scrap metal and dirt. Take caution when hauling equipment. If it is a piece that could have non-farm uses, such as a bulldozer or backhoe, you may get pulled over and questioned. Your answers to the questions will determine whether the troopers deem you exempt. 

    Recreational activities such as hauling campers (to go camping, not for a business) and show animals (non-business) are exempt from all requirements. However, if you go pick up a bull in another state for your farm business, and travel beyond 150 miles, you are no longer exempt.

    Another item of note is that farm permits are available for oversized vehicles through the Ohio Department of Transportation. 

    Still Have More Questions

    For additional information, explore the resources available under Roadway and Equipment Law on the Farm Office website: https://farmoffice.osu.edu/our-library/roadway-and-equipment-law or reach out to your local state highway patrol post with specific questions.

  47. When the Rain Won’t Let Up

    Bridget Britton, Behavioral Health Field Specialist

    Each morning when waking up recently it feels as though we look out the window and it is either raining or has rained overnight. Farmers are natural meteorologists and are in tune with what is going on with the weather any given hour of the day.   According to Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension climatologist, there has been measurable rainfall all but 3 days so far in the month of April. Wet weather and planting delays are sources of additional stress. Though we can’t know for sure when the fields will dry up enough to plant, there are things you can do to keep some of the stress from overwhelming you.

    •    Get moving: This is normally when the physical activity starts ramping up. You might not be out busy in the fields yet but start prepping your body and mind now by doing whatever exercise you enjoy to get in the right mindset.  This “exercise” might include working on equipment, cleaning your shop, or catching up on things you’ve been putting off.

    •    Make time for laughs: Have you ever heard laughter is the best medicine? Well, it might not be the best, but it can help. Make sure you find time to spend with your funny family member or employee. You know who they are.

    •    Stay away from unhealth coping mechanisms: If you are like me stress eating is easy to do, but instead of overeating try playing a game, calling a friend, or spending time with nature. An increase in unhealthy habits such as alcohol use can contribute to farm accidents, and could negatively impact you, your family, and your farm business.

    •    Take a look at long term goals and plans: Though you would rather be out in the fields, with all the rain this may be a good time to examine the future of the farm. Talk with family and employees about any improvements or goals you have for the future. Making sure everyone is on the same page is crucial. Often as planting season begins little time is left for any of these types of conversations.

    •    Help yourself and others during stressful times:  Make time during the wet days and evenings for check-ins with family and friends. This can support not only them but you during this stressful time. No one should have to suffer alone if they may be feeling any type of anxiety or sadness. While you are waiting for the rain to pass this is a great time to spend some time off the farm and each other’s company.

    Remember you are more than your farm. We need you to be healthy both physically and mentally. Reach out if you or someone you know may be struggling. There are resources available at go.osu.edu/farmstress or reach out to your local extension office. If someone is in crisis there is the free and confidential crisis line at 1-800-273-8255.

    References:

    Brotherson, S. (2017). Stress Management for Farmers/Ranchers. Retrieved from https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/kids-family/farm-stress-fact-sheets-stress-management-for-farmers-ranchers.

    Donham, K. J., & Thelin, A. (2016). Agricultural Medicine: Rural Occupational and Environmental Health, Safety, and Prevention. (2nd ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

    Edenfield, T. M., & Blumenthal, J. A. (2011). Exercise and stress reduction. The handbook of stress science: Biology, psychology, and health, 301-319.

    National Institute of Mental Health (2016). Depression. Retrieved from www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression.

  48. Summer Days Ahead: Don’t Ignore Heat Stress!

    Mary Ann Rose, Pesticide Safety Education

    With the arrival of summer, the risk of heat stress increases.  Farmers have an elevated risk of heat stress for obvious reasons – working outdoors.  Activities that require protective clothing, such as pesticide application, further increase the risk.   

    Heat stress is a condition that develops with increasing body temperature. The body has mechanisms to eliminate excess heat that we can readily observe, such as perspiration and flushing. If the body’s ability to cool itself is overwhelmed, heat stress may progress to a life-threatening condition – heat stroke.   Heat stress also may contribute to other serious health conditions, such as heart attacks, and because of fatigue or confusion that may be associated with heat stress, may contribute to higher incidence of accidents or injuries.   

    Protect yourself, your family and farm workers by implementing preventive measures and knowing the danger signs of heat stress.   

    The following measures can lower the risk of heat-related illness:

    • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated; avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages. During heavy work in heat, the body may lose as much as 1-2 quarts per hour! 
    • Adapt work to the weather, for example, spray pesticides at cooler times of the day.
    • Take breaks to cool down, for example, 10-15 minutes every 2 hours.
    • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing whenever possible.
    • Read medicine labels for interactions with sun and heat; some drugs may increase sensitivity.
    • Build up a tolerance to working in the heat.
    • Wear hats and sun protection if working outside.
    • Be conscious of health conditions that may increase with heat stress.

    Signs of heat stress and heat stroke

    People may begin feeling hot, tired, and sweaty.  Excessive heat and resulting dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion symptoms which may include headache, light-headedness or dizziness, fatigue, loss of strength, cramps, severe thirst, dry mouth, and mood changes. As conditions progress towards potentially life-threatening heat stroke, symptoms also may include lack of sweating, dry skin and elevated body temperature, confusion or aggression, fast pulse, convulsions, and loss of consciousness.  

    How to help someone experiencing heat stress

    Get the person to a cooler, shaded area as soon as possible and give them cool water to drink, in small amounts, but as much as they can drink.  Loosen or remove any tight protective gear or outer clothing, especially around the neck, chest, and waist.  Splash the person’s body with cool water or apply wet towels; change the towels frequently to keep them cool. Fan the person with a hat or other item. If the person does not respond quickly to first aid or if they are experiencing the heat stroke symptoms, get medical assistance immediately.   

    For additional information on symptoms and first aid measures, read the following resources:

    Heat Stress (factsheet)
    Ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-591108

    Heat Stress. Farmworker Health and Safety 
    www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/2019-03/trainer_guide.pdf

    Mary Ann Rose, Director, Pesticide Safety Education Program can be reached at (614) 292-4070 or rose.155@osu.edu. The Pesticide Safety Education Program website is located at http://pested.osu.edu.

    This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  49. One Question Could Save Someone’s Life

    Bridget Britton, Extension Field Specialist, Behavioral Health

    The month of May helps us to be aware that warm weather is inching toward Ohio, it is also Mental Health Awareness month. May is a time to help us gain awareness and understanding of persons with mental or behavioral health problems or difficulties. Mental health professionals, such as counselors, are trained and educated to help those struggling with mental or behavioral health challenges. However, did you know that even if you are not a trained professional this may be helpful to those silently struggling? Read on to learn more about a training anyone in the community can take to gain knowledge on how to help those struggling in a potential mental health crisis.

    Each person can take training and learn to use a strategy known as QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). Ever heard of QPR? Here is a parallel comparing QPR to Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. CPR is an emergency action non-medical professionals use to help save the lives of people in cardiac arrest until professional help arrives. While QPR is an intervention strategy that non-mental health professionals use to help someone in an immediate mental health crisis. QPR is a training of a three-step intervention approach. CPR does not certify you as an EMT, as QPR does not certify you as a mental health professional. But QPR may help you deter someone experiencing a mental health crisis such as suicide.

    Let’s start with the Q-Question:

    • Questioning (Q) is the most difficult part to work through in the training. How to ask the question in a variety of ways “are you thinking about dying?” is taught during this section of the training

    If a person says yes to the Q-Question, then we go to the P-Persuade:

    • During the training, you learn the basics of talking to a person in crisis by ways to P-Persuade them to a variety of tactics for help.
    • Sharing how much they are loved and cared for by either you or someone (if they are strangers to you) is a valuable skill taught during QPR.

    Then you the R-Refer:

    • The final step is Refer or R. Many times the person will need professional help in some way, shape, or form. Sometimes that will be the immediate 911 phone call. Other times helping make an appointment with a licensed mental health professional.

    Interested in learning more about QPR or attending the training yourself? You can join us virtually on July 17th at 10:30 am. Participants must be over the age of 18 to become certified. Email Bridget Britton at britton.191@osu.edu to sign up for the training. Seats are limited. You never know when this training on one question could save someone’s life.

    This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  50. Teaching Youth to be Safe Around Livestock

    A child feeding livestock with proper footwear.

    Sabrina Schirtzinger, ANR Educator Knox County

    Owning and working livestock is the first step to teaching youth responsibilities on the farm. Younger children may not be aware of the dangers that come with this responsibility. As parents it is our duty to teach our children the proper ways to work with animals to ensure safety.

    Begin with the basics: 

    Clean, Working Facilities

    Barns should be free of tripping hazards and cluttered areas to decrease the risk of injury. Fences, gates, alleyways, and panels should be free of rusty nails, loose bolts, broken boards, and gaps in pens. 

    A key part of livestock handling safety is keeping equipment and facilities in proper working order. 

    Using Your Quiet Voice 

    Did you know livestock can hear sounds and pitches that humans cannot? Loud noises scare animals and high frequencies can hurt their ears. Announce your presence when entering the barn/pen with animals. Quiet, calm voices will aid in keeping livestock at ease. 

    Recognize the Signs of Aggression/Fear 

    It is natural for livestock to protect their offspring, herd, pasture, or pen. Watch for signs of aggression and fear to know when you may be in danger. Signs may include: 

    1. Showing their teeth 
    2. Body posture- pawing at the ground, head down and shaking. 
    3. Pinned ears 
    4. Raised tail or hair standing up on their back 

    Before entering an area with livestock have a planned route to escape if an animal gets aggressive. 

    Proper Clothing 

    Protect your feet by wearing sturdy boots when working livestock. Non-skid soles can also help with uneven and wet footing. Wear leather gloves when working or loading livestock to protect your hands. Use rubber gloves when handling chemicals, feces, or diseased items. 

    Approach Livestock 

    Know the blind spots of the livestock you are working with. Swine and cattle have a difficult time judging distance and cannot see behind them. It is best to approach all animals at their sides. 

    Teaching youth when they are young important safety tips is key to their safety around livestock. 

    Sabrina Schirtzinger, ANR Educator Knox County, can be reached at 740-397-0401 or Schirtzinger.55@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team.  https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  51. Balancing Your Health and the Spring To-Do List

    Stressed farmer in the field.

    Richard Purdin, OSU Extension, Adams County ANR/CD Educator

    The month of May is a busy time on the farm, from making hay to building fence, planting crops, and tending to livestock. For many small and medium sized farms these tasks are commonly placed on the shoulders of a few individuals. With less labor force available on smaller farms, producers can easily become consumed in the work at hand and forget about taking care of their health and wellness. Here are a few steps you can take this spring to stay physically and mentally well.

    Signs of Becoming Overstressed

    Farming is a very stressful occupation, long work hours, seasonal demands, inconsistent weather, and finances can be a few of the many factors that can lead to stress on the farm. Farmers and farm workers need to learn the signs of stress. Some key factors of becoming over stressed include:

    • Lack of sleep or inability to sleep.
    • Moodiness or poor attitude.
    • Change in eating habits.
    • Depression or lack of communication with others.
    • Weakened immune system.

    Managing Stress During Crunch Time

    • Get at least 7 hours of sleep.
    • Communicate with family and friends.
    • Remember to take time to eat and drink.
    • Set a goal for the day and complete one job at a time.
    • Remember to get out of the tractor and stretch throughout the day.

    Pack a Healthy Lunch for the Field

    Just because you are working in the field does not mean you cannot have a healthy meal. Your lunch should provide a quarter to a third of your daily required nutrients, this does not mean a Little Debbie cake and soda!

    • Pack a lunch box or bag with a cold pack to help keep cold foods safe.
    • Avoid mayonnaise, salad dressings or egg containing foods.
    • Include vegetables and fruits in your meal.
    • Remember to pack plenty of water.
    • Keep your food clean -- pack washing material such as cloths, soap, and water to clean hands before eating.

    For more information and safety steps see, https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-892273

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at (937) 544-2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/

  52. Spring Pesticide Safety Reminders

    Mary Ann Rose, Director, Pesticide Safety Education Program

    You probably worked on your sprayer and other major equipment over the winter to gear up for pesticide applications.  Have you put any effort into preparing for applicator safety?  Here are some questions to ask yourself in preparation for the season:  

    • Do I have the required personal protective equipment on hand?  Review your pesticide labels, and make sure you do.  One of the new dicamba formulations used on dicamba-tolerant soybeans requires a respirator – did you know that?  Be sure you have whatever the label requires.
    • Are you sure you have the right kind of PPE? Let your pesticide label be your guide.   Leather or cotton gloves* do not protect you from pesticides – they absorb chemical and hold it close to your skin!  Read labels carefully to make sure your PPE have required level of chemical resistance.  The gloves in the picture are 14 ml nitrile, appropriate for many, but not all agricultural pesticides. Finally, conventional agricultural pesticides all require long-sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes, and socks at a minimum.  Are you in compliance with the label?  
    • Are you applying pesticides from inside an enclosed cab?  The label may not require you to wear the PPE inside the enclosed cab, but you must have it available in case you have to exit to the field while spraying.   
    • Mixing and loading in the field?  Make sure you have soap, water, and paper towels available to you to wash up before smoking, drinking, eating, or using a restroom.  In case you were to splash concentrated chemical on you, having a spare set of clothing is a good idea too. 
    • Are you using a pesticide that requires eye protection?  Choose eye protection that offers side protection from splashes.  Also, you must have eye wash on hand when mixing and loading if the pesticides you are using require eye protection.  Someday this precaution could save you from serious eye injury!
    • Look at your chemical storeroom.  Are there any leaky containers, or containers that are missing their labels?  Take steps now to fix those problems and remember: NEVER USE A FOOD OR DRINK STORAGE CONTAINER FOR PESTICIDES.  Sadly, fatalities have occurred from this poor decision.   Also make sure your chemical storage is secure enough to keep children and unauthorized people out.  
    • Have you stored your PPE in the pesticide cabinet or storeroom?  If so, remove and store it in another location.  Some pesticides are volatile, and they can contaminate your PPE. 

    *One exception: certain fumigants do call for the use of cotton gloves.  Otherwise these are not appropriate to use with pesticides.  

    To watch a short video (11 minutes) reviewing Pesticide Safety Basics for the farm, click below:

    https://youtu.be/PhPvcO10xCM

    Contact the Pesticide Safety Education Program with your pesticide safety questions: pested@osu.edu / 614-292-4070. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  53. Pharmaceutical Waste, National Drug Take Back Campaign

    Sarah Noggle, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, Paulding County

    What to do with your leftover medication?

    Many Ohio residents have expired or unused pharmaceutical products in their medicine cabinets and don’t know what to do with them. Unused drugs can create a risk of unintentional overdose or illegal abuse if not properly disposed of. However, flushing medication in the toilet can contribute to water contamination and may cause harm to aquatic life. To safely dispose of leftover pharmaceuticals from the home, the best option is to take them to a collection event or permanent pharmaceutical drop-off.

    The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

    While Ohio EPA does not regulate the disposal of pharmaceutical products by consumers. The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has an excellent website with information for consumers, pharmacies, and others involved in the pharmaceutical industry. The website is pharmacy.ohio.gov/Pubs/DrugDisposalResources.aspx. The website has valuable information for drug disposal box locations, regulations, and additional resources. 

    The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Take-Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. While we focus on the April 24, 2021 date as the official National Drug Take Back day, many locations across the state will have other dates of drop-off days. The DEA website helps identify other drop-off locations across the US and is takebackday.dea.gov. Locally contact your local Solid Waste Management District or your local Sheriff’s Office for locations. 

    For more information on the National Drug Take-Back program or agricultural topics contact Sarah Noggle, ANR Educator Paulding County at 419-399-8225 or noggle.17@osu.edu. To locate a county Extension Office or other personnel use the online search at extension.osu.edu/directory. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team at agsafety.osu.edu.

    Resources

     

     

  54. Safe Measures Around the Post-Hole Digger = More Fence Built This Spring

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County

    A common tool used on the farm is a tractor mounted post-hole auger/digger. A tractor mounted post-hole digger can reduce time and labor when building large stretches of fence. There are two types of tractor mounted post-hole diggers available on the market, power take off (PTO) operated and hydraulic flow operated. It is important to use caution and follow safety steps to avoid injury or fatality when working with equipment with moving parts or a power take off (PTO) or hydraulic system.

    Prevention Measures

    • Read the operator’s manual for proper operating procedures before using the equipment.
    • Maintain safety shields and labels.
    • Use equipment only if all safety shields are in place.

     

    Inspect and Maintain Equipment Properly

    • Make sure cutting blade is sharp.
    • Ensure all shields are tightly attached.
    • Check for fluid leaks.
    • Inspect hydraulic hoses for cracks and weathering.
    • Use shear bolts provided by the manufacture only.
    • Grease frequently and check wear spots and shear bolts.

     

    Safe Operation Steps

    • Call 811 to locate buried utilities before digging.
    • Clear obstructions such as rocks and tree branches from the work site.
    • Allow only one operator on the equipment.
    • Disengage and turn off the tractor before dismounting to make repairs or adjustments.
    • Engage the PTO at low RPM speeds.
    • Consult the operator's manual for proper horsepower and rpm during operation.
    • Make sure the tractor used for the task is properly weighted when working on slopes or rocky terrane.

     

    For more information and safety steps you can go to https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-5931.

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at 937-544 2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  55. Did you know Ohio ranks 4th in the U.S. for combine fires?

    Picture of a combine on fire in a field.

    Dee Jepsen, Associate Professor, Agricultural Safety and Health

    While many combines are parked and inactive over the spring months, a team of Ohio State University students are thinking about fire hazards that occur to these machines while they are harvesting summer and fall crops.  

    This team of Agricultural Systems Management students are seeking input from owners and operators of farm machinery. The goal of their survey is to better understand the patterns of routine cleaning, maintenance, and fire safety education that farmers have in place for their combine harvesters. 

    If you own or operate a combine or corn picker, please help them learn more about your fire prevention practices by completing a short survey by April 16th

    The survey questions are anonymous with the total survey taking approximately 12-15 minutes to answer. General questions are asked about the size of the farm operation and type of commodity harvested. Specific questions about each combine harvester will detail the age and maintenance plans in place for the equipment owned or operated by the farm. 

    The results will help target outreach safety messages, including maintenance and prevention during summer and fall 2021 harvest seasons. 

    The survey link can be found at this link: 

    U.S. Combine Survey

    Or using this QR code:  

    QR Code

    Thank you for contributing to an Ohio State senior capstone project. 

    Dee Jepsen, Associate Professor, can be reached at 614-292-6008 or jepsen.4@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  56. Roadway Transport Safety of Anhydrous Ammonia Tanks

    Anhydrous Ammonia Tanks

    Dee Jepsen, Associate Professor, Agricultural Safety and Health

    As Anhydrous nurse tanks start rolling to the fields, roadway safety becomes a priority. This is a review of Ohio’s regulations to protect the transporter and the public.

    • Operator Age—Individuals transporting anhydrous ammonia must be 21 years old. (Ohio Administrative Code 4901:2-5-04, http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4901:2-5-04).
    • Towing—It is highly recommended that the vehicle used to tow the nurse tank be at least equal in weight to the gross weight of the nurse tank. This will assist the operator in maintaining control minimizing the risk of a roadway incident. Roadway transport of an anhydrous ammonia nurse tank can include:     
      • Tractor, applicator and one nurse tank.    
      • Tractor and two nurse tanks. (Local supplier company policy may dictate that a customer may only tow one nurse tank.)     
    • Speed—The speed limit for anhydrous ammonia tanks traveling on the Ohio public roadways is 25 mph and a SMV emblem must be displayed.  (Ohio Administrative Code 4513.32, http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4513.32).
    • Personal Protective Equipment—All vehicles transporting anhydrous ammonia shall carry a container of at least 5 gallons of water and be equipped with rubber gloves and either a full-face gas mask, a pair of tight-fitting goggles, or one full face shield. (Ohio Administrative Code 901:5-3-10, http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/901%3A5-3).
    • Nurse Tank Leak During Transport—If a leak occurs in transportation equipment and it is not practical to stop the leak, the driver should move the vehicle to an isolated location away from populated communities or heavily traveled highways. (Ohio Administrative Code 901:5-3-10, http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/901%3A5-3).

    Prior to operating a nurse tank on a public roadway, carefully check:

    • Running Gear – Inspect the farm wagon frame tongue, reach poles, anchor devices, wheel bearings, knuckles, ball joints and pins for structural damage, cracks, excessive wear and adjustments.
    • Tires – Check for proper inflation. Check tire tread for cuts, badly worn spots, and signs of weathering. Assure that lug nuts are tight.
    • Lubrication – Steering knuckles, wheels, tongues, or other applicable farm wagon equipment should be lubricated at least once every year.
    • Hitch pin – a safety-type hitch pin with a standard safety chain attachment to the wagon or running gear. 
    • SMV emblem – With the mounted point up, place the sign 2-6 feet above the ground. Place the perpendicular plane to the direction of travel (+ or -) 10 degrees. Place the sign as near to rear center as possible.
    • Warning Lights – turn signals, flashing warning lights and a red brake light are recommended when towing an anhydrous ammonia tank wagon on public roadways. A standard seven terminal break-away connector plug should be used on the tank wagon to accommodate these lights.

    There are legally required safety signs and labels to be on the nurse tanks. Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) requires Anhydrous to be marked consistently across all states. These markings include:

    • Nurse tanks must be labeled “ANHYDROUS AMMONIA” in 4-inch letters, on contrasting background, on the sides and rear of the tank.
    • The words “INHALATION HAZARD,” in association with the anhydrous ammonia label, in 3-inch lettering be placed on both sides of the tank.
    • A DOT approved “NON-FLAMMABLE GAS” placard with the numbers 1005 (identifying it as anhydrous ammonia) must be located on both sides and both ends of the tank.
    • The valves must be appropriately labeled by color or legend as vapor (Safety Yellow) or liquid (Omaha Orange). The letters of the legend must be at least 2 inches high on contrasting background and within 12 inches of the valves.

    Graphics courtesy of Ohio Department of Agriculture: Summary of Nurse Tank and Tool Bar Requirements. agri.ohio.gov/apps/odaprs/pestfert-PRS-index.aspx
    It is important to follow all rules of the supplier company. Additional training may be required by these companies to protect their liability when transporting and using their nurse tanks.

    Additional information can be found on Ohioline with the “Safe Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia” fact sheet at: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-594.

    Dee Jepsen, Associate Professor, can be reached at 614-292-6008 or jepsen.4@osu.eduThis column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  57. Severe Weather on the Farm

    Tornado damage to farm in Mercer County, Ohio

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County

    Being aware of weather conditions is nothing new to farmers. Weather is what dictates everything from when fieldwork can be done to how well crops yield. Severe weather awareness is an old topic that sometimes needs a reminder. Getting caught in the middle of a field when severe weather strikes is not the greatest of situations.  

    Ohio Governor Mike DeWine proclaimed March 21-27, 2021 as Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week. Many of us saw pictures of the devastation of the August 2020 derecho that impacted parts of the Midwest.

    As the temperatures warm up and the fields dry, tractors will be operating in full force across the corn belt to get crops planted. With today’s agricultural equipment, every pass in the field may mean numerous levers, toggle switches, and buttons to pull and push. These, in addition to GPS and other monitors in the cab, can keep the operator pretty busy. 

    Keeping in Touch

    Modern communication tools such as cell phones and portable weather radios provide more opportunity to avoid exposure to severe weather than ever before. A simple call from the house may be all it takes to stay safe. Monitoring weather on a radio can let the operator know well ahead of time what is coming. In the spring severe weather season, conditions can change drastically during any given day. What is heard on the 6:00 a.m. weather report may evolve throughout the day because storms have a local component. 

    With all the opportunity to know what weather is coming, there are still occasions when the operator is caught in severe weather. This could be a pop-up thunderstorm, a flash flood, or even a tornado. These chances increase for every extra round that is made trying to get as much work done before the rain comes.

    If an operator is caught in severe weather, there are some actions that may be taken that will improve chances of escaping injury:

    Lightning

    Lightning may strike many miles away from the actual storm in which it was produced. Blue-sky lightning strikes are known to occur. When out in the middle of a field and caught in a lightning storm, the safest place is inside the tractor. Raise all equipment out of the ground to avoid any metal-ground contact.  

    Tornado

    Watch the sky during severe weather for changes. Often the sky will have a greenish appearance. A cloud that looks like a wall and has rotation is an indication of the possibility of a tornado. With soundproof cabs and loud machinery, it is not likely you will hear a tornado until it is too late.  

    If caught in an open area with a tornado approaching, get out of the tractor! Find a low area or ditch away from the tractor, lie down and cover head with arms.

    Unfortunately for agriculture, there are many structures that are easily damaged in tornados or straight-line winds. Grain bins and large machinery sheds are vulnerable to collapse and should not be used as shelters. Farms are also conducive to a great deal of flying debris whether it is hand tools, liquid storage tanks, or even calf hutches. Below ground-level rooms offer the best protection. Interior rooms of a sturdy structure are the best alternative.

    Floods

    Flooding, and more specifically, flash flooding may happen in a very short period of time. Most operators are aware of what areas have a history of flooding or are susceptible to flash flooding. These areas should be avoided in severe weather events. Similar to stray lightning, flooding may occur even in areas that have received no rain if there was a large rainfall event upstream.

    Don’t get caught in severe weather this spring and summer. Keep a portable weather radio nearby or have a plan to be alerted by someone who does. Monitor weather conditions in your area.  

    A Watch or a Warning

    Remember: A Watch indicates conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather. A Warning indicates a tornado or severe thunderstorm is in the immediate vicinity – take appropriate actions.

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County, can be reached at 937-644-8117 or dellinger.6@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/. 

  58. Springtime on Rural Roads

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County

    Spring planting season will soon be under way across the State of Ohio.  After challenging planting seasons in recent years, farmers will be taking advantage of every window of opportunity to get seeds in the ground.

    Combine the spring planting equipment on the road and increased motor vehicle traffic because of more people transitioning from telecommuting back to work from COVID-19 and we have an increased risk of incidents on local roadways.

    In the period from 2009-2018 over half of the farm fatalities in Ohio were related to tractor use (OSU Extension Ag Safety & Health, Farm Fatality and Injury Database for Ohio).  Of these tractor related fatalities, around 14% were the result of a roadway collision.  In 2020 alone, the total number of incidents between farm units (farm equipment and farm trucks) and motor vehicles in Ohio was 380 (Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ohio Traffic Crash Facts).  Of these 380 incidents, 3 resulted in fatalities and 99 resulted in injuries.  While this total is down significantly from 2019 when there were 462 crashes, this could be attributed to less motor vehicles on the road because of businesses being temporarily shut down and telecommuting arrangements.  

    Distracted driving is a continued concern on local roadways.  It is important to remember closure time when coming up behind slow moving vehicles.  In less than 7 seconds, a motor vehicle traveling 55 mph will close 400 feet behind a tractor traveling 15 mph.

    Being aware and anticipating farm equipment actions on the roadway will help decrease the risk of collisions.  When approaching from the rear, watch for signals from the operator whether it be a yellow turn signal or hand signal.  With larger equipment, often it is difficult for the operator to see traffic coming from behind.  Watch for upcoming farm and field drives where the operator may be turning before attempting to pass.  If you are preparing to meet a piece of equipment, watch for guardrails, mailboxes, and road signs that may prevent the operator from getting over far enough to meet safely.

    Farm equipment operators can do their part by ensuring their safety lighting and marking equipment are clean and functional.  Using escort vehicles in both the front and rear may increase visibility and keep the operator in communication of upcoming hazards or situations while moving from farm to farm.  Finally, when possible, attempt to move equipment at off-peak motor vehicle travel times.

    Taking a drive in the country has seemed to be one of the few enjoyable and acceptable activities we can do for around a year now.  We need to enjoy the view, watch out for farm equipment, and stay safe.

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County, can be reached at 937-644-8117 or dellinger.6@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/. 

  59. Working Safely with Anhydrous Ammonia

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    Many farmers are applying anhydrous ammonia as a part of their spring planting season. Anyone working with anhydrous ammonia should be familiar with the safe use of the product, understand the potential for injury and know how to respond to an emergency. There are several hazards associated to working with anhydrous ammonia in the field. One hazard is that anhydrous ammonia is stored under high pressure. An unintended release can occur if the equipment is not well maintained, equipment becomes damaged, or workers are not trained to follow exact procedures. Additional hazards can be based on anhydrous ammonia’s chemical properties. Contact with skin can cause freezing of tissue or chemical burns. Severe irritation to eyes can take place since anhydrous ammonia seeks out water. And because of the strong odor, inhaling anhydrous ammonia can irritate the lungs and respiratory system. Some simple suggestions when working with anhydrous ammonia in the field include:

    - Always have water readily available. This should include a squirt bottle of water with you and 5 gallons of emergency water mounted on the nurse tank.

    - Personal protective equipment should include: long sleeve clothing, goggles, chemical gloves, and respirator with approved cartridge.

    - Wear the proper personal protective equipment when connecting or disconnecting nurse tanks from the applicator or when making minor repairs or adjustments in the field. 

    - Ensure that a set of personal protective equipment is located in the cab of the tractor and in any vehicle used to transport nurse tanks. 

    - Follow the recommended procedures for connecting and disconnecting nurse tanks and applicators. Shortcuts can lead to unintended release or unexpected exposure. 

    - When changing nurse tanks or making field repairs, always work upwind of the applicator and the nurse tank. Applicator knives, flow meter, hose connections, bleeder valves, and nurse tank valves can be exposure openings for an unintended release. 

    - When changing nurse tanks, park the tractor upwind before opening bleeder valves or disconnecting hoses. This can minimize the chance of anhydrous ammonia from entering the cab.

    - Watch for pinch points and crush points when hitching the nurse tank to the applicator.

    - Point the hose end away from you and make sure connectors and connection points are clean when coupling the nurse tank hose to the applicator.

    - Hand tighten valve handles, Over-tightening with a wrench can cause damage to the valve or seals. 

    - Ensure hitch pins are secure and secondary chains are attached before moving the nurse tank.

    - Park nurse tanks (empty or full) downwind and away from neighboring houses, public areas and businesses. 

    Additional information can be found on Ohioline with the “Safe Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia” fact sheet at: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-594

    Kent McGuire, OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator, can be reached at 614-292-0588 or mcguire.225@osu.eduThis column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  60. Winter’s Indoor Risk: Carbon Monoxide

    Sabrina Schirtzinger, ANR Educator Knox County

    With colder temperatures we tend to spend more time indoors. For some winter may be when you clean up your shop/garage, finish a project or start a new one. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a concern when you are in confined areas and equipment that burns fuel are in use. 

    Carbon Monoxide (CO) as a gas emits no color or odor and is very common in many U.S. homes, office, garages, and agricultural shops. Especially during the winter months. CO is produced when fuels are burned, such as: kerosene, gasoline, propane, natural gas, fuel oil, wood, and charcoal. Other commonly used items omitting CO are automobiles, gas-powered generators, furnaces, and chimneys. 

    Be aware of the symptoms associated with CO poisoning: 

    1. Headaches
    2. Dizziness
    3. Nausea
    4. Vomiting
    5. Irregular breathing 
    6. Feeling ill 
    7. Tired 

    How to protect yourself on the farm: 

    1. Don’t burn coal or run a generator indoors or in an enclosed space. 
    2. Never use gas-powered engine indoors. 
    3. Never start or leave running tracks, trucks, and other gas-powered machines in an enclosed area, or near an area where the gas can collect and be concentrated. 
    4. Install approves carbon monoxide alarms in area where gas powered engines are used. 
    5. Annual inspect chimney’s, furnaces, and gas- powered engines for blockages, corrosion, leaks, or loose connections. 
    6. Warm up our vehicles in open spaces, either open the garage door or outside the garage.

    If you are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, the alarm on your carbon monoxide detector sounds, one should immediately leave the building and call 9-1-1.  

    Sabrina Schirtzinger, ANR Educator Knox County, can be reached at 740-397-0401 or Schirtzinger.55@osu.eduThis column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

     

    Sources: 

    Nationwide Ag Insight Center. (n.d). Use these tips to help avoid and recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Available at https://www.nationwide.com/lc/resources/farm-and-agribusiness/articles/dangers-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning

  61. Grain Bin Safety Week: Safety Assessment Questions

    Lisa Pfeifer – Educational Program Manager, Ag Safety and Health Program

    Preparedness is a concept with which we are all familiar. We learn where and how to exit a building in the event of a fire in grade school and that learning continues to build from there. You may note an exit sign above the door of a building you enter, subconsciously marking a route out in the event of an emergency. You may assess alternative routes of vehicular travel when a roadway becomes flooded. You may look for an elevator when you take your elderly mother to visit her doctor because you know stairs have become difficult. You may look for a map kiosk at the trailhead as you set out on a hike at the nature preserve. Actions, thoughts, and assessment like those above are a part of preparedness, regardless of the depth of that specific planning. Our brains file away information in split-seconds constantly. Reflect on your daily work and movement about the farm. What occurs to you? Do you recognize – no exit signs exist, no directional or roadway markers are present, there is not a property or building map to be found? Think about the lack of wayfinding on the farm the next time you leave the back door of the house to head for the barn or field?

    Take this framework a step further. Think about working in and around grain on the farm. How will someone rescue you or an employee in the event of a grain emergency. Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) are an integral piece of pre-planning for unexpected events at any time or for any situation, but in grain related incidents they can be a vital tool. EAPs or preparedness documents assist to save time for first responders when it is crucial and may ultimately be life-saving for a victim or rescuer.

    Many first responders have no frame of reference for agriculture. A first responder that arrives to a farm in a grain rescue situation may not be familiar with many of the pieces of equipment involved. Family members that have never operated the equipment might not have any idea where to begin to shut everything down. Keeping employees and family abreast of the operating equipment and arming them with the resources to move quickly in the event of an emergency is a process that should not be overlooked. Knowledge is power.

    Take measures to educate not only farm employees and family members, but also first responders that could be called upon in the event of an emergency on your property.

    The farm operator is often familiar with all processes involved in grain storage and handling at an operation, but is there anyone else who is aware of every step, electrical source, or hazard at your facility?

    Review your procedures for working in and around grain and think about how you can educate family members and employees of all hazards that may exist from beginning to end. Establish a protocol of safety specific to grain handling and clearly communicate that to everyone that could be of assistance in the event of an emergency.

    Below you will find a list of questions to consider that should help you assess the preparedness level of your own farm and employees. To establishing an EAP for grain handling and storage at your own operation please ask yourself:

    • Is the farm property easy to navigate and understand or is a map needed for anyone that would be called to the grain storage site in the event of an emergency? Think about how a neighbor, an employee, your spouse, your child, or a first responder could get to you if you were suddenly engulfed in grain.
    • Do you always have a cell phone with you? Who would you call if you were stuck waist deep in grain and could not move? Would that person know what to do and how to do it?
    • Is there any overhead wiring that would present a hazard for rescue vehicles in the event that first responders are called to respond to an emergency at your farm property? If there is, how could you plan accordingly to eliminate danger to the victim engulfed inside the bin or responders trying to gain access to assist in the rescue?
    • Do you have a procedure for de-energizing equipment for all mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, and hydraulic components that operate inside or around grain storage confinement spaces? What steps can you take to ensure that potential electrical contact is eliminated and draw-off or sweep augers do not start with anyone inside the grain storage structure? Do you lock out and tag equipment whenever you enter? Would a neighbor, an employee, your spouse, your child, or a first responder know how to de-energize all equipment? Is there a way you can ensure they do have that knowledge?
    • Do you have an entry process for entering bins on your farm? Do you use a tie-off system? Do you ensure no one ever works in grain alone? Do you have a spotter when you enter a bin and does that person know how to get help and shutdown all equipment?
    • Do you have schematics of your bin storage system? Would those assist rescuers in the event of an emergency? Where are those documents stored? Who else knows where to find such documents?
    • Where is the nearest rescue tube located? Would that fire department be notified in the event of an emergency at your grain storage location? Have the first responders of the responding department been trained in grain rescue? Does anyone on the responding team know your property first hand?

    Take some preparedness steps today. Print a google map of your farm or draw one by hand, labeling all equipment involved in grain handling. Buy a lock to lockout power sources for grain handling equipment. Purchase a harness and tie off system for your bin. Check with local emergency rescue teams to find out what rescue jurisdiction your property falls within and where the nearest grain rescue tube is located.  Invite the responding department for a site visit of your property and allow them to practice their rescue procedures at your facility. Any pre-incident planning can help cut response time in the event of an emergency. Put a plan in place and communicate it. Stay safe.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety, visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455.

  62. Safe Equipment Operation During the Winter

    Tractor steps covered with ice and snow.

    Richard PurdinOSU Extension, Adams County ANR/CD Educator

    When winter weather strikes it can cause a lot of stress on farmers. Farm equipment is essential in today’s agriculture production setting. Safe operation of farm equipment is important no matter what time of year and wintertime is no exception. When it comes to winter injuries on the farm slipping on ice, frost bite, snow blindness or back injuries due to shoveling snow might come to mind. This article will cover yet another area of concern during the winter months, equipment related injuries and how they can be avoided.

    There are multiple ways a farmer can get hurt operating machinery during the winter. Below is a short list of some ways you could potentially get injured operating farm equipment when snow, ice, and frigid temperatures roll in.

    • Entering and exiting motorized farm equipment- This can be a potential hazard year-round but during the winter the risk increases especially when steps and handrails are covered in ice and snow. During the winter it is expected that one would be wearing mutable layers of clothing, making it challenging to get through small doors or cab openings. This can especially true when entering and exiting skid loaders or forklift vehicles. Taking time to clean steps and remove snow or ice before mounting is important. Always dismount equipment going down the steps facing the equipment, never jump off equipment and use rails or handles for support.
    • Worn out tires or tracks- We often think about changing our worn car tires before winter, this should be considered for our equipment too. Worn out tractor or skid loader tires can increase the chances of slipping or causing collision damage to equipment. Making sure tires have good tread when operating machinery on concrete or roadways will help avoid incidents, injuries, or potential death.
    • Make sure Equipment safety features are work properly- Operating equipment on the road is hazardous year-round but during the winter slippery road conditions, poor visibility, and slower hydraulic movement can increase risks of roadway incidents. Make sure all hazard flashers, lights, and the slow moving vehicle sign are in place and visible to other motorist on the road. Driving slowly is important too. During the winter hydraulic systems such as brakes, steering, and traction controls can have delayed response on tractors and other farm equipment (especially older equipment). Take your time and operate at a safe speed.
    • Maintain Equipment- Proper equipment operation is important no matter what the season. Winter maintenance for farm equipment may require adjusting grade of engine oil, engine cooling fluids, or tire pressure. It is always a good practice to take time and inspect hydraulic and heating and cooling hoses for cracks and/or leaky fittings. Maintaining a ½ of tank or more of fuel will prevent fuel line freezing or gelling. Proper lubrication of universal joints and high wear areas is also critical for preventing breakdowns. Allowing equipment engines to warm before operating can maximize machinery performance and longevity.

    Winter can be challenging. Safely operating and maintaining your equipment this winter season might not make spring come any faster, but it just might allow you to begin spring in good health and with properly working equipment to boot!

    For more information go to - ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-59115, ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-892280, and ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-59111.

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at 937-544 2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, agsafety.osu.edu.

  63. On Thin Ice? Ice Safety Tips for Outdoor Activities

    Beth Scheckelhoff, ANR Extension Educator Putnam County

    Rivers, lakes, and backyard ponds across Ohio are finally freezing.  While these newly frozen surfaces seem perfect for winter outdoor activities like skating, sledding, ice fishing, or snowmobiling - please remember that no ice is 100% safe.  The following ice safety tips are meant to be shared with those that venture outdoors and onto Ohio’s ice.

    Not all ice is created equal. The safety and strength of ice is affected by the size of the water body, water chemistry, currents, snow cover, local climatic conditions, and numerous other factors. Generally, “new”, clear ice is stronger than “old”, white ice that has undergone freezing, thawing, and refreezing. 

    In all cases, the thickness of the ice layer must be determined before venturing out upon it.  How does one measure the thickness of ice? First, use an ice pick, axe, hatchet, an ice testing pole, or a cordless drill with a long bit or auger to cut into the ice layer. Next, measure the thickness of the ice layer with a tape measure, or use the cutting tool where the desired distance has been marked with tape, paint, or by another method. 

    If the ice layer is less than 4” thick, do not attempt to walk on it. The minimum thickness for new, clear ice is 4inches for travel on foot, 5 inches for snowmobiles and ATVs, and 8 to 15 inches for cars or small trucks.  If the ice is old or covered by snow (also called “white ice”), these thickness recommendations should be doubled.

    Ice safety graphic showing the thickness of ice needed to ensure safety before participating in winter activities on frozen water.

    Also keep in mind that ice does not freeze uniformly across a body of water. For this reason, check the thickness at regular intervals (at least every 100-150 feet) to ensure safety. Additional safety guidelines include wearing a life-vest or inflatable snowsuit and carrying a pair of ice-safety picks (screwdrivers or large nails work as well) and a rope. 

    If you are on thin ice and it cracks beneath you, lie on your stomach, and spread your arms and legs out. Stretch your arms over your head and roll away from the crack. This spreads your weight over the ice to prevent you from breaking through.  

    If you fall through ice, turn toward the direction you came from and remain calm. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface and, using your ice picks, work yourself forward onto the ice by kicking your feet.  Once on the ice, do not stand but instead roll away from the hole as described above.  

    If someone you are with falls through the ice, do not run towards them. Stay calm and call 911.  Use your rope or look for something that could pull the person from the broken ice such as a tree limb, a ski, or jacket. 

    For more information on ice safety, please visit ODNR’s Winter Recreation Safety Information

    Beth Scheckelhoff, Extension Educator – Agriculture and Natural Resources in Putnam County, can be reached at 419-523-6294 or Scheckelhoff.11@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu

  64. Working in Cold Temperatures

    Warm weather turned to cooler, wet, and muddy weather and now cold weather has arrived to stay for a few months.  It is interesting to note that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) documents that there are more deaths in the United States due to cold weather exposure (hypothermia) than hot weather exposure (hyperthermia) each year.  The CDC has also tracked an average of 1,300 deaths per year in the US due to hypothermia. 

    Many jobs are affected little with the change in temperature outside, but others do not have that luxury.  Occupations such as agriculture (and others) work outside a great deal no matter what the conditions.  Helpful reminders are often beneficial to keep safe while accomplishing these tasks.

    Everyone responds to cold weather and temperature extremes in general very differently.  It is what we are “used to” and what we can “tolerate”.  What Alaskans think of as cold in January may be quite different than what we perceive as cold in the lower 48.  Specific contributing factors may also affect a person’s susceptibility to cold temperatures such as getting wet, exhaustion, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and general poor physical condition.

    General good practices for working in cold weather include:

    • Planning routine maintenance on outdoor equipment for warmer seasons.
    • Let others know where you will be working and when you will return.
    • Dressing in layers so clothing may be added or taken off in specific instances.
    • Keeping dry.  Keep extra dry clothes, gloves, and shoes/boots nearby.
    • Protecting ears, face, hands, feet, and head.  Extremities away from the body core have less blood flow and are more difficult to keep warm.
    • Taking breaks in warm locations. 
    • Staying hydrated.  Not often thought of as an issue in cold weather, but just as important.

    In some cases, cold-related illness and injuries will occur.  It is important to know the symptoms so you can watch yourself and others for signs.

    Hypothermia:

    • Body loses heat faster than it can be produced.
    • Symptoms are shivering, fatigue, confusion, disorientation.
    • Can be mild to severe depending on symptoms.

    Frostbite:

    • Actual freezing of tissue.
    • Symptoms are numbness, stinging, or pain and top layer of skin feeling hard and rubbery.
    • Wear appropriate clothing and seek medical attention if symptoms remain after 30 minutes.

    Trench foot:

    • Feet lose heat due to cold or wetness too long and tissue becomes damaged.
    • Symptoms include swelling and pain in the feet.  Differs from frostbite in that the skin does not actually freeze.
    • Keep feet warm and dry.

    Cold weather injuries are preventable.  Take the time to make the necessary plans for yourself and your workers to stay warm and dry and safely get the job done.

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County, can be reached at 937-644-8117 ex. 3024 or dellinger.6@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  65. Willpower: Some Help with New Year’s Resolutions

    Joseph Maiorano, PhD, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension, Harrison County 

    I imagine that some of you may look forward to something different in 2022. If so, New Year’s resolutions may help you accomplish that goal, but resolutions, sometimes, are easier made than stuck with. For example, thirty percent of people who make New Year's resolutions fail to continue their resolutions beyond February. Some members of that group claimed that they did not have the willpower to continue. In this brief article, I hope to help you better understand willpower. My goal is to help you keep your goals, or New Year’s resolutions.

    Different scholars understand will power differently. For example, based on their research, Matthew Gailliot and his co-authors (2007) conclude that willpower requires glucose. Without adequate glucose, willpower may be unavailable. For example, when persons who resolve to lose weight eat differently, they, by virtue of a changed diet, may reduce their glucose storage. As such, those persons may have little, or no, willpower when needed to help them stay on their weight loss journey. 

    Job, Dweck, and Walton (2010) have different understanding of willpower. These scholars inform us that willpower is a proactive skill. We use willpower to help us prepare for possible difficulties. What follows is some information on using willpower. Use willpower to,

    • modify the environment. Change things to help reduce or eliminate barriers to success. For example, if you resolved to eat more-healthful foods, then you could substitute healthful for unhealthful foods in your pantry and refrigerator. If committed to spending more time with a friend, then you could schedule one afternoon per month to meet your friend for coffee,
    • ready for relapse. Some persons who resolve to do differently may go back to their old ways. Albert Ellis (2016) might encourage you to “Do don’t stew” (p. 112). In other words, instead of fretting at your misstep, forgive yourself, then get back to doing or not doing that which you initially had resolved,
    • create contingency, or after-the-doing, rewards. For instance, after three consecutive months of meeting your friend for coffee, you might reward yourself with a new book, hat, or cologne.

    Instead of trying to muster the pluck to overcome the challenges of sticking with your resolutions, you can proactively use willpower to make a pathway around those challenges. In addition, your successes may help you build confidence that you can continue toward the goal that you had set.

    Joseph Maiorano, FCS Educator Harrison County can be reached at 740-942-8823 or maiorano.2@osu.edu. This article is a part of The Thriving Farmer series authored by Joseph. The Thriving Farmer—information to help farmers and their families make healthful choices. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

    Sources

    Ellis, A. (2016). How to stubbornly refuse to make yourself miserable about anything, yes anything! New York, NY: Citadel Press.

    Gailliot, M. T., Baumeister, R. F., DeWall, C. N., Maner, J. K., Plant, E. A., Tice, D. M., Brewer, L. E., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2007). Self-control relies on glucose as a limited energy source: willpower is more than a metaphor. Journal of personality and social psychology92(2), 325–336.

    Job V, Dweck CS, Walton GM. (2010). Ego Depletion—Is It All in Your Head?: Implicit Theories About Willpower Affect Self-Regulation. Psychological Science21(11):1686-1693.

    Photo

    hugoisroger. Downloaded on December 10, 2021, from, https://pixabay.com/photos/male-man-model-person-portrait-4462176/

  66. Vomitoxin in Corn Grain Bins

    N95 respirator

    Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension, Hardin County ANR Educator; with information from Pierce Paul, OSU Extension, Corn & Wheat Disease Specialist and Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension, Associate Professor and State Agricultural Safety Leader.

    Currently there is a lot of activity unloading grain bins and hauling corn to market. Cash bids are very good, the weather has broken after several weeks of cold temperatures and snow, and we have begun a new tax year for farmers. Considering the harvest of 2020, some producers may experience vomitoxin in their bins when unloading and cleaning out this past harvest’s corn crop. Since this week has been Nationwide Insurance Grain Bin Safety Week, this article will draw attention to on-farm and other grain storage safety when working with corn that has high levels of vomitoxin.

    Some localized areas of Ohio experienced fields with Gibberella ear rot (GER) that was more than likely contaminated with mycotoxins. Infection of the ear, development of visual symptoms (ear rot), and contamination of grain with vomitoxin all depend on weather conditions during the weeks after silk emergence. Once the fungus enters the ear via the silks (infection) and begins to colonize the developing grain, it produces vomitoxin, even if subsequent weather conditions are not favorable for mold and ear rot to develop on the outside of the ear. This is particularly true if infections occur late and conditions become relatively dry and unfavorable for visual symptoms to develop.

    Local markets such as ethanol plants, feed mills, and grain elevators test for vomitoxin levels in parts per million. Depending on the end use of the corn, these buyers will discount or reject loads at set levels of contamination. These levels increase with processing of the corn; and can cause significant issues when feeding to certain types of livestock. Severely diseased and toxin contaminated grain are usually smaller than healthy grain and covered with fugal mold. Compared to healthy grain, diseased grain kernels break easily during harvest, transport, and other forms of grain handling, increasing the number of fine particles and the amount of dust in the grain lot. 

    In the fall, it is recommended that fields with ear rot problems should be harvested as soon as possible and handled separately from healthy fields, even if it means harvesting those fields at a higher-than-usual moisture content. Adjusting the combine to minimize damage to the grain and increasing the fan speed will help to remove lightweight grain and dust particles, and as a result, reduce the level of mycotoxin in the grain. Once harvested, grain should be dried down to below 15% moisture with storage in a clean dry bin.

    Unfortunately, there are no commercially available treatments to reduce vomitoxin levels in stored grain. Poor storage may cause toxin levels to increase. Warm, moist pockets in the grain promote mold development, causing the grain quality to deteriorate and toxin levels to increase. Aeration is important to keep the grain dry and cool. However, it should be noted that while cool temperatures, air circulation, and low moisture levels will minimize fungal growth and toxin production, these will not decrease the level of toxin that was already present in grain at the time of storage. When selling grain, corn that has been tested with vomitoxin should be sold as soon as possible.

    Dry and store harvested grain to below 15% moisture or lower to minimize further mold development and toxin contamination in storage. Store dried grain at cool temperatures (36 to 44°F) in clean, dry bins. Moderate to high temperatures are favorable for fungal growth and toxin production. Periodically check grain for mold, insects, and temperature. If mold is found, send a grain sample for mold identification and analysis to determine if toxins are present and at what level. Clean bins and storage units between grain lots to reduce cross-contamination.

    Harvesting and handling moldy grain may expose farmers to mycotoxin and other moldy conditions in the grain dust. Dust in grain harvested from GER-affected fields contain a mixture of tiny pieces of grain, husks, and cobs, all of which may be contaminated with vomitoxin, as well as pieces of fungal mycelium (mold). In fact, husks and cobs are usually more contaminated with mycotoxins than the grain. Breathing grain dust can have adverse effects on the human respiratory system. When the dust is also suspect of mycotoxins, it is especially necessary to take precautions.

    Wearing a disposable, 2-strap N95 mask (respirator) helps protect the worker from breathing in dusty, moldy and toxic substances. This type of personal protection equipment will filter out at least 95% of the dust and mold in the air. The 1-strap mask does not have this level of protection, and is basically worthless in agricultural environments. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to purchase the recommended respirators for agricultural work. The suppliers have increased manufacturing of these items; however, some local outlets are still limited in their product availability due to an increased need to service medical personnel.

    If disposable masks are not available, consider a reusable quarter face mask with interchangeable cartridges. P100 filters may be more readily accessible for online purchases. Quarter masks, with replaceable cartridges, may also be more economical in the long term because of their multi-functional applications in agricultural settings. Either an N95 or P100 respirator are the best forms of protection from moldy and dusty grain dust. Protect yourself and all workers exposed to grain dust while both harvesting and handling suspect corn.

    For more information on respirators for farm use, consult the OSU Extension Factsheet: Dust and Mold, AEX 892.2.11, https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-892211.

    Mark Badertscher, ANR Educator Hardin County, can be reached at 419-767-6037 or badertscher.4@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/

  67. Pull the Strings Before Working Around the Bin

    Image of drawstrings that can easily become entangled in augers, PTO shafts, and other rotating equipment.

    Richard Purdin, OSU Extension, Adams County ANR/CD Educator

    The Week of February 21st is recognized as grain bin safety week. Many producers will be working in or around grain storage structures to fulfill marketing contracts or sell their 2020 crop to purchase crop inputs for the upcoming 2021 growing season. During this time of year producers will most likely be wearing multiple layers of clothing in the cold weather conditions. Winter clothing such as hooded sweaters also called hoodies have become very popular on the farm due to being comfortable and the ability to easily take on and off. Hooded sweaters contain drawstrings that are used to tighten the hood around the wearers face and neck. Most producers don’t think about these strings being a hazard, but they can cause severe injury or even death if entangled or caught in moving augers, PTO shafts, or other moving equipment.

    Danger Zones around the Grain Bin

    The grain storage structure has many danger zones or areas that can serve as high risk to one's health and well being. Loose hanging strings, baggy clothing, or other loose clothing such as necklaces or wallet chains can easily become entangled in loading augers, unloading augers, PTO shafts, and exposed belts/chains.

    Maintain Equipment Shields

    Shields and safety signage are placed on equipment for your safety, never remove shields unless for service or repair. NEVER lean over or step over moving PTO shafts or augers.

    Educate The Next Generation

    Young adults working on the farm need to be educated on areas to avoid when working around the grain bin. Never let young children play inside or outside of the grain bin structure. Remember that it is a hazardous work area and accidents can happen fast. 

    Ways to Avoid Entanglement

    • Remove strings from hooded sweaters.
    • Cut strings from tattered or torn jeans, and other clothing.
    • Always wear tight-fitted clothing
    • Take necklaces, wrist bands, or other loose forms of other clothing off before working around grain bins.
    • Disengage all operating equipment and allow time for all moving parts to stop before servicing and or repairing.

    Sources

    https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-59123

    https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-591711

    Richard Purdin, ANR/CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at 937-544-2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  68. Is it pandemic fatigue, winter blues, or Seasonal affective disorder?

    Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator / Ohio AgrAbility Coordinator

    It’s wintertime. The temperatures are cold, the days are short, and the nights are long. You have work to do, but you just don’t feel like doing it. The good news is that the shortest day of the year is behind us, and we are getting a few minutes more daylight every day. If you have been feeling down and unmotivated for a few weeks or months, it could be the 2020/winter blues, or it could be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is estimated to affect 10 million Americans. SAD can cause you to feel depressed most of the day, on most days. SAD can cause you to have lower energy, lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy, or feelings of guilt, worthlessness or hopelessness. SAD can also cause trouble with motivation, not sleeping, sleeping too much, trouble getting of bed or working. 

    SAD is more severe than the 2020 blues, it is a real type of depression, and it can be managed and treated. Treatments include medication, light therapy, and counseling. If you have prolonged feelings of hurting yourself or others, or thoughts of suicide, please seek medical attention. Even if your symptoms are not severe, talking to a counselor can help you manage your SAD symptoms. A list of county-level Mental Health Resource Guides is available at the OSU Center for Public Health Practice.

    At home SAD management techniques include yoga, tai chi, meditation, guided imagery, music or art therapy and exercise. Make your environment sunnier and brighter - open your curtains or blinds and let the light into your home. Get outside and take a walk, or sit in the sun (wear sunscreen, even winter sun can cause damage). Fortunately, SAD does not typically last into the summer, and every day we are getting a little more daylight. Don’t ignore SAD symptoms, talk to friends and family, or a mental health professional.

    Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator and Ohio AgrAbility Coordinator, can be reached at (614) 292-0622 or akgerman.4@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  69. Using Heat Lamps: Proceed with Caution!

    Sabrina Schirtzinger, ANR Educator Knox County

    As temperatures get cold livestock owners search for ways to keep their livestock warm. Often livestock owners are in a hurry and think hanging a heat lamp will be temporary. In a hurry they quickly hang the heat lamp up in the corner of a stall using baling twine to keep a newborn kid or day-old chicks warm for the night. This is an accident waiting to happen! With any electrical appliance or heating source they need to be used carefully. 

    If you must use a heat lamp, follow these tips:

    1. Purchase a quality heat lamp. Use lamps that are enclosed with a heat lamp guard. If using a lamp outdoors, make sure the lamp is labeled for outdoor use. 
    2. Use high- quality bulbs. Low quality bulbs such as thin glass can shatter.  
    3. Periodically check to make sure that the bulb is tightly secured. 
    4. Avoid using bulbs over 250W. 
    5. Secure the lamp to a panel using chain or a heat lamp clamp. Recommended distance from the lamp to ground or livestock is 20”. 
    6. Make sure the lamp is secured high enough that adult livestock cannot abuse (head butt, kick, or bash) the fixture.
    7. Plug your heat lamp into an Arc Fault Interrupter breaker which will trip if the fixture sparks. 
    8. Keep a fire extinguisher in the barn in case a problem arises. 
    9. Install a loud smoke detector that can be heard at the house that will help to alert you of a fire. 
    10. Never lay a heat lamp on a flammable surface. 

    There will be cases where you cannot avoid using a heat lamp. In those situations, never leave a heat lamp unattended overnight.  

    Sabrina Schirtzinger, ANR Educator Knox County, can be reached at 740-397-0401 or Schirtzinger.55@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Team, https://agsafety.osu.edu/.

  70. Avoiding the Emergency Room This Winter

    Richard Purdin ANR/CD Educator Adams County

    Winter is here and with winter comes inclement weather, unfortunately farmers and ranchers must tend to their chores no matter what mother nature may throw at them. The farm is filled with hazards and risk for slipping and falling.  During winter, this risk is elevated due to ice, wind, snow, and extreme low temperatures. In 2017 OSHA reported that 20% of workplace injuries were caused by slipping and falling in winter weather conditions.  Precautions need to be taken when working in the winter elements. No matter how important a task may seem, it is never more important than your health and safety. Here are just a few considerations and hints to help you avoid spending your new years in the hospital.

    • Be aware of your environment. Before heading out make sure to check weather conditions and be aware of any forecast changes that may take place throughout the day.
    • Dress appropriately for different weather conditions.  Wear proper footwear with non-slip tread. Sunglasses or transition lenses help reduce snow blindness.
    • Take your time- once you are outside be sure to allocate extra time to complete your task. Avoid running and quick changes in direction.
    • Avoid carrying heavy and bulky material – even if it means making an extra trip, carrying light, small loads help you maintain balance and vision.
    • If possible, store tractors, and other farm machinery in a barn- this will eliminate ice and snow developing on steps, ladders, and entry doors. Remember to mount or enter equipment using 3-point approach (2 feet/1 hand or 2 hands/1 foot).
    • Always have essential supplies on hand- this includes salt, shovel, and scrapers to clear ice and snow from walkways and other heavily utilized areas around the farm.
    • Maintain water drainage- make sure rainwater from feedlots, machinery sheds, grain bins/silos, and roadways do not pool in one spot. This can go a long way in avoiding a slipping hazard when the water freezes.
    • Be extra alert when working around livestock – keep extra distance from livestock in conditions that may allow them to slip and fall.
    • Be extra cautious around livestock watering facilities and manure platforms or push off ramps. Splashing water or liquid manure can freeze and create a slipping hazard.

    Other resources can be found at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79015

    Richard Purdin, ANR / CD Educator Adams County, can be reached at 937-544-2339 or purdin.19@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/

  71. Winter Weather Preparedness on the Farm

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County

    With the turn of the calendar year coming off a year with a record setting number of tropical storms, what should we expect for early 2021?  OSU Extension Climate Specialist Aaron Wilson and most others agree that Ohio will likely experience below normal temperatures and average to possibly above average snowfall depending on how scenarios evolve. 

    How do we prepare the farm for such conditions?  Take advantage of daylight, when temperatures are warmer, and when weather is favorable to winterize equipment and buildings.  This is also a good time for routine maintenance so there is less probability of breakdowns needing repair when conditions are less than favorable. 

    Keep an eye on the weather.  Being aware of not only the short-term forecast, but also the long-term forecast is as important in the winter as it is in the Spring when trying to get crops in the ground.  Before a heavy snow falls, it is beneficial to clearly mark where drives are and especially where any lagoons and ponds are located.  This will assist those less familiar with the layout of the farmstead to avoid dangerous situations.

    Be prepared for the unexpected with livestock.  Do not wait until temperatures are below freezing to shop for a water tank heater.  You will most likely find an empty shelf.  Have water tank heaters ready as well as any heat lamps that may be necessary for farrowing, lambing, kidding, etc.  Have a contingency plan for power outages that will allow you to get water to livestock.  Depending on the forecast, you may want some extra supplies of feed and bedding material in case trips to town and deliveries may be delayed or not possible.

    Take care of yourself!  Layer clothing so depending on the amount of physical labor you are performing you may remain comfortable.  Ensure your head and hands are always warm.  Even as in the summer, be mindful to stay hydrated and avoid over-exertion.  When using alternate power and heating sources, be mindful of carbon monoxide buildup and provide adequate ventilation.  At all times, let someone know where you will be working.

    Being prepared increases safety, reduces stress, and facilitates smooth operation in less than ideal circumstances.

    Wayne Dellinger, ANR Educator Union County, can be reached at 937-644-8117 ex. 3024 or dellinger.6@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Team. https://agsafety.osu.edu/

  72. Be Aware of Winter’s Silent Killer

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    Carbon Monoxide (CO) is often called the silent killer, because of its invisible features. As a gas, CO emits no color or odor, and is very common in many U.S. homes, offices, garages and farm shops during the winter months.

    CO is produced when fuels are burned, such as gasoline, kerosene, propane, natural gas, fuel oil, wood, and charcoal. Culprits that emit deadly concentrations of this gas are common household items, including automobiles, gas powered generators, furnaces and chimneys. More than 200 people die each year in the U.S. from incidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

    CO inhalation is easily preventable, yet it accounts for 50% of all fatal poisonings.
    During winter months, it is especially important to be aware this gas may exist. And it is important to take steps towards prevention:
    • Install one carbon monoxide detector in your home or office, and another in the garage or workshop.
    • Test your CO detector each month.
    • Change the batteries of your CO detector twice a year. A good reminder, is when you change your clocks each season, also change out the batteries.  
     
    Other ways to keep CO in check include:
    •  Have annual inspections on chimneys or furnaces, to be sure there are no blockages, corrosion, leaks or loose connections.
    •  Gas-powered heaters should be used in well-ventilated spaces, never in closed barns, workshops or garages.
    • Open the fireplace flue completely when it is in use.
    • “Warm-up” your car in open spaces – either outside the garage, or by opening the garage door.
     
    Smoke detectors are also recommended for the same areas as a CO monitor. Together, these devices alert provide a quick alert for people to leave the area.
     
    For additional information, contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.
  73. Safe Driving During Harvest Season

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    As tractors, combines, and grain trucks begin to appear on Ohio roads, roadway safety becomes a focus for all who share the road with farm machinery.

    Vehicle collisions can happen at any time. Many are a result of speed differential between slower-moving farm equipment and passenger vehicles, where the motoring public doesn’t slow down in time before colliding with machinery. Other collisions are a result of cars and trucks passing farm implements without a clear distance of on-coming traffic. Following safe road practices, farm operators can do their part to be seen with enhanced visibility. And while SMV operators are not required to move out of the way for passing traffic, they may choose to do so when enough berm is available. Other steps for enhanced visibility are listed below.

    Passenger vehicles can do their part for roadway safety. Drivers in rural areas should be alert to the possibility of encountering slow moving farm vehicles, and be prepared to slow or stop. A little patience is needed this season, as farmers move equipment and grain from the fields to the market. Try to avoid those roads where farmers are on the move, and limit tailgating or swerving behind the large equipment where you can’t be seen. Additional tips for sharing the roads with farm machinery are listed below.

    Sharing the Road with Motorists - things every SMV operator should know

    Before traveling on public roads remember:
    -  Lock brake pedals.
    -  Adjust mirrors for good vision.
    -  Make sure that all warning flashers, lights, and SMV emblems are in proper operating condition, clean, and easily visible. If they are covered with field dust, wipe them off before leaving the field.
    -  Check tire inflation pressures. Inflate the tires to the maximum recommended pressure for long distance travel.

    When traveling on public roads:
    -  Watch for pot holes or obstacles that could tip your vehicle or your load.
    -  Listen for cars and stay alert. Often vehicles will rapidly approach from the rear at 3 to 4 times the speed of the tractor.
    -  Keep a constant lookout for pedestrians, animals, mailboxes, steep ditch embankments, and other roadway obstacles.
    -  Slow down for sharp curves or when going down a hill.
    -  Consider using an escort vehicle to follow behind.
    -  Be cognizant of high traffic times, usually mornings and late afternoons.  While it is impossible to avoid operating on the roads during these times, it may be possible to limit road transportation during these high flow times. 

    Safety Signs and Lighting:
    SMV Sign
    - With the mounted point up, place the sign on the vehicle 2-6 feet above the ground. Place the perpendicular plane to the direction of travel (+ - )10 degrees. Place the sign as near to rear center as possible.

    Other ASABE recommendations include:
    -  Two headlights.
    -  At least one tail lamp, mounted on the left side facing the rear of the tractor.
    -  At least two amber warning lights, visible from front and rear, mounted at the same level at least 42 inches above ground level.
    -  At least two red reflectors, visible from the rear and mounted on either side.
    -  Amber warning extremity lights, visible from front and rear, mounted over dual- or triple-wheeled vehicles.
    -  Speed Identification Symbol (SIS) on high-speed tractors and equipment.

    Sharing the Road with Farm Equipment - things every motorist should know

    -  Farm machinery has a legal right to use public roads just as other motor vehicles.
    -  Farm machinery can unexpectedly turn onto a public road from a field or driveway. It is important for everyone's safety to have patience and share the road.
    -  Farm machinery travels slower than normal traffic, often at speeds of 25 mph or less. Automobile drivers must quickly identify farm equipment and slow down immediately to avoid rear end crashes.
    -  Farm machinery operators may not be able to see you because the large equipment or a load can block part of their rearward view. If you can't see the driver, the driver can't see you.
    -  Slow moving farm machinery traveling less than 25 mph should display a slow moving vehicle emblem on the back of the equipment. Look for this sign and adjust your speed accordingly.
    -  Machinery that is half on the road and half on the shoulder may suddenly move completely onto the road.
    -  Extra-wide farm machinery may take up more than one lane to avoid hitting obstacles such as mailboxes and road signs.
    Before passing farm machinery:
    -  Check to be sure the machinery is not turning left. Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator is likely preparing to make a wide left turn. Likewise, sometimes to make a right turn with wide equipment, the driver must fade to the left.
    -  Determine if the road is wide enough for you and the machinery to safely share.
    -  Look for roadside obstacles such as mailboxes, bridges, or road signs that may cause the machinery to move to the center of the road.
    -  Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass.

     

    For more information, contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  74. 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 (http://www.agsafety.osu.edu) 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 jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  75. Safety videos to round out your summer chores

    Dee Jepsen – OSU Ag Safety and Health Specialist

    It seems that every month of the year is a full of farm activity. Yet August is a month where a little reprieve may be available before the fall livestock activities or crop harvest season kicks into full gear. With that in mind, August may just be the perfect month to conduct inspections, and do a little housekeeping in the shop and around the barnyard.

    Here are two video links to help you start thinking about farm safety inspections. Hope you enjoy their lighthearted approach to serious topics.

    Farm SOS by OSU Ag Safety & Health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69TJpUUFqaQ&list=PLGP20FcGgnZXGEh8Bjn4_QMzpbKvPCIDd&index=1

    Farm shop safety: Housekeeping by SAIF Corporation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B_78LLmdoM

    There is also an article in this issue “Injury Prevention: Identifying Agricultural Workplace Hazards” that provides additional detail.

    Keep safety in mind, and have a safe end to summer!

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety, visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Dee Jepsen, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  76. Staying Safe While Staying Warm: Heating Safety Considerations

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    Staying warm during the winter months is important for outdoor workers. Popular heating sources in barns and farm shops include furnaces, wood stoves, portable space heaters, and heat lamps. Each source has its own type of hazards, putting Ohio farmers at risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisonings. According to the National Fire Protection Association, January and February are the primary months associated with deaths caused by heating equipment. Here are a few tips to prevent heating-related tragedies.

    • Keep combustibles at least 3 feet away from heating sources. This includes trash cans, papers, cloth, liquid fuel containers, and straw bedding.

    • Use the right kind of fuel, suggested by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

    • Wood burning stoves pose significant danger if not installed correctly. It is important to protect the walls, ceiling and floor near the stove with mortared fireproof materials, and keep stove pipes as short as possible.

    • Chimneys and stove pipes require regular inspection and cleaning during the months they are used. Creosote buildup can quickly lead to a chimney fire.

    • Ashes from wood burning stoves, open station fire pits, and fireplaces should be placed in metal containers. The containers should not be near combustibles, or be used as additional trash collectors. 

    • Always turn portable heaters off when the area is not occupied. Unattended heating equipment is a serious fire concern.

    • Ensure electrical cords on heating units have grounding prongs and are not frayed or taped together. Electrical cords should not be placed under rugs, or strung through walls or door jams.

    • All heat sources require ventilation to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide (CO). Do not use any type of heating equipment without adequate ventilation. It may be necessary to open a window or door to allow fresh air to circulate through the room. This is especially true if the area is tightly insulated and sealed.

    • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as a first alert to excessive heat or CO accumulation. Test and replace their batteries annually.

    • Heat lamps should be at least 18 inches away from combustible bedding materials like straw or blankets. Heat lamps and their cords should be out of reach from curious livestock.

    • Have an ABC fire extinguisher in the area to be prepared for small fires. 

    Staying warm during winter months is important to protect from hypothermia. Protecting your barn, grain facility shanty, and farm shop from fire and CO accumulations is also important for your health and safety.

    For more information about Agricultural Safety and Health, visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu, or contact Dee Jepsen, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health Program Leader, at Jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

     

  77. Holiday Disaster Planning – Little Ideas for Thoughtful Giving

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    The year 2017 had many devastating disasters, both natural and man-made. As our nation continues to clean up after floods, wildfires, and other tragedies, it is particularly easy to care for the immediate need, and take safety needs for granted.

    After restoring power and replenishing the food pantries, homes and businesses need to consider how to replace items in their emergency kits. The holidays are perfect times to give items of this nature. Low-income families and community shelters appreciate receiving, as we give the gift of future safety planning and preparedness. Some of the popular items include:

    Flashlights and portable LED lanterns of all sizes (include the batteries)
    Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (include the batteries)
    Kitchen-sized fire extinguishers
    Snow shovels and sidewalk salt to prevent slips and falls
    Vehicle safety kits (jumper cables, blankets, flares and flashlights)
    First Aid kits or contents to restock existing kits (bandages, ointments, sting medications)

     

    Safety is important year round. During holidays and the start of a new year, consider how you can give peace of mind.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit: https://agsafety.osu.edu or contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  78. Coping with the Pressures of Farming

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    A mental wellness publication was produced by my colleagues in Ireland. Farm stressors are fairly universal. This publication contains effective strategies for identifying and relieving every day stresses farmers may feel because of their unique occupation. Access the bulletin here. Teagasc is the national Agricultural and Food Development Authority providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agricultural industry and rural communities of Ireland.

  79. National Fire Prevention Week is October 8 – 14, 2017

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    At work, at home, on the farm, or in the community… fires do not discriminate where they appear, or what they destroy. The theme for this year’s prevention week is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”  The message reinforces the need for everyone to have an escape plan.

    Emergency response plans are critical for homes and businesses. Fires can spread rapidly, often times trapping victims in minutes. Always have 2 ways to escape every room.

    • Start with a map of your home or business, including all doors and windows.

    • Talk with family and employees about their exit strategies

    • Purchase a fire ladder for homes, apartments, and offices with second or third floors.

    • Have an outside meeting place for everyone to gather and be accounted for; ideally this should be a safe distance from the building.

    • Practice your escape plan using the different exit route scenarios, testing that doors and windows are easily opened when needed.

    • All family members and employees should be able to execute the plan on their own; this includes children and seniors. Additional accommodations may be required when persons have physical or cognitive disabilities.

    In addition your escape plan, there are two other important practices to take this month:

    1. CHANGE the batteries in your smoke detector. If you don’t have at least 1 detector on each level of your home or apartment, then INSTALL a smoke detector now! Having an alert system will help save lives in the unfortunate event of a fire emergency.
    1. CHECK your portable fire extinguishers. It’s recommended to have an extinguisher in the kitchen and garage areas for small fires that can be contained quickly.

    For more information on fire prevention, including helpful worksheets for planning and preparing for fire emergencies, please visit the National Fire Protection Association website at http://www.nfpa.org

    OSU Ag Safety programs can be accessed at http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  80. Putting Farm Safety into Practice

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    The National Farm Safety and Health Week is observed every third week of September. This commemorative week has been practiced for 73 years, with the first observation being in 1944 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in office. Ohio will celebrate this week on September 17 – 23, 2017.

    The theme “Putting Safety into Practice” reminds us that it is everyone’s responsibility to practice safety – on the farm and on the road. The U.S. Department of Labor calculates the death rate for agricultural workers to be higher than other workforces. Knowing that agriculture is a dangerous industry – this includes farming, forestry and fishing – it is important for workers to practice safety. When safety is a part of our lifestyle and our workplace routine, it becomes a way of life.

    The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program promotes this commemorative week, but also has materials available throughout the year. A variety of outreach resources are developed for different farm operations, large or small, and a wide range of workforce ages, including safety messages for children or visitors who may not work on the farm. Many of these resources are provided at no cost on the website. Training programs are also available for agricultural groups and businesses looking for specific workplace issues. The Ag S.T.A.T. monthly newsletter is also a resource for short announcements of upcoming safety events, as well as short safety messages for every season of the year.

    All of these materials are available through the OSU Ag Safety Program website:
    https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or on Facebook at OSU Ag Safety and Health.

     

    Practicing safety is something we all do in agriculture. 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 jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  81. Helping Family Farm Markets Promote Good Safety Images

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    I recently talked with a colleague who worked in an agricultural labor organization, outside of Ohio. He told of his experience at a local produce market where the farmers displayed a poster-sized photo of their family operation. The family was proud of their operation, and used this photo as a way to engage with their customers.  However the photo contained several safety infractions that clearly portrayed an operation that disregarded safe work practices. Children were shown riding on the fenders of the tractors and the machinery was missing safety features. He also described several dogs running through the produce fields – which would be a health violation for larger producers. He asked me how the small farm safety exemption (an exemption from government departments of labor) saved lives; he also asked how this family farm photo would be received amongst Ohio farm market consumers who wanted to buy healthy produce to feed their own families.

    After our conversation, I really thought about his questions. I thought about ways we could work with farmers to use better market strategies when it came to highlighting their family farm. And I wondered if family farms understood the image they portrayed when they put workers – even family workers – in high-risk situations.

    As a farm wife and mother, I understand how difficult it is to “walk the line” to maintain safety rules. And I certainly understand the heritage and pride farmers take to teach young workers the value of work ethic and responsibility. True, our small farm culture is a way of life. But can our way of life also respect safety and health practices that are required on large farm operations? I wouldn’t want to appear to go against the grain of our farming community by challenging the status safety quo… or would I challenge all of our Ohio small farmers to think about the image they portray when they show a general disregard for safety?

    My friend finished our conversation by saying he wouldn’t buy the produce from a farm that didn’t show respect for their workers, or put their own children in high-risk situations. This statement, while very bold, made me think about ways to help Ohio’s family farmers/farm markets, show their best image when it comes to advertising. Perhaps these tips can also transfer to the farm blogger and social media post person.

    Tips for Good Safety Photos of your Farm Operation:

    Do Not include photos of tractors without a Roll-Over Protective Structures (ROPS)

    Do Not show tractors or machinery with missing guards or being used inappropriately

    Do Not show children riding on adults’ laps or children riding with other children on tractors, lawn tractors, or All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)

    Do Not show individuals riding in unsafe manners on any farm machinery or in the back of pickup trucks

    Do Show photos of workers in clean, uncluttered work environments

    Do Show photos of workers wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    Do Show livestock in good health and contained within proper fencing

    Do Show young workers doing supervised age-appropriates tasks

    For more information about general safety and health practices, please visit our Ag Safety and Health Web site at http://www.agsafety.osu.edu. Dee Jepsen can be reached at jepsen.4@osu.edu

  82. Giving for Safety’s Sake

    Dee Jepsen, State Agricultural Safety Leader

    During holidays and the start of a new year, many consider how they can reach out to others to donate items, give of their time, or contribute financially to those in need. So whether you give out of abundance or out of necessity to improve your tax bracket, here are some safety and health ideas that will benefit those on the receiving end.

    Community shelters may appreciate receiving these items, or will be able to distribute them to low-income households within the community:

    - Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (include the batteries)

    - Flashlights and portable LED lanterns of all sizes

    - First Aid kits or contents to restock existing kits (bandages, ointments, sting medications)

    - Kitchen-sized fire extinguishers

    - New potholders to prevent burns in the kitchen

    - Snow shovels and sidewalk salt to prevent slips and falls

    - Personal health care items: toothbrushes and dental floss, wash cloths, toiletry items, and throw blankets.

    While safety is important year round, these thoughtful giving ideas also make a statement to show you care. Peace of mind and safety can go hand in hand during the holiday season . . . give to those in need.

     

     

     

  83. National Fire Prevention Week

    Dee Jepsen—State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    October 4-10 is National Fire Prevention Week

    In recognition of this commemorative week, the OSU Ag Safety and Health Office has prepared various fire safety messages for your readership and local programming efforts.

    In addition to these articles, there is also an article in the October C.O.R.N. newsletter:  “ Dry Weather Makes Field Fires a Safety Concern for Farmers.”   Access this article through the following link, http://corn.osu.edu/newsletters/2015/2015-32/#2.

    Here’s a general checklist for everyone to practice:

    1. CHANGE the batteries in your smoke detector. Don’t have at least 1 detector on each level of your home or apartment? Then INSTALL smoke detectors now!  Having an alert system will help save lives in the unfortunate event of a fire emergency.
    2. CHECK your portable fire extinguishers. It’s recommended to have an extinguisher in the kitchen and garage areas for small fires that can be contained quickly.
    3. RESPONSE PLANS are critical for homes and businesses. Fires can spread rapidly, often times trapping victims in minutes. Have 2 ways to escape every room, and purchase a fire ladder for homes and apartments with second or third floors.

    For more information on fire prevention, including helpful worksheets for planning and preparing for fire emergencies, please visit the National Fire Protection Association website at http://www.nfpa.org

  84. Building Independence Through Agriculture

    Join us for a one-day workshop to focus on agriculture and horticulture as viable work options for individuals with developmental disabilities. Speakers and panelists will provide insight on adaptive employment models, as well as identify resources and assistive technology to support workers in these settings. Workshop participants will gain an understanding of the workplace opportunities and ways to overcome barriers for both the agricultural employer and their workers.

    To learn more about the workshop, that will be offered in Columbus Ohio on February 26, 2019, click the link: https://agrability.osu.edu/news/ohio-agrability-building-independence-through-agriculture

  85. 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 2019. Programming is being booked now to kick off in March. Please call or email Lisa Pfeifer at (614) 292-9455, pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around the Grain C.A.R.T. for your geographic area.

  86. Safety and Health Topics for your Winter Programs

    Please consider safety for your late winter and early spring producer meetings – or county Farm Bureau sponsored Workers Compensation group rating programs – our staff will work with you to design a safety program specifically for your audience. Feel free to choose a topic of your own, or choose from one of the topics listed below. The average session is 45-60 minutes, but can be adjusted or combined with other topics to fit your needs. Trainees will develop a safety mindset and learn about workplace hazards. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S. affecting a wide range of audiences. The diversity of the workers is reflective in the culture of farming, where there is a range of workforce age, competency level and certain regulation practices. We look forward to scheduling in your area for 2019.

    Suggested Safety and Health Topics
    Tractor and Equipment Safety
    OSHA and AG
    Noise on the Farm
    Respiratory Hazards on the Farm
    Grain Facility Safety and Health
    First Aid on the Farm
    Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention
    Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls on the Farm
    Emergency Plans for the Farm and Agritourism Operation
    ATVs and UTVs – training program for all ages and skill level
    Electrical Safety for Farm Buildings and Equipment
    Managing Safety with your Agricultural Employees
    Grain C.A.R.T. – the Comprehensive Ag Rescue Trailer
    Women in Ag – Tractor and Machinery Operation Programs – a hands on workshop
     
    Contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu.
     
     
    Ohio AgrAbility Program Topics
    Farming with a Disability
    Arthritis in Ag
    Collaborating with Ohio AgrAbility
    Gardening & Urban Ag
    Preventing Injuries on the Farm
    Designing Accessible AgriTourism
     
    Contact Laura Akgerman at akgerman.4@osu.ed or Lisa Pfeifer at pfeifer.6@osu.edu.
  87. 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 2019. Programming is being booked now to kick off in March. Please call or email Lisa Pfeifer at (614) 292-9455, pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around the Grain C.A.R.T. for your geographic area.

  88. Safety and Health Topics for your Winter Programs

    Please consider safety for your late winter and early spring producer meetings – or county Farm Bureau sponsored Workers Compensation group rating programs – our staff will work with you to design a safety program specifically for your audience. Feel free to choose a topic of your own, or choose from one of the topics listed below. The average session is 45-60 minutes, but can be adjusted or combined with other topics to fit your needs. Trainees will develop a safety mindset and learn about workplace hazards. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S. affecting a wide range of audiences. The diversity of the workers is reflective in the culture of farming, where there is a range of workforce age, competency level and certain regulation practices. We look forward to scheduling in your area for 2019.

    Suggested Safety and Health Topics
    Tractor and Equipment Safety
    OSHA and AG
    Noise on the Farm
    Respiratory Hazards on the Farm
    Grain Facility Safety and Health
    First Aid on the Farm
    Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention
    Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls on the Farm
    Emergency Plans for the Farm and Agritourism Operation
    ATVs and UTVs – training program for all ages and skill level
    Electrical Safety for Farm Buildings and Equipment
    Managing Safety with your Agricultural Employees
    Grain C.A.R.T. – the Comprehensive Ag Rescue Trailer
    Women in Ag – Tractor and Machinery Operation Programs – a hands on workshop
     
    Contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu.
     
    Ohio AgrAbility Program Topics
    Farming with a Disability
    Arthritis in Ag
    Collaborating with Ohio AgrAbility
    Gardening & Urban Ag
    Preventing Injuries on the Farm
    Designing Accessible AgriTourism
     
    Contact Laura Akgerman at akgerman.4@osu.ed or Lisa Pfeifer at pfeifer.6@osu.edu.
  89. National Rural Health Day – November 15th, 2018

    National Rural Health Day – November 15th, 2018

    The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) recognizes this day to celebrate the selfless, community-minded spirit in rural American and examine the unique healthcare challenges rural citizens face. Accessibility, lack of healthcare providers, chronic conditions of aging populations, and the uninsured and underinsured are all areas for which they hope to generate a better understanding by setting aside this day. If you would like ideas on how to build a celebration of your own to highlight this day in your community click on the NOSORH link to start your planning and see how you can become involved, http://www.powerofrural.org/.

     

  90. Grain C.A.R.T. Scheduling

    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 2019. Programming is being booked now to kick off in March. Please call or email Lisa Pfeifer at (614) 292-9455, pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around the Grain C.A.R.T. for your geographic area.

  91. Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training

    Chainsaw Safety Awareness Training

    The Ohio Forestry Association is offering Chainsaw Safety Awareness Level 1 on 11/9/18. Sign-up by going to their website at https://www.ohioforest.org/page/CSAW.

  92. SAVE THE DATE: Ohio AgrAbility: Building Independence Through Agriculture

    SAVE THE DATE: Ohio AgrAbility: Building Independence Through Agriculture

    Join us Tuesday February 26, 2019 for a one-day workshop and learn how agriculture and horticulture can be a viable work option for individuals with developmental disabilities.

    Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

    Location: Nationwide and Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus, OH 43210

    This workshop will benefit disability services professionals and advocates by:

    • Learning ways to find agricultural and horticultural employers, how to promote your clients to these employers, and overcome barriers to employment
    • Reviewing what training and industry credentials might be beneficial for these jobs
    • Providing a list of resources for potential funding of adaptive equipment and modifications, Assistive Technology, job and technical support

    This Workshop will benefit farmers, agricultural businesses and landscapers by:

    • Connecting you with a dependable, hard-working and loyal workforce
    • Introducing you to disability services professionals who can offer support and resources for you and your employees
    • Reviewing potential tax credits for hiring individuals with disabilities, and potential tax incentives for providing accommodations and workplace accessibility

    When the focus shifts from disability to ability, everyone benefits

  93. 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.
  94. Sun Hats

    Protect yourself with a wide brim hat this summer. These hats are perfect for the outdoor sport enthusiast, water lover, farmer or gardener in your office or family. They are also great to wear on C-deck during those first few OSU football games! The hats feature a wide brim, are lightweight, and quick drying. One-size fits all. The cost is $40.00.  Contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  95. Sun Hats

    Protect yourself with a wide brim hat this summer. These hats are perfect for the outdoor sport enthusiast, water lover, farmer or gardener in your office or family. They are also great to wear on C-deck during those first few OSU football games! The hats feature a wide brim, are lightweight, and quick drying. One-size fits all. The cost is $40.00.  Contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  96. “Livestock Safety at the Fair” video

    Just in time for county fair season. OSU Ag Safety and Health has produced a new “Livestock Safety at the Fair” video. Here are some links to the video:

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN9bxrRe2T0

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OSUAgSafetyandHealth/videos/10156482300842363/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/OSUAgSafety/status/1004405357375115265 

     

  97. June is National Safety Month

    Dee Jepsen – OSU Ag Safety & Health Specialist

    To recognize the annual safety month, the National Safety Council has free resources available at http://nsc.org/nsm.
     
    Accidental injury is the 3rd leading cause of death. Sadly, one American is injured every second and killed every three minutes from preventable events – a drug overdose, a vehicle crash, a fall, or a drowning. Since 2016, injuries in this category have increased by 10%.
     
    What can you accomplish in 10 minutes?
    Maybe you can brew a pod of tea or coffee; pick up your mail; or peek at your social media account.
     
    In this same 10 minutes:
    • 3 people die
    • 847 people suffer an injury severe enough to require medical attention
    • $18.42 million in damage / medical costs have occurred
     
    Check out the video from NSC to see the extent and impact of these deaths and injuries. Many of our injuries are preventable. Know the facts.
     
    For your agricultural safety and health resources, bookmark our OSU Ag Safety and Health page at http://agsafety.osu.edu or contact Dee Jepsen, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.
  98. Women’s Tractor Operation and Safety Program

    The program will be held Saturday June 2nd at Brown’s Family Farm Market - 11620 Hamilton Cleves Rd, Hamilton, Ohio.
    This event empowers women to:
    • become more comfortable with agricultural equipment
    • have a greater knowledge of general operation
    • become more safety minded while operating equipment

    For more information visit: https://u.osu.edu/ohwomeninag/2018/05/01/womens-tractor-operation-safety-program/

  99. New fact sheet: Safety Practices for a Tractor Mounted Post-Hole Digger

    OSU Ag Safety and Health has published a new “Safety Practices for a Tractor Mounted Post-Hole Digger” fact sheet. The fact sheet can be found on Ohioline at: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-5931  

  100. Follow OSU Ag Safety and Health on Social Media

    You can now follow OSU Ag Safety and Health on Facebook or Twitter. These social media pages are updated on a regular basis providing useful information on agricultural safety and safety in the workplace. 

    OSU Ag Safety and Health Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OSUAgSafetyandHealth/

    OSU Ag Safety and Health Twitter: https://twitter.com/OSUAgSafety

  101. Safe Digging for the Home, Yard and Farm

    Spring and summer seasons seem to spark additional excavation projects for home and landowners. The entire month of April is designated as National Safe Digging Month. The goal of this awareness campaign is to remind project designers and landowners to use the 811 hotline number to determine any underground utilities. No matter how big or small the task – anything from installing fences to using large tillage tools to rip the soil crust – it’s important to call 811 before the project starts. Never assume what you can’t see; high optic cable, phone, water and gas lines may be in your digging zone. The national 811 hotline protects the workers and environment from dangers of underground utilities. Before any new project, call 811 before you dig.

  102. National Occupational Therapy Month

    April is occupational therapy (OT) month. OT practitioners focus on helping clients perform everyday activities to their highest potential. When injury strikes or long term wear of joints and muscles require rehabilitation, an occupational therapist provides the necessary care to improve our quality of life.

    In Ohio, we also recognize the OT’s who help farmers stay farming after a life changing condition. These conditions can be the results of an injury, and also injuries that occur off the farm. Health related conditions may include chronic arthritis, genetic conditions from birth, as well as limitations from short- or long-term surgeries.

    The Ohio AgrAbility Program works with OT practitioners to promote independence for people in agriculture. This program conducts on-site assessments for the worker to determine how he or she performs their job and helps find solutions that will meet their needs. Solutions often involve inexpensive modifications that help the person complete a job that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.

    The Ohio AgrAbility Program is available in all Ohio counties. Learn more about the program on our website https://agrability.osu.edu/.

  103. Updated Safe Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia Fact Sheet

    OSU Ag Safety and Health has revised and updated the “Safe Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia” fact sheet just in time for the 2018 planting season.  The fact sheet can be found on Ohioline at:   https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-594

     

  104. 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: https://bwc.expoplanner.com/content/osc18/home

  105. 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: http://go.osu.edu/SunSafety2018

     

  106. 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 Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  107. 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, pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around the Grain C.A.R.T. in your geographic area.

     

  108. Local Safety Programs

    It’s 2018, and a great year to be involved in agricultural safety!

    There are new safety initiatives taking place on the state and national level. Our state program staff will be sharing new resources with you all year long as these new projects become available.

    As you consider safety for your late winter and early spring producer meetings – or county Farm Bureau sponsored Workers Compensation group rating programs – our staff will work with you to design a safety program specifically for your audience. Feel free to choose a topic of your own, or choose from one of the topics listed below. We make suggestions for 2018 programming based on the type of injuries and fatalities we see reported through our statewide surveillance program.

    Suggested Safety and Health Topics for 2018
    Tractor and Equipment Safety
    OSHA and AG
    Noise on the Farm
    Respiratory Hazards on the Farm
    Grain Facility Safety and Health
    First Aid on the Farm
    Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention
    Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls on the Farm
    Emergency Plans for the Farm and Agritourism Operation
    ATVs and UTVs – training program for all ages and skill level
    Electrical Safety for Farm Buildings and Equipment
    Managing Safety with your Agricultural Employees
    Grain C.A.R.T. – the Comprehensive Ag Rescue Trailer
    Women in Ag – Tractor and Machinery Operation Programs – a hands on workshop
     

    Contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or Kent McGuire at mcguire.225@osu.edu to schedule.

  109. National Burn Awareness Week, February 4 – 10, 2018

    National Burn Awareness Week runs February 4-10. Stop by the American Burn Association website to download information to display in your place of work or share with your employees. You will find a collection of information for use to promote the week at http://ameriburn.org/prevention/burn-awareness-week/.

  110. Grain Bin Safety Week, February 18 - 24, 2018

    Grain Bin Safety Week runs February 18-24. Stop by the Nationwide website to nominate your fire department to win a grain rescue tube and hands-on training as a part of a contest promoted for the safety week, entries are accepted through April 30. You will find information at https://www.nationwide.com/grain-bin-safety-week.jsp.

  111. 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, pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around the Grain C.A.R.T. in your geographic area.

     

  112. 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, pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around utilizing the Grain C.A.R.T. in your geographic area.

     

  113. Hunter Education Course

    The infamous culinary event of the year, Thanksgiving, is also the beginning of spotting hunter orange in the fields for many. If you plan to hunt this fall or bring a new young hunter along, take a look at the Division of Wildlife hunter certification course offerings at http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/education-and-outdoor-discovery/hunter-and-trapper-education.

  114. Chain Saw Safety

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Connect to our fact sheet covering chain saws on Ohioline at, https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79033. Ohioline is the Ohio State University Extension vehicle for delivering educational online resources to the community.

    If you are looking for hands-on safety training contact the Ohio Forestry Association to sign-up for their Chainsaw Safety classes coming up in November. See their website to register at http://www.ohioforest.org/?page=CSAW.

     

  115. Train-the-Trainer Webinar: Teaching Tractor Certification Courses to Ohio Teens

    Dee Jepsen, State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    Teaching tractor safety courses to young workers is important on several levels. Besides safety, teens can learn important skills from a good training program. Students can also receive certification credit, which is a marketable addition to their Career Passport and other high school credentials.

    A train-the-trainer webinar will be held on Thursday November 2, 2017 from 3-4pm. This online training program is designed for anyone interested in teaching tractor safety to teen drivers, including:

         • Extension educators with 4-H or AGNR appointments,

         • High School Ag Science educators,

         • Agricultural Employers who hire and/or supervise teens,

         • Parents and other volunteers interested in teaching tractor and machinery safety programs in their
            area.
     

    The program will introduce a community-based approach to teaching safe equipment operation to teens. It will include training requirements for hired teen workers, curriculum available in Ohio, driving courses for skill building and testing, and required documentation for the youth to receive their official Department of Labor recognized certificate.

    Contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008 for more information and a link to the webinar. This program will be taped for participant access following the training. 

  116. 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, pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around utilizing the Grain C.A.R.T. in your geographic area.

  117. Farm Science Review

    Stop out to the Molly Caren Agricultural Center September 19-21 to catch the farm safety displays and demonstrations brought to you by The Ohio State University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program. You can find us in several places within OSU Central, but predominantly located on Kottman St. and Land Ave. Here is a line-up of this year’s activities:

    The Grain C.A.R.T. (Comprehensive Agricultural Rescue Trailer) – Kottman Street
    - Daily demonstrations / programing at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, and 12:00 pm.
     
    AgrAbility tent – Land Ave between Kottman Street and Market Street
    - Daily Farm modifications workshops:
                10 am Tractor modifications & upgrades
                            Cameras, monitors, tractor seats, steps and more
                11 am Shop and Barn Modifications
                            LED lights, automated doors and gates, ergonomic tools and modified workspace
    - Daily Professional Development workshops
                1:30 pm: Ohio AgrAbility Program - Education, Assessment and Outreach
          Ohio AgrAbility program referrals, work process, program information, partnerships, educational      opportunities, and client-based Universal Design solutions. Open workshop for Extension, Rural          Health, Disability professionals and community advocates.
    - Vendors on display - Life Essentials, K & M Equipment, Power EZ, McCabe Equipment, disABILITY Work      Tools, Propel Doors, and MC Mobility
     
    New exhibits inside the Power Show building – corner of Kottman and Land Ave
    - Farm Safety Scene hazard hunt
    - ATV roll protection bar and helmets for UTV’s
    - Safety in Agriculture for Youth (SAY) project will offer a free bottle of water for information about how youth are hired in agriculture.
     
    Universal Design Garage – inside the McCormick Building
    - Interactive Universal Design (UD) house & garage highlight the increased safety, efficiency and ease of use from applying UD principles to your living and work spaces. Solutions, examples, and tools for incorporating UD principles into your farmstead, worksite and garage.
     
    Utzinger Gardens – Friday Avenue
    - Take in the beauty of the gardens while learning ways to stay fit and active with gardening tips from the Ohio AgrAbility program Gardening with Arthritis presentation Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am.
     
    Small Farms Center Building – Corner of Equipment Ave. and Beef St.
    - Gardening and Farming with Arthritis - It doesn't have to hurt - Wednesday at 10:30 am
  118. COSI Farm Days, August 9 – 13

    COSI brings the farm to the city during Farm Days. Learn where your food comes from by meeting local farmers and climb aboard tractors and even a combine. You can also test your driving skills on a pedal tractor course and even milk COSI’s fiberglass cow, Daisy.

  119. ATV Safety Resources

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) continue to be in the top 5 most dangerous vehicles operated by workers and family members in rural areas and farm operations. Not just in Ohio, but around the U.S., ATV crashes are a cause for concern… and also an area to improve training.

    Overall, fatalities have decreased in the U.S. by 31%. And youth fatalities have declined by 50%. This is good news, and news worthy to share! Good training programs, along with continued practice, help develop riding skills needed to encounter various types of terrain.

    Ohio is one of the few states in the nation to offer a 4-H project in ATV Safety. Not just for youth, this project is good for riders of all ages. The book helps develop riding skills based on the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) training recommendations. Highlights include: protective gear, riding techniques, respecting the environment, and practice records. The booklet is available in all Ohio county Extension offices or online at http://estore.osu-extension.org/ATV-Safety-P319.aspx.

    An ATV Safety video is also available through OSU. This ten-minute educational DVD provides instruction on safe operating procedures and proper protective gear when using the ATV for farm use. Some of the tasks highlighted in the video include: proper ATV fit, add-on equipment, hauling loads and herding livestock. The DVD can be purchased through OSU Extension eStores at: http://estore.osu-extension.org/ATV-Safety-for-Agriculture-P366.aspx

    A 1-minute video is available in the Farm SOS training program. This YouTube video takes a lighthearted approach to a serious farm topic. It emphasizes that hazards are everywhere – so be aware and get trained.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ2PKiPsoHY&list=PLGP20FcGgnZXGEh8Bjn4_QMzpbKvPCIDd&index=8

    New safety gear will be featured at the 2017 Farm Science Review. An ATV crush bar – mounted to an ATV – will demonstrate how an after-market roll bar was designed to protect riders in the event of a roll-over. This hairpin shaped hoop will keep the vehicle from crushing the operator. A new lightweight helmet is also coming onto the market. This helmet is not recommended for high-speed operation, but rather in working situations on ATVs and side-by-side utility vehicles (UTV’s) wear off-road vehicles are used in occupational settings. Come see these new products at the safety area of OSU Central (at the corner of Land Ave and Kottman Street during the Farm Science Review, Sept. 19-21.

    All ATV operators are encouraged to practice safe riding habits. The more skilled the riders, the better experience and enjoyment during recreation or work activities.  

    For more information about ATV safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Dee Jepsen, OSU Ag Safety & Health, at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  120. NEW: Small Farm and Garden Safety Series Factsheets

    A new series of factsheets was developed specifically for the small farmers, community gardens, and backyard gardeners. Many of these agricultural audiences use equipment (tractors, tillers, hand tools, ladders, sprayers, etc), but they are smaller or more specialized for the crop. Safe operation with these items is important to limit the injuries and increase quality of life while doing small plot chores.Book mark this page to see the complete list of 39 factsheets, as opposed to searching for each independent one. Happy and safe gardening this season!
     
    Looking for more factsheets on safety and health? Here’s a link to all tailgate training factsheets, for traditional Agricultural workforces and Landscape & Horticulture workforces.  Our Ag Safety website contains all of our factsheets (including AgrAbility resources) in a one-stop shop!
  121. Hiring Youth for Seasonal Agricultural Jobs this Summer?

    The U.S. Department of Labor’s Agricultural Hazardous Occupations Orders (AgHOs) regulation prohibits 14 and 15-year-olds from operating farm tractors and attached powered equipment unless (1) they are working on a farm owned/operated by their parent or legal guardian, or (2) the youth has successfully completed an approved safe tractor and machinery operation-training program.

    For more information about the training program, visit the OSU Ag Safety website. Education and training on safe operation is always encouraged, even if it is not legally required. Contact Dee Jepsen with additional questions at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

    https://agsafety.osu.edu/programs/tractor-machinery-certification-program

  122. OSU Sun Hats are Available

    The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program has sun safe hats for sale. These sun safe hats are great for Master Gardeners, field researchers, golf enthusiasts, farmers, OSU alumni, and those traveling to sunny vacation destinations! They also make great door prizes for your summer events. The Columbia brand, wide-brimmed hats are a lightweight, quick drying, khaki colored fabric. The collegiate licensed red block O is embroidered on the front.

    If you are interested in purchasing 1 (or infinity) of these hats, please contact the Agricultural Safety and Health program. The cost is $40. Contact Dee Jepsen with any questions at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008.

  123. Safe Digging Practices for the Farm

    Spring and summer seasons seem to spark additional excavation projects on the farm. National Safe Digging Month is recognized in April, at the beginning of this season.  The goal of this awareness campaign is to remind project designers and landowners to use the 811 hotline number to determine any underground utilities. No matter how big or small the task – anything from installing fences to using large tillage tools to rip the soil crust – it’s important to call 811 before the project starts. Never assume what you can’t see; high optic cable, phone, water and gas lines may be in your digging zone. The national 811 hotline protects the workers and environment from dangers of underground utilities. 

  124. Celebrating Occupational Therapy Outreach for the Farm

    April is occupational therapy (OT) month. OT practitioners focus on helping clients perform everyday activities to their highest potential. In Ohio, we also recognize the OT’s who help farmers stay farming after a life changing condition. These conditions can be the results of an injury, and also injuries that occur off the farm. Health related conditions may include chronic arthritis, genetic conditions from birth, as well as limitations from short- or long-term surgeries.

    The Ohio AgrAbility Program works with OT practitioners to promote independence for people in agriculture. This program conducts on-site assessments for the worker to determine how he or she performs their job and helps find solutions that will meet their needs. Solutions often involve inexpensive modifications that help the person complete a job that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.

    The Ohio AgrAbility Program is available in all Ohio counties. Learn more about the program on our website www.agrability.osu.edu.

  125. Grain C.A.R.T. Programming for 2017

    Remaining availability:
    - Saturday, September 9
    - The weekend of September 29, 30 & October 1
    - Week of October 16-21
    - And, an assortment of weekdays sprinkled throughout the summer.
     
    Schedule professional training to first responders and/or deliver grain safety awareness curriculum for outreach education to farmers and agricultural industries for your area in 2017. Contact Lisa Pfeifer at (614) 292-9455 or pfeifer.6@osu.edu.
  126. *Limited Dates Remain* -- Grain C.A.R.T. Programming for 2017

    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 two fold. 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 2017. The Grain C.A.R.T. is off the road for the winter months, but 2017 travel is being booked now to kick off in March. Please contact Lisa Pfeifer at (614) 292-9455 or pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning with the Grain C.A.R.T. in your geographic area. A few weekend dates remain open for late May to early June or late September, with more available weekday options sprinkled throughout the farming season.

  127. Add Safety To Your Winter Meetings and Workers’ Compensation Programs

    Please consider the Ag Safety Office when developing your winter and early spring producer meetings or Workers Compensation group-rating programs. Our staff will work with you to design a program specifically for your audience group, or feel free to select a topic from those suggested below. Trainees will develop a safety mindset and learn about workplace hazards. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S. affecting a wide range of audiences. The diversity of the workers is reflective in the culture of farming, where there is a range of workforce age, competency level and certain regulation practices. We look forward to scheduling in your area for 2017.

    Suggested Program Topics – Contact Kent McGuire at mcquire.225@osu.edu  or Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu

    • Tractor and Equipment Safety
    • OSHA and Ag
    • Hiring Young Workers: Matching Workers to their Age and Stage of Development, and Employment Laws for Hiring Farm Kids
    • Noise on the Farm
    • Grain Handling and Bin Safety
    • First Aid on the Farm
    • Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls on the Farm
    • Managing Safety with Agricultural Employees
    • ATVs and UTVs – Training programs for all ages
    • Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention
    • Emergency Plans for the Farm and Agritainment Business
    • Grain C.A.R.T. – Comprehensive Ag Rescue Trailer

    Ohio AgrAbility Program Topics – Contact Lisa Pfeifer at pfeifer.6@osu.edu

    • Aging Productively on the Farm or in the Garden
    • AgrAbility & Universal Design on the Farm
    • Assistive Technology for the Farm
  128. Book the Grain C.A.R.T. for 2017

    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 two fold. 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 2017. The Grain C.A.R.T. will be off the road during the winter months, but 2017 travel is being booked now to kick off in March. Please call or email Lisa Pfeifer at (614) 292-9455, pfeifer.6@osu.edu, if you would like to discuss program planning centered around utilizing the Grain C.A.R.T. in your geographic area.

     

  129. National Rural Health Day – November 17th, 2016

    The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) recognizes this day to celebrate the selfless, community-minded spirit in rural American and examine the unique healthcare challenges rural citizens face. Accessibility, lack of healthcare providers, chronic conditions of aging populations, and the uninsured and underinsured are all areas for which they hope to generate a better understanding of by setting aside this day. If you would like ideas on how to build a celebration of your own to highlight this day in your community click on the NOSORH link to start your brainstorming, https://nosorh.org/calendar-events/nrhd/

     

  130. 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 akgerman.4@osu.edu

  131. 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 pfeifer.6@osu.edu with any questions or programming needs.

  132. 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 Jepsen.4@osu.edu

  133. 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 Jepsen.4@osu.edu 614-292-6008 or Dewey Mann.309@osu.edu 614-292-1952
     

  134. We're filling a vacant position within the Ag Safety Program

    A Program Manager position in the area of Agricultural Safety and Health has been posted to OSU’s job listings website. This position joins our team to plan, implement, and evaluate injury prevention educational programs, video vignettes, fact sheets, and displays for various audiences across the state of Ohio. The position will also coordinate educational activities for first responders involved in agricultural safety, rescue, disaster preparedness, and the Grain C.A.R.T. simulator. The person will conduct outreach with our Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Emergency Management Agency (EMA) program areas as well as conduct surveillance efforts with the Ohio Dept of Health to maintain the Farm Family Injury Database of Ohio. This position will serve as liaison with the Ohio EMA, Ohio Dept of Ag, USDA State Emergency Board, Drought and Flood Advisory Boards, Ingestion Zone Reentry and Recovery Advisory Group, and the Extension Disaster Education Network to implement programs, interpret policies, and procedures and services.  Working as a team member, responsibilities also include maintaining our Ag Safety and Health Program’s social media presence, assisting with annual reports, technical papers, grant activities, and writing general press articles. Master’s degree or equivalent experience required.

    For more information on this job posting, see the following link: http://www.jobsatosu.com:80/postings/69985

    or contact Dee Jepsen, State Leader, Agricultural Safety and Health, jepsen.4@osu.edu

  135. 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 with grain handling and storage systems. 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) the 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 jepsen.4@osu.edu.
     

  136. Sun Safe Hats Available for Sale

    The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program has sun safe hats for sale. These sun safe hats are great for Master Gardeners, field researchers, golf enthusiasts, local farmers, OSU alumni, etc. The wide-brimmed hats are Columbia brand and are a lightweight, quick drying, khaki colored fabric. The hats are collegiate licensed with a red block O embroidered on the front.

    If you are interested in purchasing sun safe hats, please contact the Agricultural Safety and Health program to order. The cost of each hat is $40. Contact Cora Carter with any questions at carter.1401@osu.edu or 614-292-0622.

  137. AgrAbility Educational Programs

    To help prevent back injuries for farmers and gardeners, Ohio AgrAbility will be presenting “Oh My Aching Back” presentations throughout the state. The 45-min presentation will focus on back strain and give tips and information for preventing back injuries for both the young and older farmers and gardeners.

     

    The program objectives are to:

    1. Identify the 3 types of back injuries

    2. Demonstrate proper lifting and work practices to prevent back strain

    3. Learn how various products incorporate Universal Design and Assistive Technology features to make the chores easier

     

    Other popular program sessions offered by the AgrAbility Program include:

    “AgrAbility and Universal Design: How we can help Ohio farmers”

    Table Top display: The Ohio AgrAbility Program

     

    For more information and to schedule a presentation contact Andy Bauer, Educational Program Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681. For more information about the Ohio AgrAbility Program visit agrability.osu.edu

  138. A Survey for Ohio Farmers with On-Farm Grain Storage Facilities

    Farmers in 60 of Ohio’s 88 counties have responded to the On-Farm Grain Storage Safety Survey. The counties highlighted in red have farmer participants! AND, there are 2 weeks remaining to advertise the link for more farmers (especially those in the white highlighted counties) to participate!  The survey link is on this webpage: https://go.osu.edu/BinSurvey

    The survey does not collect personal information that could be traced back to the producer, making the responses anonymous. All farmers who own, manage, or use on-farm grain bin structures are eligible to complete the survey.

    The information will be used to develop future training programs specific for Ohio grain facilities. The research project is being conducted by a graduate student in the OSU Ag Safety and Health program, under the direction of Dee Jepsen. The project was funded by the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC). The aim of this research will help identify safety and health practices used on Ohio farms to help solve (or at least reduce) the hazards when working around grain storage facilities. 
     
    Click on this link to review and participate in the survey. If there are questions about this survey, please contact Dee Jepsen (jepsen.4@osu.edu). 
     
    Follow this link to the Survey:

    Take the Survey

  139. Sun Safe Hats Available for Sale

    The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program has sun safe hats for sale. These sun safe hats are great for Master Gardeners, field researchers, golf enthusiasts, local farmers, OSU alumni, etc. The wide-brimmed hats are Columbia brand and are a lightweight, quick drying, khaki colored fabric. The hats are collegiate licensed with a red block O embroidered on the front.

    If you are interested in purchasing sun safe hats, please contact the Agricultural Safety and Health program to order. The cost of each hat is $40. Contact Cora Carter with any questions at carter.1401@osu.edu or 614-292-0622.

  140. February 21-27 is Grain Bin Safety Week

    Nationwide insurance is collaborating with industry leaders and agricultural professionals to launch its third annual safety contest as part of this year’s Grain Bin Safety Week, which runs Feb 21-27.  

    The Nominate Your Fire Department Contest runs from Jan. 1 through May 31. It will award grain rescue tubes and hands-on training to help first responders save lives, thanks to the support of KC Supply Co., the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety and Nationwide’s other partners.

    “Grain bin accidents can tragically impact individuals, families and entire communities,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness. “Accident prevention means everyone working together, and Grain Bin Safety Week provides a forum for the agricultural community to help keep people safe.”  

    During the last two years, the national contest awarded tubes and training to 13 fire departments in 12 states. One of those winners — The Westphalia Fire Department in Kansas — used their new skills in 2015 to rescue a man who became entrapped in some grain.

    In 2014, 38 documented entrapments resulted in 17 deaths, according to Purdue University. It was the highest numbers since 2010 — when at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain engulfments.

    “That’s where Grain Bin Safety Week can help,” Liggett said. “This program brings attention to life-saving extraction methods and procedures, which can improve responder and victim safety.”

    For more information about the program, purpose or nomination process, visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com.

  141. A Survey for Ohio Farmers with On-Farm Grain Storage Facilities

    Ohio farmers are being asked to complete a survey about their current grain handling and storage systems. This information will be used to develop future training programs specific for Ohio grain facilities. The research project is being conducted by a graduate student in the OSU Ag Safety and Health program, under the direction of Dee Jepsen. The project was funded by the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC). The aim of this research will help identify safety and health practices used on Ohio farms to help solve (or at least reduce) the hazards when working around grain storage facilities. 
     
    The survey does not collect personal information that could be traced back to the producer, making the responses anonymous. All farmers who own, manage, or use on-farm grain bin structures are eligible to complete the survey.
     
    Click on this link to review and participate in the survey. If there are questions about this survey, please contact Dee Jepsen (jepsen.4@osu.edu). 
     
    Follow this link to the Survey:

    Take the Survey

    Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
    go.osu.edu/BinSurvey

  142. Sun Safe Hats Available for Sale

    The OSU Agricultural Safety and Health Program has sun safe hats for sale. These sun safe hats are great for Master Gardeners, field researchers, golf enthusiasts, local farmers, OSU alumni, etc. The wide-brimmed hats are Columbia brand and are a lightweight, quick drying, khaki colored fabric. The hats are collegiate licensed with a red block O embroidered on the front.

    If you are interested in purchasing sun safe hats, please contact the Agricultural Safety and Health program to order. The cost of each hat is $40. Contact Cora Carter with any questions at carter.1401@osu.edu or 614-292-0622.

  143. Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention In-Service

    One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Come learn how you can provide Sun Safety programming and Dermascan screenings in your area. This In-service will feature a speaker providing an update on Sun Safety and Skin Cancer. Information on resources OSU Extension has about Sun Safety and Skin Cancer will be provided, along with a list of reliable websites. A Panel of Extension Educators will provide you with programming ideas and helpful tips. Dermascan training will be available. 

    This In-service will be at the Waterman Farms off of Lane Avenue on February 2, 2016. A soup and salad lunch will be provided in the $15 in-service fee. Join us to learn more about Sun Safety and Skin Cancer. Learn how you can do Dermascan screenings in your county or EERA. 

    Registration link:

    https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_80xwmTXqT2TIB13  

  144. A Survey for Ohio Farmers with On-Farm Grain Storage Facilities

    Ohio farmers are being asked to complete a survey about their current grain handling and storage systems. This information will be used to develop future training programs specific for Ohio grain facilities. The research project is being conducted by a graduate student in the OSU Ag Safety and Health program, under the direction of Dee Jepsen. The project was funded by the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC). The aim of this research will help identify safety and health practices used on Ohio farms to help solve (or at least reduce) the hazards when working around grain storage facilities. 
     
    The survey does not collect personal information that could be traced back to the producer, making the responses anonymous. All farmers who own, manage, or use on-farm grain bin structures are eligible to complete the survey.
     
    Click on this link to review and participate in the survey. If there are questions about this survey, please contact Dee Jepsen (jepsen.4@osu.edu). 
     
    Follow this link to the Survey:

    Take the Survey

    Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
    https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_00cx8atxQIndAfH

  145. Safety and Health Topics for your Winter Programs

    Please consider the Ag Safety Office when developing your winter and early spring producer meetings or Workers Compensation group-rating programs. Our staff will work with you to design a program specifically for your audience group, or feel free to select a topic from our “Most Popular List” below. The average session is 45-60 minutes, but can be adjusted or combined with other topics to fit your schedule. Our goal is to make safety and health programs fun and interactive, oh yes, and also effective in changing behaviors!  We look forward to scheduling in your area for the 2016 season.

    “Tractor and Equipment Safety – Hazards with the machinery we use everyday” Tractors are the most hazardous injury agents on farms. This program addresses the top safety concerns, and involves the audience in a little game of reaction time. How fast do you have to be to avoid getting wrapped, caught, or entangled in farm machinery? 

    “Grain Storage Solutions for Safety and Health” It’s true, there’s a lot of money tied up in grain storage systems. But if the producer hasn’t considered safety and health factors in the equation, the costs of personal risks could even be higher. This program identifies the top priorities all producers should consider when working around on-farm stored grain facilities.  And it’s not just safety - grain dust is a serious culprit affecting our long-term health situation.

    “OSHA and AG – Busting any myths and learning about safe work practices for the farm and agritainment businesses” What rules apply to family farms, youth labor issues, and other management topics are addressed in this program. What considerations need to be made when the public is invited to the farm for agritainment activities?

    “Noise on the Farm – Detecting and preventing the sound problem” This program explains the effects of noise on the ear and how noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented. For the youngest ears to those senior years, learn what can be done to protect your hearing for a lifetime.

    “ATVs and UTVs – Training programs for all ages” Common utility vehicles used on the farm can also cause serious injury. This course will look at safe operating procedures, recognizing potential hazards and effective uses for ATVs and UTVs on the farm.

    Other general Agricultural Safety & Health Programs can be developed to suit your audiences’ needs.  Please contact Dee Jepsen jepsen.4@osu.edu or Kent McGuire mcguire.225@osu.edu to schedule.

     

    Ohio AgrAbility Would Like to Conduct an Educational Program in your Area

    To help prevent back injuries for farmers and gardeners, Ohio AgrAbility will be presenting “Oh My Aching Back” presentations throughout the state. The 45-min presentation will focus on back strain and give tips and information for preventing back injuries for both the young and older farmers and gardeners.

    The program objectives are to:

    1.     Identify the 3 types of back injuries

    2.     Demonstrate proper lifting and work practices to prevent back strain

    3.     Learn how various products incorporate Universal Design and Assistive Technology features to make the chores easier

    Other popular program sessions offered by the AgrAbility Program include:

    “AgrAbility and Universal Design: How we can help Ohio farmers”

    Table Top display: The Ohio AgrAbility Program

    For more information and to schedule a presentation contact Andy Bauer, Educational Program Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681. For more information about the Ohio AgrAbility Program visit agrability.osu.edu

  146. Safety and Health Topics for your Upcoming Winter Programs

    Please consider the Ag Safety Office when developing your winter and early spring producer meetings or Workers Compensation group-rating programs. Our staff will work with you to design a program specifically for your audience group, or feel free to select a topic from our “Most Popular List” below. The average session is 45-60 minutes, but can be adjusted or combined with other topics to fit your schedule. Our goal is to make safety and health programs fun and interactive, oh yes, and also effective in changing behaviors!  We look forward to scheduling in your area for the 2016 season.

    “Tractor and Equipment Safety – Hazards with the machinery we use everyday” Tractors are the most hazardous injury agents on farms. This program addresses the top safety concerns, and involves the audience in a little game of reaction time. How fast do you have to be to avoid getting wrapped, caught, or entangled in farm machinery? 

    “Grain Storage Solutions for Safety and Health” It’s true, there’s a lot of money tied up in grain storage systems. But if the producer hasn’t considered safety and health factors in the equation, the costs of personal risks could even be higher. This program identifies the top priorities all producers should consider when working around on-farm stored grain facilities.  And it’s not just safety - grain dust is a serious culprit affecting our long-term health situation.

    “OSHA and AG – Busting any myths and learning about safe work practices for the farm and agritainment businesses” What rules apply to family farms, youth labor issues, and other management topics are addressed in this program. What considerations need to be made when the public is invited to the farm for agritainment activities?

    “Noise on the Farm – Detecting and preventing the sound problem” This program explains the effects of noise on the ear and how noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented. For the youngest ears to those senior years, learn what can be done to protect your hearing for a lifetime.

    “ATVs and UTVs – Training programs for all ages” Common utility vehicles used on the farm can also cause serious injury. This course will look at safe operating procedures, recognizing potential hazards and effective uses for ATVs and UTVs on the farm.

    Other general Agricultural Safety & Health Programs can be developed to suit your audiences’ needs.  Please contact Dee Jepsen jepsen.4@osu.edu or Kent McGuire mcguire.225@osu.edu to schedule.

  147. Ohio AgrAbility Would Like to Conduct an Educational Program in your Area

    To help prevent back injuries for farmers and gardeners, Ohio AgrAbility will be presenting “Oh My Aching Back” presentations throughout the state. The 45-min presentation will focus on back strain and give tips and information for preventing back injuries for both the young and older farmers and gardeners.

    The program objectives are to:

    1.     Identify the 3 types of back injuries

    2.     Demonstrate proper lifting and work practices to prevent back strain

    3.     Learn how various products incorporate Universal Design and Assistive Technology features to make the chores easier

    Other popular program sessions offered by the AgrAbility Program include:

    “AgrAbility and Universal Design: How we can help Ohio farmers”

    Table Top display: The Ohio AgrAbility Program

     

    For more information and to schedule a presentation contact Andy Bauer, Educational Program Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681. For more information about the Ohio AgrAbility Program visit agrability.osu.edu

  148. Safety and Health Topics for your Winter Programs

    Please consider the Ag Safety Office when developing your winter and early spring producer meetings or Workers Compensation group-rating programs. Our staff will work with you to design a program specifically for your audience group, or feel free to select a topic from our “Most Popular List” below. The average session is 45-60 minutes, but can be adjusted or combined with other topics to fit your schedule. Our goal is to make safety and health programs fun and interactive, oh yes, and also effective in changing behaviors!  We look forward to scheduling in your area for the 2016 season.

    “Tractor and Equipment Safety – Hazards with the machinery we use everyday”  Tractors are the most hazardous injury agents on farms. This program addresses the top safety concerns, and involves the audience in a little game of reaction time. How fast do you have to be to avoid getting wrapped, caught, or entangled in farm machinery. 

    “Grain Storage Solutions for Safety and Health”  It’s true, there’s a lot of money tied up in grain storage systems. But if the producer hasn’t considered safety and health factors in the equation, the costs of personal risks could even be higher. This program identifies the top priorities all producers should consider when working around on-farm stored grain facilities.  And it’s not just safety - grain dust is a serious culprit affecting our long-term health situation.

    “OSHA and AG – Busting any myths and learning about safe work practices for the farm and agritainment businesses” What rules apply to family farms, youth labor issues, and other management topics are addressed in this program. What considerations need to be made when the public is invited to the farm for agritainment activities?

    “Noise on the Farm – Detecting and preventing the sound problem”  This program explains the effects of noise on the ear and how noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented. For the youngest ears to those senior years, learn what can be done to protect your hearing for a lifetime.

    “ATVs and UTVs – Training programs for all ages”  Common utility vehicles used on the farm can also cause serious injury. This course will look at safe operating procedures, recognizing potential hazards and effective uses for ATVs and UTVs on the farm.

    Other general Agricultural Safety & Health Programs can be developed to suit your audiences’ needs.  Please contact Dee Jepsen jepsen.4@osu.edu or Kent McGuire mcguire.225@osu.edu to schedule.

  149. Ohio AgrAbility Would Like to Conduct an Educational Program in your Area

    To help prevent back injuries for farmers and gardeners, Ohio AgrAbility will be presenting “Oh My Aching Back” presentations throughout the state. The 45-min presentation will focus on back strain and give tips and information for preventing back injuries for both the young and older farmers and gardeners.

    The program objectives are to:
    1. Identify the 3 types of back injuries
    2. Demonstrate proper lifting and work practices to prevent back strain
    3. Learn how various products incorporate Universal Design and Assistive Technology features to make the chores easier
     
    Other popular program sessions offered by the AgrAbility Program include:
    “AgrAbility and Universal Design: How we can help Ohio farmers”
    Table Top display: The Ohio AgrAbility Program
     
    For more information and to schedule a presentation contact Andy Bauer, Educational Program Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681. For more information about the Ohio AgrAbility Program visit agrability.osu.edu
  150. National Farm Safety and Health Week

    “Ag Safety is Not Just a Slogan, It’s a Lifestyle”

    This is the theme for the 2015 National Farm Safety and Health Week, observed September 20-26. The theme reminds local and rural communities that agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S.  This industry, which includes farming, forestry and fishing, accounts for 500 fatalities each year (U.S. Department of Labor, 2013).

    Since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. This recognition has been an annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first document. Over the years, the development and dissemination of National Farm Safety & Health Week materials shifted from the National Safety Council to National Education Center for Ag Safety (NECAS). NECAS is the agricultural partner for the National Safety Council and has been serving the agricultural family and business community since 1997.

    As the theme suggests, practicing safety is something we should do, not something we merely say. While it is great to profess our attitude for safety, it is much more admirable to practice it everyday in our daily actions.

    NECAS will host a webinar each day and a chat session on Tuesday. The webinars focus on the following themes:

                Monday- Rural Roadway Safety

                Tuesday- Confined Spaces in Agriculture

                Wednesday- Children’s Safety

                Thursday- Health

                Friday- Tractor Safety

    To join the webinars visit http://www.necasag.org/. Chat with them on ‘AgChat’, Sept 22, from 7-9 pm (CST). For more information about National Farm Safety & Health Week, visit http://www.necasag.org/

    What we are doing in Ohio to support National Farm Safety and Health Week

    The OSU Ag Safety & Health Office invites county Extension offices, Farm Bureaus, FFA chapters, ag businesses, on-farm agricultural tourism operations, and other farm or interested individuals to like us on Facebook. Our social media site will post daily safety and health messages each day of Farm Safety Week that can be shared on other’s home pages. 

    http://www.facebook.com/OSUAgSafetyandHealth

  151. Grain C.A.R.T. Receives National Recognition

    The Grain C.A.R.T. program received a Blue Ribbon Award this past summer at the annual meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).  This award is similar to NACAA or our OSU Epsilon Sigma Phi Teaching Awards where applications are submitted to different categories. The Grain C.A.R.T. was a winning entry as an Extension Innovative Method.

    A state recognition program will be part of the Thursday luncheon at this year’s Farm Science Review.

  152. Grain C.A.R.T. Training Program

    Interested in having the Grain C.A.R.T. come to your area?

    An OSU Extension in-service will be offered for all OSU educators (of any program area). This training will provide you with the information needed to:

    1. Schedule the CART for your community.
    2. Learn about the two types of educational programs available with the CART: Grain Awareness & Prevention and Agricultural Rescue technical training with the Ohio Fire Academy.
    3. Provide curriculum for teaching the Prevention & Awareness topics.
    4. Learn how local communities have sponsored their training programs and received rescue equipment through local, state and national sponsors.

    The in-service will be held in conjunction with Farm Science Review week. Plan to attend one of the 1.5 hour sessions to get the information you need to program in your local area.

    Date and Time:  September 22, 23, 24 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) from 3 - 4:30pm

                               September 25 (Friday) from 10 – 11:30am

    Click the following link to register  

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Mo3seF-16cYZgrywehNTMmMOqKUQ2gS8IK2Y_jFAPjs/edit?usp=sharing

    Contact Dee Jepsen with additional questions. jepsen.4@osu.edu 614-292-6008

     

  153. CHECK OUT AG SAFETY AT THE 2015 FARM SCIENCE REVIEW!

    OSU Agricultural Safety and Health program staff has been working hard to offer some new and exciting educational displays and demonstrations for attendees of this year’s Farm Science Review, September 22-24.
     
    Come check out the following opportunities:
    Grain Bin Lifeline Simulator- Demonstration on an entry system for establishing a grain bin lifeline when an engulfment hazard is present - daily 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30pm - OSU Central, on Kottman Street side
    Grain Safety- Self guided tour of the GRAIN C.A.R.T. to learn about the hazards associated with grain handling, grain engulfment, and auger entanglement.
     
    Ohio AgrAbility Peer Network- Farmers Sharing Experiences to Solve Problems- Daily talks at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm – OSU Central on the Land Ave side
    Ohio AgrAbility Assistive Technology Show & Tell - OSU Central, on the Land Ave side
    Ohio AgrAbility and Universal Design for Garages and Farm Shops - McCormick Building on Friday Ave
     
    Ohio AgrAbility also offers the following for Farm Science Review attendees:
    * A charging station for mobile scooter at the Ohio AgrAbility tent.
    * Exhibit to Field Demo Transportation- The "AgrAbility" Bus will be available from noon to 4 p.m. daily to transport individuals between the exhibit area and field demonstrations. The bus will be available at the main shuttle location at the administration headquarters building.
     
    For more information to map out your day at this year’s Farm Science Review, visit FSR.osu.edu.
  154. Resources for Managing Agricultural Employee Safety

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Resources for workplace employee safety in manufacturing and construction can be easily found through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.  However, in agriculture there can be unique circumstances that apply to worker safety and the resources available specific to agricultural safety compliance can be limited. OSU Ag Safety and Health has dedicated a section of their website to address agricultural workplaces and employee safety.  The website link is https://agsafety.osu.edu/programs/cfaes-osha This section of the website was developed to provide information, resources and training materials specific to the agricultural workplace and managing safety compliance issues.

    OSU Ag Safety and Health has also put together an OSHA & AG 10 – hour General Industry course designed for the agricultural workplace.  Through the training course, workers and employers become more knowledgeable on recognition, abatement, prevention of workplace hazards and an understanding of OSHA regulations as they apply to the agricultural workplace. After successful completion of the course, participants will receive an OSHA 10-hour General Industry card. For more information about the OSHA & AG program or to schedule training visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/osha-ag or call 614-292-0622

     

    For additional information about OSU Ag Safety contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588 or visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu.

  155. Add Safety to your Program!

    Do you offer any educational outreach for a youth audience? Have you thought about adding safety to those outreach efforts like a Farm Safety Day Camp, Ag Awareness, Farmers Breakfast, FFA events, county fairs, school programming?

    If so, check out what resources OSUE Ag Safety and Health group was waiting for you!

    Your outreach efforts can provide youth an opportunity to learn about agricultural hazards and injury prevention. The mission of the program is to teach youth about rural dangers; however the participants do not have to be farm children to benefit from the educational sessions. Injuries from horses, livestock, ponds, lawn mowers and electricity can occur to anyone, not just farm kids. Participants learn in a fun, interactive way the consequences of poor judgment around power machinery, flowing grain, and livestock.

    OSU Ag Safety & Health can provide you with:

    • lesson plans with hands-on activities
    • session demonstration equipment
    • educational display posters

    This programming effort can also serve as an ideal conduit between businesses and community organizations interested in the health and safety of local youth.

    Please contact Kathy Mann (mann.167@osu.edu) if you are interested in learning more using these resources in your outreach efforts.

  156. Did You Miss It?

    Did you forget to join the “How To Do Farm Safety” webinar on planning a farm safety day camp at your operation. You are in luck! The webinar was recorded.

    During this webinar, we addressed the following topics: identifying your target audience (age group), age-appropriate messages, day camp format (educational stations with rotations vs. open house), available resources, camp evaluation, and safety precautions during the event. 

    If you are interested in viewing the webinar, please contact Kathy Mann at mann.167@osu.edu for access information.

  157. National Fire Protection Association

    Put A Freeze on Winter Fires – The NFPA’s campaign to address seasonal fires with educational resources can be found at https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Put-A-Freeze-on-Winter-Fires.

     

  158. The Opioid Misuse Community Assessment Tool

    A tool to assist in better understanding the national opioid crisis and inform effective community conversations and interventions. NORC at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s USDA Rural Development created this tool to allow users to map overdose hotspots and overlay them with data that provide additional context to opioid addiction and death - including the strength and diversity of local economies, ethnicity, educational attainment, and disability status of residents. Explore the data rich site at https://opioidmisusetool.norc.org/.

  159. Rural Roadway Safety

    The Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health provides a webpage specific to rural roadway safety. The page contains handouts, posters, videos, and media stories all related to keeping the agricultural roadways safe.   Here is the link to the site for more information: https://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/gpcah/outreach-2/topics/rural-roadway-safety/

     

     

  160. 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: http://www.necasag.org/nationalfarmsafetyandhealthweek/

     

  161. OSHA Agricultural Operations Webpage

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a website section dedicated to agricultural operations. The website includes an overview, youth in agriculture, hazards and controls, standards, resources, and publications.  Here is the link to the site:  https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/agriculturaloperations/

  162. Heat Stress Illness and Skin Cancer Prevention

    Great safety and health materials can come from a variety of organizations and programs. Here is a great info-graphic on heat – related illness from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and an info- graphic on skin cancer prevention from the Center for Construction Research and Training.

                                                     

    Link to Heat Stress Illness graphic                                 

    Link to Skin Cancer Prevention graphic

  163. National Safety Council

    The National Safety Council’s mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Their website contains information of services, safety topics, as well as tools and resources. The link to the National Safety Council’s website is https://www.nsc.org/home

  164. OSU Ag Safety: Employee Safety

    This web page contains the occupational safety program and safety management materials specifically for OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) employees. In addition, the site serves as an OSU Extension resource on safety and health compliance issues for those working in the agricultural industry. Along the left menu bar there are program "areas" to find more information, resources, and materials.

    Here is the link to the page: https://agsafety.osu.edu/programs/cfaes-osha

  165. OSU Extension: Ohioline

    Ohioline is an information resource produced by Ohio State University Extension. Through Ohioline, agricultural safety fact sheets can be accessed, as well as hundreds of OSU Extension fact sheets covering a wide array of subjects such as agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community development, and 4-H youth development. The link to Ohioline is https://ohioline.osu.edu/home

    Agricultural safety fact sheets can be found by searching key words such as: agricultural safety, farm, safety, small farm and garden safety series, and ohio agrability series.

  166. 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, https://eden.lsu.edu/.

  167. American Burn Association: Prevention Resources

    According to the American Burn Association, the majority of burn injuries are preventable. Their website contains a section on burn prevention that houses a variety fact sheets, resource tools, and materials. More information can be found by clicking on http://ameriburn.org/prevention/prevention-resources/

  168. eXtension.org: Ag Safety and Health

    This website contains research-based information from America's land-grant universities. The Ag Safety
    and Health section houses a variety training resources, safety videos, and pre-recorded webinars. More information can be found by clicking on: http://articles.extension.org/farm_safety_and_health

  169. Ohio.gov: Winter Safety Tips

    The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness has put together several resources for emergency preparedness during the winter months. More information can be found by clicking on, http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/WinterSafetyTips.aspx

  170. Agricultural Employee Safety

    In agriculture there can be unique circumstances that apply to worker safety and the resources available specific to agricultural safety compliance can be limited. OSU Ag Safety and Health has dedicated a section of their website to address agricultural workplaces and employee safety.  This section of the website was developed to provide information, resources and training materials specific to the agricultural workplace and managing safety compliance issues. The website link is http://agsafety.osu.edu/programs/cfaes-osha

  171. Grain Handling Safety Coalition

    The Grain Handling Safety Coalition’s mission is to prevent and reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities across the grain industry spectrum through safety education, prevention and outreach.   The site has training resources, handouts, toolbox talks and resources for young workers. More information can be found by clicking on, http://grainsafety.org/

  172. CDC Life Stages & Populations

    Watching the disaster recovery missions in Texas reminds us all of the devastation natural disasters bring to a community. People with disabilities often face additional obstacles that impede the speed with which they can seek shelter or be rescued. The CDC has compiled resources on an “Emergency Readiness for People with Disabilities” page to help in preparedness. Whether you are a person with a disability, a caregiver, or a first responder there is information at the ready by clicking on, https://www.cdc.gov/Features/EmergencyPreparedness/.

  173. USDA Disaster Resource Center

    Resources about how to prepare and recover from disasters and emergencies, https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster

  174. Lightning Safety Resources

    Summer months brew up the prime conditions for lightning because of instability and moisture in the atmosphere, for detailed information on lightning safety visit the National Weather Service at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov./.

  175. Ladder Safety Training

    Is barn painting on that to do list this summer? Training modules for your summer farm employees that will be reaching new heights via ladder can be found at the American Ladder Institute’s Ladder Safety Training, https://www.laddersafetytraining.org.

  176. 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:  https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/default.html

  177. Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC)

    PERC is a cooperative agreement between the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs and University of California Davis Extension, in collaboration with Oregon State University. PERC is the clearinghouse for the development of pesticide education materials specifically approved for the EPA’s Worker Protection Standard.  The site contains WPS training materials, video resources, and handouts. To review the site visit: http://pesticideresources.org//index.html

  178. Ag Safety and Health Video Resources

    eXtension.org has agricultural safety and health videos available on their website that can be very useful for agricultural producers, agricultural educators, agricultural safety and health professionals, and Cooperative Extension personnel. The videos can be used for training or to help provide awareness about the hazards that can exist in the agricultural workplace. Topics areas include Animal Safety, Chemical Safety, Confined Spaces, Crop Safety, Emergency Response, Machinery and Equipment Safety, Occupational Safety, Safety for Special Populations and Traumatic Injury. To
 familiarize
 yourself with the available video resources, visit:

    http://articles.extension.org/pages/67426/agricultural-safety-and-health-video-resources

  179. Emergency
 & 
Disaster 
Animal
 Response
 Planning

    The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has an Animal Response Plan Development Tool Kit available on their website to help communities prepare for the safety and welfare of all types of animals in the event of an emergency or disaster. Each county EMA office is the lead agency for the development and implementation of their county’s Animal
 Response
 Plan
 and 
the
 OSU E
county
 office
 is
 included in the plan 
as
 one
 of 
the
 many support
 agencies.

    To
 familiarize
 yourself
 and
 staff
 with 
this
 planning
 tool, visit: http://ema.ohio.gov/Documents/Ohio_EOP/AnimalResponse/AnimalResponsePlanDevelopmentGuidanceToolKit.pdf. Reach out to your county EMA
 office to
 learn
 what 
is 
contained
 in
 your county specific plan.

  180. AgrAbility in Action: Working in Cold Weather

    Laura AkgermanDisability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Working in cold weather presents challenges for all farmers and can be especially challenging if the farmer has a health condition or a disability. Some medications can make you more or less sensitive to temperature and can cause you to become dehydrated. Some health conditions such as diabetes and poor circulation may limit feeling in your feet and hands increasing the chance of frostbite.

    To protect yourself from the cold, wear layers of clothing, warm gloves and hat, and keep an extra pair in case the first pair gets wet. Wear footwear that is appropriate for the weather and work conditions and is not too tight – tight shoes and boots can restrict the blood flow to the feet and increase the risk of a cold injury. Take short frequent breaks and keep yourself hydrated with warm beverages (avoid alcohol or caffeine). Take your cell phone with you in case you have an emergency, and work with a partner when possible.

    For more information about working in cold weather, please refer to the AgrAbility Fact Sheets Injury Prevention: Types of Cold Stress; and Injury Prevention: Working in Cold Weather.

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility visit https://agrability.osu.edu/ or contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

     

  181. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: These are a few of our Farmers favorite things

    Laura Akgerman – Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    If you are trying to decide what gift to give (or ask for) this holiday season, consider this list of a few of our farmers favorite things. While our Ohio AgrAbility farmers often have specialized or adapted Assistive Technology, they also use tools and equipment that are designed for ease of use for people of all abilities.

    LED lights

    LED headlamps are very popular with our farmers and AgrAbility staff (I have one at home that we use for walking the dog in the dark). The light is very bright, and useful for lighting up a dark walk between the house and barn, or to direct the light at what you are working on, eliminating the need to hold a flashlight.

    Hands free task lighting allows you to light up your work space and keep your hands free for work. This light has a magnet, clip and hook, making it adaptable to almost any type of work environment.

    Seat cushions and Air Suspension seats

    If you have back, hip, or shoulder pain, or just spend long days on the tractor, a seat cushion or upgraded seat can help to limit the bumps and jolts you experience while driving your tractor across the field. The Airhawk Plus Seat Cushion is a cost-effective way to upgrade your tractor seat (and you can use the cushion on any of your vehicles). To make a permanent upgrade to your tractor, an air suspension seat will reduce vibration and increase your comfort – it’s hard to work long days with back pain.

    Camera systems on tractors or trucks

    Camera systems can increase safety, reduce the need to turn your head and look over your shoulder, or to climb in and out of your tractor to hitch equipment. You can choose from one, two or three cameras, and a variety of monitor options. For more information about the benefits of a camera system, read the Ohio AgrAbility in Action article in the February 2018 Ag STAT.

    Automatic gate openers

    An automatic gate opener will safely open the gate when you drive your vehicle slowly up to the gate, bump the gate, and drive through. The the gate will close and latch behind you, and it does not set the livestock free. The Bump n’ Drive manufacturer site states “even smart livestock do not understand the concept of following through”.  The Mighty Mule is solar powered and comes with a remote control in case you don’t want to bump the gate with your vehicle.

    Lift table cart

    If you have to move heavy objects around your garage or workshop, or lift heavy items, think about getting a lift table cart and save your back and shoulders. One of our Ohio AgrAbility farmers said if his lift table cart ever broke, he would replace it immediately, as it increases his independence, productivity, and reduces his pain after a long day of work. For more information about lift table carts, read the Ohio AgrAbility in Action article in the March 2018 Ag STAT.

    Several products are discussed in this article, Ohio AgrAbility does not receive any benefit from the vendors whose products are featured, these products are listed as examples, not endorsements.

    For more information, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

     

  182. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Ohio AgrAbility Makes a Difference with ASM Club

    Jessy Woodworth, Agricultural Communications Major, The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

    On a crisp Sunday morning in mid-September, 11 members of Ohio State’s Agricultural Systems Management (ASM) club arrived at BaaLiss Grass Farm.

    Clarence Atkinson and Deborah Mattix own BaaLiss Grass Farm, raising Irish Dexter cattle, Katahdin sheep and Buckeye chickens, all organic and free range. They grow these animals on their land and sell the products at farmers markets. However, in order to keep up with demand organic, grass fed meat, they needed a hand.

    “We found hope in AgrAbility,” Mattix said. “They make it possible to get the human piece we need and keep this place alive. The people make all the difference.”

    Atkinson, a lifelong dairy farmer and the second generation to own the farm, has Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome; a form of muscular dystrophy that impacts the connection between nerve and muscle cells. His physical disabilities made farm work more difficult and hazardous than it already was. “We can’t stop farming because of one obstacle,” Mattix insisted, looking out over her flock of Katahdin sheep. “We have made a life here and have adapted. We just need some help every once in a while. That’s why we are so thankful for these boys.”

    “We are here to help. Our classes at Ohio State have given us certain skills that Clarence and Deborah don’t have anymore, and that’s where we come in,” Amherst, Ohio native and ASM club’s Service Chair Brandon Palmer, explained.  “This is a special chance to give back to the agricultural community. We just want to help and this is an awesome chance to do that. We are excited to help out, but want events like this to keep happening. This has to be sustainable. It can’t be a one-and-done thing.”

    “We are out here helping the agricultural community, helping somebody who is not able to completely pursue the passion that he has done his whole life due to being disabled,” said club member Forrest Lang, 20, of Wooster, Ohio. “We are just happy to be here helping out with stuff that we are good at.”

    “AgrAbility is a vital program to the disabled population of farmers in America,” explained Laura Akgerman, the Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility, OSU Extension, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, and assisted in coordinating the connection between BaaLiss and the ASM club.

    “Our farmers are able and willing to work, they just need a few adjustments to make it safe. We help them get funding for those adjustments and help in any way we can.”

    All tasks they had been given were quickly completed. The club churned out results and finished projects faster than Mattix could keep up. She trudged through the mud in her crusted boots, trying to find more for the group to help with, but couldn’t make a list fast enough. When the tasks were concluded, the club members found more to do, eventually running out of resources. They joked and laughed with the farmers while changing oil, cutting down small trees and filling groundhog holes. The work was easy for the hoard, but to the couple, it was several weeks’ worth of duties that would have ended up being pushed aside for more pressing tasks.

    “We can’t describe how much this means to us,” Mattix told the group. They conspired for a moment and asked if there was any way they could repay the men and show their gratitude. The debt was quickly settled with handshakes, hugs and leftover bananas.

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  183. Ohio AgrAbility at 2018 Farm Science Review

    Laura Akgerman – Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    The Ohio AgrAbility Program’s dual missions of education and assistance to farmers with disabilities were on display at the 2018 Farm Science Review September 18 – 20. Staff, farmers and vendors were on hand to answer questions, greet visitors, demonstrate assistive technology and equipment, and talk about Ohio AgrAbility. To ensure no mobility devices ran out of power, OAP provided a mobility scooter & chair charging station for participants needing a re-charge. To facilitate access to the field demonstrations, AgrAbility sponsored an accessible shuttle bus to transport visitors from the main exhibit area to the farm fields.

    Education and resources

    OAP joined FSR management in the First Step program, which provides students and teachers educational opportunities and displays, and includes a worksheet for the students to complete. OAP hosted daily informal workshops on modifications for the barn, worksite, and equipment. OAP hosted Meredith Sweeney, an Occupational Therapist from the OSU Wexner Medical Center, who presented Modifying a Vehicle for Independence and Mobility, a very informative talk about evaluating and training drivers who need modifications to their vehicles due to age, medical conditions, or disability.

    In addition to our publications and workshops, OAP showcased some of our most important education and outreach partners: our farmers. For FSR 2018, OAP invited our farmers to spend a few hours in the tent to greet visitors, try out new equipment, share their experiences with Ohio AgrAbility, and talk to students about farming with a disability. A group of OSU Capstone students spent time in the exhibit tent learning about the needs of farmers with mobility limitations who want to safely access a skid loader. The Capstone students are building on the work of last year’s Capstone students, who created a design plan for an accessible and safe skid loader.  The current team plan to move beyond design and modify a skid loader, and test the prototype for mobility and safety.

    AgrAbility education and outreach went well beyond the OAP exhibit tent. In the Utzinger Memorial Garden, staff presented two sessions on Gardening through the Lifespan. Even when staff were not presenting workshops in the garden, OAP was still on display - staff designed large “garden signs” with tips on gardening with low vision, arthritis and other imitations, which were planted throughout the garden.  OAP staff also presented a session on Accessible AgriTourism at the Small Farm Center, and gave an impromptu TV interview after the workshop. In addition to the exhibit tent and workshops, Ohio AgrAbility hosted the Universal Design Garage (part of a larger UD house) and offered examples and information on using universal design in the workshop and farm.

    Assistance and equipment demonstrations

    OAP’s exhibit area featured resources and publications on farming and gardening with a disability, and adaptive equipment for rural lifestyles and agricultural businesses. FSR gives Ohio AgrAbility the opportunity to host some of the companies we partner with to serve Ohio farmers with disabilities, and allows OAP staff, farmers and visitors to try out new equipment and assistive technology. Companies in the OAP exhibit area included Life Essentials, PWR EZ Systems, K & M Manufacturing, Propel Sliding  Door Automation, and Strong-Arm Lift. These vendors display and demonstrate their products, answer questions, and work with staff and farmers to problem solve issues that may limit the farmers productivity or ability to safely use and access their equipment and facilities.

    For more information, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  184. 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 akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

     

  185. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Universal Design House and Garage at Farm Science Review

    Laura Akgerman – Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Universal design is the creation of products and environments meant to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible without need for adaptation or specialization. Ohio AgrAbility often follows Universal Design (UD) principles when recommending modifications to equipment, tools, barns and workshops to farmers and their families. UD is useable by everyone, so modifications made to equipment or a barn will not prevent others from using it, and may make the equipment, tools and barn/workshop safer and easier for everyone to use. Universal Design was first used in architecture, and can be applied to homes, offices, sidewalks and outdoor spaces.

    In 1999 OSU Extension’s Older Adult Development Issues Team, Ohio Department of Aging, and faculty in OSU’s College of Allied Medicine and the College of Family Resource Management developed a plan for curriculum and exhibits to teach Ohioan’s about Universal Design, and aging in place. The Universal Design Display House was built in the McCormick building at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, home of Farm Science Review. The UD House is open for tours during FSR, and is staffed by OSU Educators and volunteers who lead house tours and explain different features of the house to FSR visitors. In addition to FSR the UD House is available for private tours to educational, health care and community groups – to schedule a tour, contact Kathy Goins, Clark County FCS Educator, goins.115@osu.edu, 937-521-3860.

    In late July the Universal Design House at the Farm Science Review was the site of a special tour and presentation by OSU Extensions Universal Design team – Extension Educators, OSU professors, State Fire Marshalls, and Ohio AgrAbility. The event was presented to a group of South Korean researchers who had reached out to OSU Extension about their Universal Design work.

    Ohio AgrAbility is responsible for the garage/workshop section of the UD House, and OAP staff presented information about UD in the garage, garden and workshop, as well as disability inclusion at OSU Extension and in the community. The Ohio AgrAbility UD garage features non-slip floors, work-surfaces of different height, as well as tool and equipment storage solutions. The garage also features a display of educational posters with information on modifications to equipment, barns and worksites, measurements for turning spaces, and tips on making your workspace accessible and safe.

    The Universal Design Team has added more features and technology to the house, please visit Ohio AgrAbility’s exhibit tent and the Universal Design Display House during Farm Science Review this year (September 18 – 20).

    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. Universal Design is one of the solutions we use to help farmers and their families stay safe at home and work.

    The second 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. Universal design solutions can be added to your home, equipment, workshop, barn and garden over months or years and can be upgraded to suit your needs and lifestyle. Ohio AgrAbility Fact sheets about Universal Design, gardening with a physical limitation, farming with chronic back pain, and farming with a disability can be found at https://agrability.osu.edu/resources/factsheets. OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences resources are available at https://fcs.osu.edu/programs/major-program-areas/healthy-relationships/universal-design

    For more information, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

     

  186. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Universal Design in the Garden

    Laura Akgerman – Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Everyone wants a garden to be welcoming, beautiful, and safe. As we age, some tasks become more difficult, and more of a chore than an enjoyable activity. If you enjoy gardening but are finding it is harder to do as you get older, or have more demands on your time, consider integrating Universal Design solutions into your garden. Universal Design is the creation of products and environments meant to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without need for adaptation or specialization. Universal Design can enhance the safety, comfort and usability of your garden by eliminating barriers, creating well defined paths and garden beds, and including seating, built in storage, raised beds, vertical and container gardens, lighting, and integrated irrigation.

    Garden gates help to define the space, and keep larger animals out of the garden, but can also limit your access. If you have a threshold consider eliminating it or creating a ramped threshold – this will make it easier to bring in carts, wagons, or mobility devices, and will eliminate a trip and fall hazard for you and your guests.

    Paths should be smooth, wide enough for a mobility device (at least 30”), and clear of equipment, hoses, or plants. Paths should be a contrasting color from garden beds, this makes it easier to navigate the paths, and not walk into the garden beds by accident. Garden beds that are higher than the path can also help to define the path from the bed, and the higher bed may make it easier to tend your plants.

    If you have trouble stooping, kneeling or bending, raise the garden to a comfortable working height: a raised garden bed, terraced bed, or tabletop container garden can provide seating, trellises and arbors provide shade for you, and vertical space to grow plants.

    Storage benches provide seating and storage in the garden, limiting the need to carry all of your tools and supplies back and forth from home to garden. Benches provide a comfortable place to sit and rest while you are gardening, and a nice spot to relax when the work is done.

    Including lights in your garden design allows you to work when natural light is low, increases visibility and safety, and adds a nice design element. Solar yard lights or outdoor light strings are subtle lighting solutions that are easy to use and can be integrated into any garden.

    Irrigation systems are an ideal way to water your garden, but if that is not within your budget, soaker hoses can be laid out at the beginning of the season and left in the garden beds. If you need to bring a hose into the garden, a collapsible bungee hose is lightweight, may be easier to use that a heavy rubber hose, and take up minimal storage space.

    Universal design solutions can be added to your garden over months or years and can be upgraded to suit your needs and lifestyle. Ohio AgrAbility Fact sheets about Universal Design, gardening with a physical limitation, farming with chronic back pain, and farming with a disability can be found at https://agrability.osu.edu/resources/factsheets

    For more information, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  187. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Ohio AgrAbility Educational Workshops

    Laura Akgerman – Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Do you know where to go if you have questions about farming with a disability? What about farming with chronic aches and pains, or limitations that may not be bad enough to be called a disability, but still make your daily work difficult? Ohio AgrAbility Program (OAP) is one of the “Best Kept Secrets in Ohio agriculture”, and the OAP team would like to change that to “The Best-Known Resource for Farming with a Disability”. One of the missions of OAP 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. The second mission of OAP 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.

    In addition to Fact Sheets, printable resources and links to Extension and agricultural resources (available on the website: https://agrability.osu.edu/ ), OAP also offers several workshops. If you would like to learn more about OAP services, and farming with a disability or working with chronic pain or limitations, schedule OAP to present a workshop for your organization. Most workshops last about one hour, with time at the end for questions and answers.

    Current Ohio AgrAbility workshops:

    • Farming with a DisabilityThe Ohio AgrAbility Program works with farmers with disabilities to modify work tasks, utilize assistive technology & prevent secondary injury, so they can continue farming
    • Collaborating with Ohio AgrAbilityProgram information for disability services, education, rural health, Extension professionals, agricultural business and service organizations and community advocates; reviews ways professionals and advocates can work with Ohio AgrAbility to serve Ohio farmers with disabilities
    • Arthritis in Ag – Discover how arthritis impacts our agricultural communities and effective ways to manage on the farm
    • Gardening and Urban AgLearn creative solutions to continue working in your garden or small fam with a disability, chronic pain or other limitations
    • Preventing Injuries on the Farm Learn about hazards and how to prevent common ag injuries, and how to prevent secondary injuries
    • Designing Accessible AgriTourismIs your AgriTourism business welcoming to visitors of all abilities? Learn what areas of your business need to be accessible, and ways to utilize Universal Design principles to make your AgriTourism business accessible to people of all ages and abilities

    The OAP team may be able to customize a workshop to meet you and your organizations specific needs. If you would like more information about workshops or would like to schedule a workshop please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  188. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Becoming an Ohio AgrAbility Client

    Laura Akgerman – Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Ohio AgrAbility has been called “One of the Best Kept Secrets” in agriculture, and the Ohio AgrAbility team would like to change that to “The Best-Known Resource for Farming with a Disability”. Ohio AgrAbility has a variety of services – on-farm assessments, fact sheets, educational presentations and displays. This article explains Ohio AgrAbility’s service process – from farm visit to Peer Network.

    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.

    The second 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.

    Ohio AgrAbility has a step-by-step process for working with farmers to determine if they are eligible for Ohio AgrAbility services. Our goal is always to meet the needs of Ohio’s farmers, and work with them to decide what services, assistive technology and modifications would be best for them.

    Glossary - Like any industry, we have our own acronyms and key words, and forget that not everyone is familiar with our lingo.

    Assessments – Report detailing farmer’s capability, disability, farm operation, job tasks, equipment/machinery, modifications, AT or services needed so that the farmer can continue working productively and safely.

    AT – Assistive Technology, refers to equipment, software, and devices that are used to increase, maintain or improve independence, functional capability or productivity of an individual with a disability.

    Modifications – Adjustments or attachments for machinery, equipment, buildings, worksites that make the original item easier and safer for the farmer to use. Example: adding additional steps and handrails to a tractor to make it easier to get on and off the tractor.

    OOD Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. Ohio’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, charged with assisting Ohioans with disabilities to find or retain employment, may provide funds to purchase necessary AT and devices needed for employment.

    Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) – services for people with disabilities that help them to overcome and manage barriers (physical, environmental, societal) to continue or return to work, often administered by a government agency.

    The Ohio AgrAbility Service Process

    Introduction and initial contact – Farmer or family member contacts Ohio AgrAbility (OAP) via e-mail or phone (614-292-0622). An OAP staff member will talk to you about your disability, what work you do, and how your disability is affecting your ability to do your work. We will share your information with one of the OAP Rural Rehabilitation Coordinators (RRC), who will call you and schedule a farm visit.

    Farm visit – The RRC will talk to you about your work, if you can safely use your equipment and facilities, and ask how Ohio AgrAbility can help. The RRC will ask about your ability to pay for the AT and modifications needed to help you continue farming. OAP does not have funding to purchase any equipment or supplies for farmers.

    The RRC will explain how Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) can work with farmers to modify equipment and facilities. They will ask questions to determine your eligibility for OOD services. You do not have to use OOD services, and there is no guarantee that you will be eligible for their services. OAP and RRCs get no financial benefits from referring you to OOD, or vendors that sell AT and modifications. RRCs will suggest specific vendors or equipment because they know the quality and value is good and want to help you find the best equipment or AT for your needs.

    Recommendations and Referrals -  The RRCs will make suggestions on how to modify your facility or equipment to make it safer and more accessible. Some modifications are simple – lowering or raising a workbench to reduce strain on your back and shoulders while you work, or upgrading your tractor seat with an air ride or padded seat to ease the strain and pain from riding the tractor for hours every day. A common upgrade to equipment is to add handrails and additional steps so it is easier and safer to get on and off the tractor or other equipment. They may also suggest upgrades to the lighting in your barn and worksite, or tilt tables and chutes to manage your animals and make treating them safer for the farmer and the animal.

    Rural Rehabilitation Coordinators work with the farmer, and OOD (if the farmer is an OOD client) to design and develop an individualized work, modifications and Assistive Technology plan for the farmer, making sure new equipment and AT are a good match for the farmer and the work environment.

    Plan Implementation – If the farmer wants to implement the RRCs recommendations for modifications or AT, the RRCs will assist with looking at items and getting price quotes. When the equipment is delivered RRCs will usually be on hand to ensure that the correct equipment has been delivered and the farmer knows how to use it safely. The RRCs continue to work with farmers to make sure the new equipment and modifications are meeting the farmer’s needs, and to work with the farmer to solve problems and maintain productivity and success.

    Peer Network – OAP has a strong Peer-to-Peer Network of farmers and their families who have worked with OAP throughout the years. The Peers meet a few times a year for workshops and networking. OAP staff introduces new AT and modifications, shares resources from OSU Extension, and talks about safety on the farm. Peers have time to talk to one another and build friendships and connections with other farmers from across the state.

    OAP holds a Peer to Peer meeting at the Farm Science Review, you are welcome to come to the OAP tent to attend the meeting, and meet the Peers and OAP staff (meeting time, date and agenda will be announced in the August and September OAP in Actions columns).

    Ohio AgrAbility in Action’s June column will review website resources, and educational workshops available from Ohio AgrAbility.

    For more information, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  189. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Lift Creepers

    Laura AkgermanDisability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    If you have ever had to spend hours sitting on the floor of your workshop working on equipment, you know it can be hard to move across the workshop floor, or to stand, sit, kneel, and bend while you work. You may have sat on a chair, or cushion, but had to move it every time you changed position, and the chair or cushion you sat on may not have provided support or comfort. When workers have disabilities or other physical limitations, including chronic pain conditions, it is even more difficult to get down on the floor to work. 

    One solution is a Lift Creeper, a mechanic’s creeper with a padded seat and floor jack that will lift the operator from a kneeling height to a sitting or standing position without using their legs. The seat is a comfortable chair which provides back support and cushion, the armrests provide additional stability while seated, and give the worker a sturdy support to push themselves into a standing position. The wide wheel base makes the Lift Creeper stable, although you should still be careful about tipping it over if using it on uneven surfaces.

    Workers can use their arms and hands to push and pull the creeper across the floor and into position, or they could use their legs to move it. Some lift creepers will recline to allow the worker to lay on their back to slide under equipment. Other lift creepers will lower to 8.5” seated height, but do not recline. Lift Creepers are available in manual (hand-pumped hydraulic lift) or power (electric powered lift) versions.

    One Ohio AgrAbility farmer who uses the Lift Creeper is able to spend many hours working on his equipment because the seat provides support and cushioning. The , and the rolling creeper allows him to move across the floor without having to get up and down repeatedly, which would be difficult because of back and neck impairments. The ability to repair his own equipment, and not aggravate his back and neck while working has increased his productivity and helped him manage his pain.  Working on the equipment does not give him days of residual pain, as it did in the past when he worked with a mechanics creeper, which did not have the back support or the ability to raise him to a standing height.

    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 https://agrability.osu.edu/ or contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  190. 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 disAbilityWorkTools.com,  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 https://agrability.osu.edu/ or contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  191. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Upgrade your tractor with a camera system – increase safety, reduce pain and risk of secondary injuries

    Laura AkgermanDisability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    If you have ever had a headache or shoulder pain from frequently turning to look over your shoulder while you are planting, mowing or harvesting, you may want to think about installing a camera and monitor system in your tractor. Chronic headaches and long-term injuries to your neck, shoulders and back can occur from frequently turning to look over your shoulder. Camera systems also make hitching up to equipment much easier and safer, you can position the camera to show the hitch, eliminating the need for a second person to guide you when hitching up equipment.

    Ohio AgrAbility has a few clients who use camera systems, a few of the farmers need the cameras because they have a disability that stops them from turning to look over their shoulder, and also makes it difficult to climb in and out of the tractor while hitching equipment. The cameras allow them to continue farming safely and independently. Other AgrAbility clients use the cameras because of the slow development of arthritis or other degenerative conditions over years of hard work.

    Depending on the type of work you are doing, you may wish to install a one, two or three camera system for your tractor. With any camera system, you will need one or more monitors mounted within easy line of sight in your tractor (typically monitors are mounted in front of the wheel, or near the top of the windshield in a tractor with a cab, wherever is easy to see, and does not obstruct your view.) When purchasing a camera system, consider the size of the monitor you want (5”, 7”, 10”), if you need a heavy duty or waterproof camera, those are available.

    Different cameras and monitors are 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.

    One -camera systems work well if you are just looking behind you to see the progress of mowing, planting or other work, and only need one point-of-view. The camera can be mounted on the rear of the fender, or behind the tractor seat.

    Two-camera systems are good if you want one camera to view where you are working, and another camera to help with hitching to equipment. You can use two monitors (one for each camera), or a monitor with a split screen, that would allow you to see both camera viewpoints at the same time.

    Three camera systems are helpful if you use the tractor for multiple tasks, and do not want to have to adjust the camera angle between tasks. The first camera would show the tractor hitch. The second camera would show equipment that was being used/towed and the third camera could show a higher viewpoint (a grain hopper filling, discharging grain into a grain cart or trailer). A split screen or quad view monitor could be used, or you could have multiple monitors if you don’t like looking at ta split screen.

    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. Camera systems are great enhancements for any tractor, and serve a variety of farmers’ needs.

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility visit https://agrability.osu.edu/ or contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  192. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Replacing Grain Bin Ladders with Stairs

    Laura AkgermanDisability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Many farmers have grain bins, and have climbed the ladders up and down the grain bins for years, in all weather, without injury or trouble. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” could be said about the ladders on grain bins. Ladders serve their purposes and work well, and have worked well for years, so why make changes?

    Safety, stability, and reduced risk of injury from falling from a grain bin ladder, are a few reasons to consider upgrading from a ladder to stairs on your grain bin.

    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.

    Ohio AgrAbility has a few farmer clients who are not able to safely climb ladders, whether because their hands cannot grip the ladders as tightly as they once could, or because arthritis has affected their knees, backs, or shoulders and it is hard to climb.

    One Ohio AgrAbility client fell 14 feet off his grain bin, breaking bones, and causing internal organ damage. He has lost the use of his dominant hand, suffers chronic pain and balance issues. These injuries do not just impact his ability to climb the grain bins, he also has trouble climbing the steps to get into his tractor, hitching the tractor to implements, and turning to look over his shoulder while operating the tractor.

    He is still farming, but now he has stairs on his grain bins (instead of ladders). Other modifications he has added are: extra steps and handrails on his tractors, and cameras installed in the tractors so he doesn’t have to turn his head to see over his shoulder.

    This farmer benefits from the stairs, as does his 80-year-old father, who also climbs the stairs on the grain bin. This farm has fewer concerns about climbing stairs in bad weather. The safety and security the stairs have given these two farmers is invaluable, and has helped them to continue farming safely, without risk of more injuries from falling off grain bin ladders.

    Adding stairs to a grain bin is not cheap or easy, but if you consider increased safety and reduced risk of injury or accident, versus lifelong injuries (or death) the stairs are worth the investment.

      Grain bin with stairs

    Grain bin with a ladder                                              Grain bin with steps and guardrails 

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility visit https://agrability.osu.edu/ or contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  193. Happy Healthy Holidays – How to manage your work and health while indulging in holiday treats and parties

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Most of us still continue to work through the holiday season. If you farm, the animals still need fed, the equipment needs inspected and repaired, and next year’s work needs planned. And just like the work that needs done, don’t stop paying attention to your eating, health and exercise just because holiday obligations are on the calendar.

    During the holiday season it’s easy to eat, drink and be merry, and forget that you have diabetes, or another health condition that is impacted by your diet. Take time to assess your health, see where you could make improvements, and make a plan for better eating, more exercise, and ways to work smarter, not harder. Ohio AgrAbility has a Farming with Diabetes fact sheet that offers helpful tips for managing your diabetes while working on the farm. For other Ohio AgrAbility fact sheets, please see the Ohio AgrAbility resource page at https://agrability.osu.edu/resources .

    If you don’t have diabetes, but have a family member or friend who does, please consider their dietary restrictions when preparing holiday meals, or gifts of food & drinks. Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring food. Although fruits and vegetables are not as fun to eat as candy and cake, they can still be delicious, and planning healthy meals can keep you, your family and friends safe and healthy through the holidays (no one wants to go the emergency room because their blood sugar is too high or too low). This article has several suggestions for healthy eating, for more options and recipes, an Internet search for easy holiday recipes for diabetes will give you many, many resources. 

    If you are making food for holiday gifts and snacking, look at healthy options – nuts with spices and herbs, salsa or bean based dips (instead of cream cheese dips), good quality dark chocolate instead of brownies, shortbread instead of frosted cookies, sparking water and fruit juice instead of soda. Portion size is important also, don’t expect anyone to cut a brownie or cookie in half before they eat it! Cut small portions, if you are wrapping individual gifts, use small pieces, and include nuts with the cookies.

    The Centers for Disease Control offers 5 Healthy eating tips for the holidays, these are good tips for anyone, with or without a health condition.

    Holiday proof your eating plan
    Eat at or near your usual meal times to keep your blood sugar steady. If you are eating later than normal, have a small (healthy) snack, then eat less of your meal later. If you have dessert, or another sweet treat, cut back on other carbs (potatoes or bread) during the meal.
     
    Outsmart the buffet
    Start with vegetables and fruits, and take your time eating, it takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize your full. If you are hosting – make sure there are plenty of fruits and vegetables available, and consider a healthy fruit tart or berries and cream dessert instead of a heavy cake or pie.
     
    Fit in favorites
    Eat the foods you love in small amounts (especially if you only have them at the holidays), and balance sweets and healthy food with lighter, healthier food (vegetables and fruit).
     
    Keep moving
    Exercise and physical activity help reduce stress, and can help you maintain your weight and health if you are eating more than usual. If you don’t have time, break your activity into smaller sessions – take the stairs, walk with family and friends after a meal, or take the dog for a long walk.
     
    Get your Zzz’s
    Getting enough sleep is important to maintain your health, manage stress, and stay healthy during the holidays. If you are sleep deprived, it is harder to maintain a healthy blood sugar, and being tired can add stress, make you more susceptible to illness, and make you overeat.

     

    If you want more information, or help developing a structured eating and meal planning regimen, OSU Extension has an interactive online program called Dining with Diabetes: Beyond the Kitchen, that teaches you how to manage your diabetes at home, while grocery shopping, planning weekly meals or eating at restaurants. This program would also be very helpful if a member of your family is diabetic, and you need help planning and preparing meals. For a simple way to think about eating and meal planning, the Eating Healthier with Diabetes placemat is a simple way to see what (and how much) you should be eating.

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility visit https://agrability.osu.edu/ or contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  194. Lighting Solutions for the Dark Days of Winter

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Does your workload get lighter as the days get shorter and darker?  Probably not. Animals still need fed and tended to, work needs to get done, and equipment needs fixed.

    A well-lit work space is important to ensure that you can work safely and effectively. Task lighting makes work safer and easier, allowing you to see your equipment and workspace. Task lighting can be portable, permanently attached, or you can even wear it. LED lights are one solution for lighting a poorly it area, or upgrading older, expensive to use lights.

    Task lighting
    Task lighting is the lighting available in a workspace, or the area where a task will be performed. Poor lighting, such as only overhead lights, can cause shadows, and make work more difficult and dangerous by hiding sharp edges and other hazards. Inadequate lighting can cause eyestrain, blurred vision, dry and burning eyes, and headaches.

    Task Lighting safety practices(from https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79017 )

    • Provide lighting with adjustable intensity to meet the needs for different tasks
    • Provide portable lighting at the task location as appropriate
    • Keep walls, ceilings and floors clean, and use lighter colors on them to reflect light
    • Replace and clean lights regularly
    • Allow enough time for the eyes to adapt from a well-lighted to a low-lighted area and vice versa
    • Use filter to diffuse overhead lighting
    Adding task lighting to the dairy parlor.
    Adding task lighting to the dairy parlor.

     

    Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
    LED lights are available in Edison base (screw in), spotlights, floodlights, linear tubes or light strips. LEDs come on instantly, and are excellent for task lighting. LEDs last for years, and become brighter in cold temperatures, making them ideal for use outdoors, in barns, or cold storage.

    LEDs use at least 75% less energy than halogen or incandescent, and at least 15% less energy than compact fluorescent bulbs, saving on electricity costs. LED lights do cost more than other types of lights, but their long life and lower energy costs make up for the higher price. The Minnesota Department of Commerce did a yearlong study on an all LED green house and found that the LEDs saved 47% on energy costs, and would take only 2.2 years to pay for the cost of LED lights (and the lights will last much longer than 2.2 years). https://www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/blog/year-long-study-led-greenhouse-lighting-yields-illuminating-results

    LED Headlamps are ideal for wearing when you need a light, but don’t want to use a flashlight. The headset has elastic bands that allow you to wear it on your head, and the light beam is directed at whatever you are looking at, which makes it ideal for working on equipment, walking the dog at night, or walking/running outside after dark.

    One example of LED lights improving a worksite is how Ohio AgrAbility used LED lighting in the milking parlor and barn of a dairy farmer who had lost some of his vision due to Diabetes. He had a severely restricted field of vision, he couldn’t tell the difference between similar colors, and was rendered nearly blind by changes in light intensity. Before LED lights were installed, it was difficult for him to work with the cows, and he had to depend on his employees to do the bulk of the work. After LED lights were installed, the farmer was able to resume working, he could inspect the cows to be sure they were healthy, and could safely move throughout the barns and his property.
     
         
    Before LED lights were installed in the dairy barn. 
     
      
       After LED lights were installed in the dairy barn

     

    For more information about LED lights, and examples of LED uses, please see the fact sheet from University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension: Lighting Technology: LED lamps for home, farm and small business. https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A4050.pdf

    For more information, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  195. Farming and Gardening with Chronic Pain: Strategies for Managing Your Pain

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Chronic pain is common among farmers and gardeners because of the physical nature of their work. Pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, and walking can all aggravate existing conditions, or cause new disabling or painful conditions. If a farmer or gardener has a disability, chronic pain may be a side effect of that disability. Some strategies to manage the pain are to use medication, exercise, hydrotherapy (using ice or heat), meditation, stretching and “working through the pain”. Ignoring or working through the pain is not a good strategy, because it may aggravate a chronic condition or disability, or cause an injury, which cause more pain, and loss of ability to work.

    Not all of these strategies will work for everyone, and some may be impossible because of a disabling condition or physical ability. Please consult with a doctor before making changes in your medication, exercise or diet and nutrition.

    Medication Over the counter pain medication can be very effective at managing pain. If these pain medications do not work, a doctor may be able to prescribe a pain medication; please be aware of the risks of addiction and increased tolerance for a pain relief drug. There is an unfortunate epidemic of opioid addiction, and more than 80% of people who are addicted started with a pain medication from a doctor. If you are prescribed a pain medication, talk to your doctor about how long you should take the drug, when you should stop taking it, and how to dispose of unused drugs.

    Exercise If you are able to exercise this can be a very effective way to manage pain, strengthen your body, increase your flexibility and possibly reduce your risk of injury. If you do not exercise regularly, start slowly with low weights and shorter workouts. It is easy to be excited and overexert yourself when you begin exercising, this is not beneficial, as you could hurt yourself, and you may not want to continue exercising if you are in pain after every workout.

    Ice or Heat Applying ice or heat can help reduce pain, and can promote healing of an injury. Ice is good if you are swollen or want to numb the pain. Use a bag of ice or frozen peas wrapped in a kitchen towel, do not apply ice directly to your skin, you could give yourself an ice burn.

    Heat is good for painful and stiff joints or muscles, it can soften and loosen muscles, and reduce pain. Use an electric heating pad, and do not lay on it, or you could burn yourself.

    Meditation and Mindfulness Meditating or listening to guided imagery can be helpful to redirect your mind away from the pain. Using guided imagery can help you imagine a relaxing place where you are not in pain. Mindfulness focuses your attention on the present moment, and how you are reacting and thinking about the pain. Meditation can also help if you have difficulty sleeping.

    Stretching, Tai Chi or Yoga Stretching, yoga and tai chi can help with increasing flexibility, relaxing tight or stiff muscles, and building strength. All are typically done slowly, are low impact (no hard striking of the floor with your feet), and can be done without any equipment.

    For more information, please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility and OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  196. Don’t let arthritis or chronic pain stop you from gardening: Raised, vertical and elevated beds and container gardens

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    If you have chronic pain or physical limitations, kneeling, bending or stooping to tend your garden may be difficult or impossible. Raising your garden with elevated or raised beds, using walls and trellises for vertical gardens, or using containers or hanging gardens could reduce your need to stop or bend, and make gardening accessible for you.  A few points to consider are that gardens that are not in the ground may require more watering, and soil and plants can stain concrete, wood siding or other wall or flooring surfaces, be careful where you plant your garden.

    This article includes links to instructions to build your own raised or elevated beds, as well as where to purchase products. Ohio AgrAbility does not endorse or support any of the items listed, and has not reviewed or tested the instructions for building beds or containers.

    Raised or elevated beds

    A raised or elevated bed is typically a wood framed structure that raises the garden bed off the ground one foot or higher.  Depending on the need and mobility of the gardener, it could be raised a few feet off the ground, to minimize stooping or bending. It could also be built with a wide enough frame that it could be used as a seat, to allow the gardener to sit and tend it. Before building a frame that will act as a seat, consider that the gardener would have to sit on the frame and twist at the waist to tend the garden, which may be uncomfortable, and could cause strain or injury.

    Beds can also be built to waist height, which would allow the gardener to stand or lean on the bed and work without bending. If you use a wheelchair or mobility device, the bed could be built like a table with leg room underneath, which would allow you to roll up to the bed and access the garden, just like sitting at the dinner table.  If you don’t use a mobility device, but would like to sit while gardening, you could use a chair to sit at the garden bed and work.

    Before building or purchasing a raised, consider the height and depth of the bed. If the bed is against a wall, be sure that you can comfortably reach the back of the bed without straining or over-reaching. If the bed is free standing, it can be deeper, but you still want to be sure you can reach the middle of the bed comfortably. If you or someone else who will use the raised bed has limited or no feeling in arms & legs you will have to be careful that the wood or materials used to build the bed are smooth, and won’t cause abrasions or splinters.

    Instructions for building raised beds can be found online. If you don’t want to build one, you can buy one that is already assembled.

    Container gardens

    A container garden can be a window box, potted plant, an old dresser, or any other container you have. You can sit tall containers on the ground, or raise them with a stand, table or plant rack. Ideally the planter will be at least 24” – 36” high. Container gardens work well for people who cannot bend or stoop, as well as people who may not have very much space for a garden. When choosing containers and stands, remember that soil, plants and water are heavy, so be sure the container and stand can handle the weight. If you have it on a raised patio or balcony, be sure the containers are not too heavy for the structure. If you will have to move the container around put it on a rolling stand, or keep the container light enough to be movable. Containers should have one good sized hole for every gallon of soil in the container (for proper drainage). Light colored plastic containers are good, they do not absorb light/heat, and are lightweight.

    Hanging or vertical gardens

    Hanging baskets and vertical gardens are good options if you cannot bend or stoop or have limited space for a garden. If you want to hang your garden plants use lightweight, sturdy baskets and hang them at different heights for ease of watering.  There are a variety of pulley systems available for raising and lowering baskets for watering and tending the plants; the pulley systems have very mixed reviews about their ease of use and usefulness, do your research and read the reviews before you invest in a pulley system.

    Vertical gardens can be a structure or trellis attached to a wall, or plants can be trained to grow up a wall. Wooden pallets are popular for vertical gardens, with a few tools and supplies you could build a pallet garden to hold a variety of plants. If you are planting edible plants, be sure to use wood that has not been chemically treated, as the chemicals could seep into the soil, and the plants. You can use a heat-treated pallet, or build your own.

    You can use a trellis, stakes, poles or other vertical structures for climbing plants, sprawling plants or vines.  If you are using a trellis or other structure that will be attached to the wall, be sure to leave space between the trellis and the wall for air to circulate, to reduce the risk of mold or disease.

    The most important aspect of an accessible raised, elevated, hanging or vertical gardens is that is comfortable and safe for you to use. If you can garden without twisting, bending, stooping or reaching, that garden structure and method are a good fit for you.

    For more information on accessible gardens see Green Thumbs Healthy Joints, from West Virginia University.

    For information about useful products, see the Gardening with Arthritis: Adaptive equipment and tools resource list.

    For more information please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  197. Don’t let arthritis or chronic pain stop you from gardening: Garden carts, rolling work seats and storage

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Getting your tools and supplies out to the garden can be difficult if you have arthritis or another physical limitation. Tools, plants and supplies are bulky, heavy, and awkward to carry. It is tempting to load up and haul everything to the garden in one trip, but that is an easy way to aggravate your arthritis, overexert yourself, or drop valuable supplies, and ruin a good day in the garden. Having the right equipment can make it easier and safer to transport your supplies, work in the garden, and store your tools.

    This article highlights useful equipment and storage ideas, and includes links to equipment and supplies. Ohio AgrAbility does not endorse, support or benefit from any of the vendors listed, these are merely examples of the items discussed.

    Garden Carts

    If you need to transport tools, supplies and plants from your storage area to the garden a garden cart or wagon is a good investment. Garden carts with two or more wheels are more stable than traditional wheelbarrows, and can provide additional balance and stability when pushing or pulling the cart.

     When choosing a cart, consider the terrain you will be pushing your cart. Pneumatic tires will help you push through mud, uneven ground, or loose gravel. You also need to think of the weight of the cart, and the weight of the items you will be hauling; this garden cart can haul up to 400 pounds, and it weighs 95 pounds. If that is heavier than you are able to haul, a good alternative is this lightweight folding cart, which weighs 21 pounds, and can haul up to 150 pounds. A lighter cart may carry less, but it could also prevent injury by limiting the weight you are hauling. 

    A garden cart with a removable front or back panel allows you to remove items from the cart without lifting them over the sides of the cart. Before you buy a cart check to see if you can lift items over the sides of the cart without straining your back and shoulders.

    Rolling work seats

    A basic rolling work seat allows you to sit while you are working, and adjust the height of the seat to suit your task. If you want a more comfortable option a deluxe rolling work seat has tool holders, a tray for storage, and a padded seat. When choosing a rolling seat, consider if you want a long handle for pushing or pulling it to your work site, or if you would want to bend over and push the cart into place. Think about how high and low you want to adjust the seat, and how much storage you want built into the cart. A sturdy plastic cart may be weatherproof, allowing you to leave it outside in the garden, so you would not have to move it from place to place.

    Storage

    Storing your tools and equipment in or near the garden will eliminate the need for carrying tools and supplies to the garden when you want to work. A resin or plastic storage shed, bench or container that can be locked could be left in or near the garden. If you can’t find garden storage you like, look for patio or pool storage containers, they are designed to be kept outdoors, and many have interior shelves to help you organize your tools and supplies.

    If you are storing supplies and tools in a shed or garage, use adjustable shelving so you can arrange your items at easy to reach heights. If you have a garden cart, store bulky items at the same height as the cart bed, so that you could easily transfer items from the shelf to the cart without extra lifting.

    Store your most frequently used items on a shelf that is easy to access, and remember to put heavy or bulky items on lower shelves to eliminate the need to reach overhead and remove items. Install magnetic strips on walls to hold your garden tools, this keeps your tools organized and visible, and you won’t have to dig through drawers and risk getting stabbed by your pruners. Work benches should be at a height comfortable to stand or sit at, and if you have room for a few tables, set them at different heights so you can sit or stand comfortably, depending on the task. Work benches and counters should be narrow enough that you can reach the far edge of the work surface without straining your back or shoulders.

    Check back next month for information about raised, elevated, hanging and container gardens.

    For information about useful products, see the Gardening with Arthritis: Adaptive equipment and tools resource list.

    For more information please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  198. Don’t let arthritis or chronic pain stop you from gardening: Choosing the right tools and equipment

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    If you have chronic pain or physical limitations, having the right tools and equipment for gardening is vital, and may make the difference between completing a task, and being forced to stop because of pain and exhaustion. Before choosing tools, consider your strengths, and your limits. If you have trouble kneeling, bending, or stooping, long handled tools and a garden cart with a seat are essential. If you have hand pain, stiffness, or weakness, look for ergonomic tools which allow your hands and arms to stay in a neutral position, and require little grip strength to use.

    There are many attachments and add-ons which can convert your current tools to adaptive tools. This list highlights some common tools, and links to examples of the tools. Although specific tools and vendors are included in this article, Ohio AgrAbility does not endorse, support or benefit from any of the vendors listed, this list is merely to show examples of the tools discussed.

    Tools with padded grips make tools more comfortable to hold, and a thicker handle doesn’t require as tight a grip as a hard plastic or wood handle. Handles can be thick and solid, or have contoured surfaces for fingers. Choose tools that feel good in your hand, and fit your grip comfortably. You can also purchase a wrap for the handles of your current tools.

    New grips can be attached to the handles of your current tools, making the tool ergonomic and comfortable to use. The RoboGrip is designed for you to use with one hand, it has a cuff which wraps around your forearm, and a grip handle to keep your hand and wrist in a neutral position, reducing strain on your hands, wrists and arms, and allowing you to hold the tool with less grip strength. A ProHandle can also be used, it attaches to the handle of the tool, and requires use of both hands. It can be attached anywhere on the handle, and is designed to save strain to your lower back.

    Tools with ergonomic grips or handles allow you to keep your wrist and hand in a neutral position, ad are available with long handles or short handles. A Gripeez Glove can also hold your hand in a neutral position, and securely grip a tool or handle with minimal grip strength.

    Cutting and pruning tools which require minimal strength save your hands and wrists, and are available in a variety of handle lengths and grips. Long handled pruners allow you to cut and trim without crouching or stooping, and minimize jarring impact when cutting. Short handled pruners with Easy Action spring-action design gently opens blades after each cut to reduce hand strain

    A rolling work seat allows you to sit and work, eliminating the need to kneel, bend or stoop, and can be used to store and transport tools. Some garden carts have a tall handle for steering and moving the cart, eliminating the need to bend and push the cart. Other carts have handles on either side of the seat, which are useful if you need support to rise to a standing position.

    A harness attachment can support the weight of power tools, taking strain off your shoulders and neck if using the tool at chest level or higher. Be careful not to strain your neck or shoulders when reaching overhead, or tilting your head back to see what you are cutting.

    If you can, store your tools and equipment in or near the garden. A small garden shed, or locking storage box would eliminate the need to carry your tools and equipment between the house and the garden.

    Water hoses can be heavy and cumbersome to drag around the garden. Lay a soaker hose in your garden at the beginning of the season, and keep your garden irrigated without the effort of hauling the hose out to the garden every day. If a soaker hose won’t work in your garden, use a lightweight collapsible hose, they are lightweight and easy to carry, and are compact and easy to store. For watering hanging plants a watering wand is an easy way to water high or hard to reach plants with minimal effort or strain on your back and shoulders.

    Garden water faucet handles can be hard to turn, the Foxtail sliding handle faucet fits over a standard wheel faucet, and requires minimal grip strength to turn the water on or off.

    Check back next month for an overview of Universal Designs solutions for storage, raised beds and container gardens, and modifying your work tasks.

    For information about useful products, see the Gardening with Arthritis: Adaptive equipment and tools resource list.

    For more information please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  199. Don’t Let Arthritis or Chronic Pain Stop You from Gardening

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    It’s spring, and time to get out in the garden. If you one of the many American’s who have a chronic pain condition, you may worry that your pain-free gardening days are over, but they don’t have to be. With a few changes to your routine, you can continue gardening without increasing your pain. If your garden is already growing and established this year, please remember these tips when planning your garden for next year. All of the ideas listed in this article are contingent on your budget and space, but if you can implement a few of these ideas this year, then a few more next year, you can slowly make your garden accessible and easier to maintain.

    Think about what you can do (without causing yourself more pain), and what tasks are hard or painful to do. Can you eliminate or modify the tasks that are painful? Can you ask someone to help, or do those tasks for you? Can you change your work practice so you only have to do the difficult tasks once, or rarely?

    When planning to work in the garden, prioritize your tasks. Do the hardest or most strenuous work first, then do the easier tasks. If you are not sure how long you’ll be able to work, begin with what is most important, then go to less high priority tasks. Working past the point of exhaustion is just going to make your pain worse, and you could hurt yourself; it’s better to take a few days to work safely and without pain than to push yourself too hard and make your pain worse.

    Before you begin working in the garden warm up & stretch – gardening is not just hard work, it’s also good exercise. While you are gardening remember to take breaks to rest, relax, and enjoy your garden.

    Stay hydrated & stay out of the sun! Medication may affect your sensitivity to the sun & heat, and you could become hydrated or sunburnt easily. Try to work in the garden at the beginning and end of the day, to avoid the mid-day heat.

    If it is difficult to bend or kneel, and reach plants in the ground, consider a raised bed, a container garden, or a wall hanging garden. If you don’t have the option of a raised bed or container garden this year, think about taking a chair or bench into the garden so you can sit instead of kneeling or stooping. When you are done working, you can sit on the bench and enjoy your garden.

    If you like the idea of a container garden but don’t want to buy containers, look around your home and garden and see what items can be repurposed to serve as containers. Old toolboxes, kitchen gadgets (seizes and colanders), wicker baskets, hats, purses…. Just about anything could be a container garden. Once you have the container, you can put it on a bench, chair, step, ledge, anything that is stable, and raised enough to allow you to access it without kneeling or stooping.

    Be careful not to put plants to high, as reaching overhead can be painful, and you don’t want the risk of something falling on you if you are struggling to reach it.

    There are many ergonomic and adaptive tools and techniques that will enhance your gardening experience. Check back next month for an overview of tools, equipment and work tasks that can help.

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility visit https://agrability.osu.edu/ or contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  200. 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.

    Parking

    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.

    Signage

    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.

    Restrooms

    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 www.ada.gov. Specific information about how the ADA applies to small businesses can be found under the Technical Assistance Materials link on the ada.gov website. For information about making temporary events accessible, go to https://adata.org/publication/temporary-events-guide

    For more information please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

     

  201. Wellness: Exercise and Eat Healthy to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    April is time for planting crops, enjoying spring flowers, and planning your garden. The weather is warmer, it’s a treat to go outside for a walk, and all of your New Year’s health resolutions seem attainable. There are many reasons to exercise and eat healthy: it’s nice to be outside and active, you feel better, you may lose some weight, and you want to impress your doctor at your next checkup. Being active and healthy can increase your chances of living a long and healthy life.

     In 2016 President Obama proclaimed April as National Cancer Control Month, and asked all Americans “to join in activities that will increase awareness of what Americans can do to prevent and control cancer.” It’s a great idea, but do you know where to start? The American Cancer Society (ACS) has a Stay Healthy page with tips on exercise, sun safety, healthy eating, how to quit smoking, and cancer screenings at the (ACS) website, cancer.org  

    Exercise to reduce your risk of cancer. Physical activity not only helps you maintain a healthy weight, it can help improve your immune system, and it reduces your chances of developing heart disease and diabetes. Adults should get moderate exercise at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Not sure how hard you have to exercise to get health benefits? Moderate exercise should make you breathe as hard as you would if you were walking briskly. You also need to limit the time you spend sitting or lying down, 150 minutes of moderate exercise cannot cancel out hours and hours of not being active. For more information about exercise and cancer, Get Active at the ACS website.

    Healthy eating can reduce your risk of cancer. Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and protein, and limit fried or processed foods. Easy to say, hard to do. Most of us are very busy, with little time to prepare three healthy meals a day. Planning your meals for the week, and cutting up enough vegetables and fruit for several days makes healthy eating much easier. Take a few hours on the weekend to plan your menu for the week. Choose recipes that make good leftovers, prepare the ingredients, cut up vegetables and fruit, and you can eat healthy lunches and dinners, with minimal cooking, all week. While you are prepping your meals, you can also cook a big batch of soup, all you need is low sodium or no salt added broth, vegetables, canned beans, a whole grain or whole wheat pasta, a little meat and seasoning, and you may never eat canned soup again! For healthy snacks and meals, see Dashboard Dining at the ACS website. 

    Ohio State University Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences offers an online Dining with Diabetes: Beyond the Kitchen program that helps you make healthy food choices at restaurants, and offers advice on meal planning and preparation. The program is a great resource for anyone who wants to eat healthy, not just for people with diabetes.

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility visit https://agrability.osu.edu/ or contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  202. Heart Health

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Did you know that your risk for a heart attack increases in the winter?  “Cold weather sometimes creates a perfect storm of risk factors for cardiovascular problems,” says Dr. Randall Zusman, Massachusetts General Hospital. Cold weather can cause a decrease in the oxygen rich blood your heart needs. Cold weather conditions can make your heart work harder, then your heart needs more oxygen rich blood, which is already in short supply and this can lead to a heart attack. (Zusman, Harvard Health Publications, 2016).

    Taking precautions and staying healthy over the winter can reduce your risk of a winter-induced heart attack. Eating healthy, limiting your alcohol intake, taking all prescribed medications and exercising regularly are all key factors to maintain good health. Not sure how much you need to exercise? 150 minutes a week of moderate to intensive cardio exercise, and two days a week of strengthening/weight training exercise is the current recommendation from Center for Disease Control. If you can’t go outside and exercise, climb the stairs inside your house, walk or jog in place, dance, do something that gets your heart beating faster. Before you begin a new exercise routine, please check with your doctor to ensure your don’t over exert yourself.

    Common heart attack risk factors and how to avoid them:

    Overexertion – walking against the wind and through deep snow, shoveling snow, pushing a car out of the snow, feeding and watering your animals are all winter activities that cannot be avoided. To reduce your risk of heart attack or other injury consider how you could change the way you work outside.

    Use snow removal equipment instead of shoveling snow. If you have to shovel, take it easy! Shovel smaller amounts of snow, take frequent breaks, drink fluids to stay hydrated, and only shovel what you must.

    Cold exposure - When you are suddenly exposed to cold temperatures your blood vessels can constrict and reduce blood flow.  Put your coat, hat, gloves and scarf on before you walk outside. (Zusman, 2016)

    Overheating -  Wear layers – if you get too hot your blood vessels can dilate, which can dramatically reduce blood pressure. Remove layers gradually when working outside, or go inside to take a break and cool down.

    Influenza – The flu can lead to a heart attack in people with heart disease – the combination of fever and dehydration can affect the level of oxygen in your blood, which can lead to a heart attack.

    Missing medications – Missing a dose of medicine can have serious consequences. Be sure you have all of your prescription medications, do not wait until the last minute to refill a medication, you may be unable to get to the pharmacy if the weather gets bad.

    Stress – Stress impacts your physical and mental health. Manage stress with regular exercise, healthy eating, spending time with friends and family, and getting help for physical and mental health issues.

    Heart attack signs and symptoms in men and women

    Chest discomfort or pain – tight ache, squeezing, pressure or fullness that lasts more than a few minutes, this pain may come and go.

    Upper body pain – pain that spreads beyond your chest to shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw. You could have this pain without chest pain.

    Stomach pain, nausea and/or vomiting  - pain or heartburn in your abdominal area, nausea and/or vomiting.

    Shortness of breath – you may feel like you need to pant or to take deep breaths, this can occur before chest discomfort, or without chest discomfort.

    Anxiety – you may feel as if you are having a panic attack, or feel a deep sense of gloom for no apparent reason.

    Lightheadedness – dizziness, or feeling like you are going to faint.

    Sweating – cold, clammy sweat when you have not exerted yourself.

    (Mayo Clinic, 2017)

    Do heart attacks look different in women?

    Yes. The Cleveland Clinic lists three subtle heart attack symptoms women are more likely to experience than men:

    Unusual fatigue –“heavy” chest or fatigue when you have not exerted yourself. Simple activities make you excessively tired. Difficulty sleeping (even when you are exhausted). If you are suddenly worn out after your typical workout routine.

    Sweating or shortness of breath - sudden sweating or shortness of breath without exertion, breathlessness that continues to worsen over time after exertion. Shortness of breath that worsens when lying down, and improves when upright. Sweating or shortness of breath with chest pain or fatigue. “Stress” sweat (cold & clammy) when there is no stressor.

    Neck, jaw or back pain – pain in either arm, not just the left arm. Pain in the chest that spreads to the lower or upper back. Sudden pain, not due to exertion, that can wake you at night. Pain that is specific to the left, lower jaw.

    Women may notice these symptoms in the weeks or month before a heart attack. If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor. Write a list of your symptoms and when they occur, tell your doctor about any family history of heart disease, and tell your doctor about any stressors you are experiencing.

    If you have chest pain or discomfort and any of the symptoms listed above (especially if they last longer than five minutes) get help right away. Call 911, or have someone drive you to the doctor or nearest health care facility or hospital.

    More information about heart attacks and heart health can be found at:

     

    For more information please contact Laura Akgerman, Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Disability Services Coordinator, at Akgerman.4@osu.edu, or 614-292-0622.

  203. Managing Your Aches and Pains in the Winter

    Laura Akgerman Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Anyone with aches & pains knows that cold weather makes everything hurt a little more, and makes it harder to work and get everything done. According to Professor Robert H Shmerling, MD, at the Harvard Medical School, weather may or may not have an impact on your arthritis pain, but there may be “a connection between weather and joint symptoms… researchers have been unable to figure out just what matters most about the weather and arthritis symptoms or why there should be a connection”.  While you cannot control the weather, you can control how to react to it, and how to manage your health, wellness and productivity.

    If you will be working outside in cold weather:

    • Wear layers of clothing, keep an extra pair of gloves with you (in case one pair gets wet)
    • Wear a hat that covers your head and ears, and use the hood on your coat or sweatshirt to keep out drafts
    • Take short, frequent breaks to warm up, and don’t overexert – yourself, energy is required to keep muscles warm
    • If you are working in remote areas, try to work with someone else, and carry your cell phone in case you need to call for help

    The Arthritis Foundation of Washington reports “a lack of physical activity will cause joints to become stiff. Exercise eases arthritis pain. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue”.

    Stay active and healthy over the winter:

    • Include stretching, strengthening and endurance activities in your daily routine
    • Plan your day to alternate between difficult and easier tasks, do the most strenuous tasks early, when you have the most energy
    •  Sit when possible to minimize stress on your joints
    •  Be mindful of proper techniques for lifting, carrying, bending and reaching overhead
    • Use labor saving devices when possible
    • Transport items by cart rather than carrying them

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility visit http://agrability.osu.edu or contact Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Akgerman.4@osu.edu, 614-247-7681.

     

  204. Welcoming Everyone to your Farm or Business

    Laura Akgerman - Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

    Is your farm or business open to the public? Is your farm or business welcoming to people with disabilities? The American’s with Disabilities Act is a federal law that requires businesses to be accessible to people with disabilities, and it may apply to your business or farm.

    If you are not sure if your business is accessible, here are a few questions to consider:

    • Is your property welcoming to people of all abilities?
    • Is there room in your parking area for a wheelchair accessible van to park, lower a ramp to the ground, and allow someone to exit the van and travel safely to a sidewalk or walking path?
    • Is the surface of your parking area easy to travel across, or would someone in a wheelchair or walker get stuck in mud, gravel, grass, etc…?
    • Could a person in a wheelchair access your property, public bathrooms, barns, and activity or program areas?
    • Do you have any steps leading into your buildings? Even one step can keep someone with a disability from entering a building; a ramp or a level (no step) entrance is best for access.
    • Are the entrances to your buildings or activity areas clear of any obstruction, structures, displays, furniture, etc…?
    • Could a person in a wheelchair turn around or maneuver in or out of your business or activity area? A minimum turn radius is 60” x 60”, this will allow room for wheelchair or scooter users to safely turn around.
    • Do you have information about how people could request accommodations listed on your brochures, website and advertisements?

    For more information on The Americans with Disabilities Act: https://www.ada.gov/

    Search small business, or technical standards for specific information. Your insurance provider may also have information about requirements for accessibility.

    For more information about Ohio AgrAbility visit http://agrability.osu.edu or contact Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility & OSU Extension Akgerman.4@osu.edu, 614-247-7681.

     

  205. Impacts at 2016 Farm Science Review

    Laura Akgerman – CFAES Disability Services Coordinator

    The Ohio AgrAbility Program participated in the 2016 Farm Science Review September 20 – 22. The OAP display area included information and resources from Ohio AgrAbility, National AgrAbility, and several assistive technology & adaptive equipment companies. To ensure no mobility devices ran out of power, OAP provided a mobility scooter & chair charging station for participants needing a re-charge.

    AgrAbility staff facilitated daily Peer Network meetings, with several of our clients leading the discussions, and relating their experiences with disability services and products. To facilitate access to the field demonstrations, AgrAbility sponsored an accessible shuttle bus to transport visitors from the main exhibit area to the farm fields.

    Our exhibit area focused on assistive technology & adaptive equipment for rural lifestyles and agricultural businesses. The companies participating with our exhibit area at FSR included disABILITY Work Tools, Life Essentials, PWR EZ, K & M Manufacturing, Propel Doors, Bump n’ Drive Gates, and Action Track Chairs dealer McCabe Outdoors.

    In addition to the display, our team presented a workshop titled Helping Ohio Farmers: A Combined Effort Between the Ohio AgrAbility Program and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, to OOD Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, and Bureau of Workers Compensation staff. The two-hour workshop covered the history and mission of AgrAbility, information about Ohio farmers, Ohio AgrAbility, assistive technology, and resources for farmers. To emphasize the importance of the working relationships between state agencies, the workshop was approved for two hours of Continuing Education Units for Certified Rehabilitation Counselors. The workshop concluded with a tour of machinery exhibits, highlighting a variety of adaptive steps, ladders, and assistive technology for our farm clients.

  206. Safe Operation of Tractors while Mowing along Roadways

    By: Dewey Mann - Research Associate-

    “A 44-year-old farm owner was killed when the tractor he was driving overturned while using a rotary mower attached to a Ford 600 tractor. The farmer was mowing an area along the gravel road leading to his home in a very remote area. The tractor…was not equipped with a Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS) or a seatbelt. The tractor's right front wheel went over the edge of the embankment, causing the tractor to overturn and come to rest on top of the victim in the center of the road. A neighbor discovered him about a half hour later and called emergency medical services (FACE 98KY077).”

    With more than adequate rainfall this summer, the grass and weeds will likely be more resilient than normal. To keep field edges looking nice and increase visibility along public roadways, farmers and highway crews will be mowing road ditches. With excess water in the ditches, extra caution should be used when mowing these areas.

    Here are some tips for increasing safety when mowing along roadways:

    • Operators should ALWAYS wear a seatbelt when on tractors equipped with Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) or a cab
    • Older tractors should be retrofitted with ROPS and seatbelts, and are not the best choice for mowing along road ditches
    • Use tractors with a wide wheel base; addition of dual wheels can increase the stability
    • Remove frontend attachments, such as loader buckets, or keep in the lowered position
    • Drive forward down slopes, and back up; two-wheel drive tractors are more susceptible to rear overturn when driving up a slope
    • Never carry extra riders
    • If the tractor gets stuck in the mud, take your time and get additional assistance to remove the tractor

    When removing a stuck tractor from the mud, never attach logs, boards, or posts to tires. Use a large chain or cable tied to another tractor/large vehicle, attached as low as possible on the stuck tractor to avoid an overturn, have bystanders leave the area, and slowly try to remove the tractor.

    While the focus of this article is on agricultural tractors, the same principles apply to riding lawn mowers. Never carry passengers, use caution on slick road banks, keep the ROPS in the upright position and wear a seatbelt at all times.

    Videos showing tractor rollovers with and without Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) can be found at: https://www.nycamhoutreach.com/ropsr4u/vt/videos/

    Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) report retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/face/stateface/ky/98ky077.html

    Dewey Mann, research associate for agricultural safety and health, and lecturer for agricultural systems management, can be reached at (614) 292-1952 or mann.309@osu.edu.

     

  207. ‘Making the Connection’ with a Reliable Hitch Pin

    By Dewey Mann, Research Associate-

    “A farmer connected a nurse tank of anhydrous ammonia to the rear of the tractor-mounted applicator…When the tractor moved forward, the HITCH PIN FAILED, causing the connected hose to stretch and fail, which released ammonia vapor into the air. There were no injuries reported, but emergency first responders were called to monitor the release of the ammonia vapors (Iowa, 2002).”

    During spring planting and field work, think about how many times you install a hitch pin to secure a seed tender, anhydrous ammonia tank, implement, etc. I would venture to guess, if it hasn’t happened to you, most farmers at least know someone that has a ‘hitch pin story’, possibly similar to the one above. Fortunately, most stories are usually similar in nature: no injuries and insignificant property damage. However, for incidents that occur during transportation of equipment on roadways, the consequences can be disastrous, regardless of what is being towed.

    Smaller farm equipment may be more susceptible to hitching failure or loss of a hitch pin, due in part to the hitching configuration (size and type of hitch pin used). Small tractors, 150PTO horsepower and smaller, typically have category 0, 1, or 2 drawbar hitches. Larger row-crop tractors, 250-400+PTO horsepower, have category 3 or 4 drawbar hitching systems that typically use a specific hitch pin and locking mechanism. 

    Regardless of tractor size, here are some hitch pin tips to ensure you are making a good connection:
    • Use safety hitch pins that have a locking device to keep them in place.
    • Use the largest diameter hitch pin that will fit through the tractor drawbar and implement hitch.
    • NEVER use bolts or fasteners as hitch pins.
    • Hitch pins supplied by the equipment dealer are preferred; low-cost hitch pins may be of inferior strength (currently no standardized testing    
       protocol). Note that hitch pins are sold by shaft diameter and length rather than actual load capacity. 
    • ALWAYS attach a safety chain between the tractor and equipment when transporting on the road; this won’t stop the hitch pin from coming out
       or failing, but will minimize damage if the pin does fail.
    • Discard worn or damaged (e.g. bent) hitch pins to avoid the temptation to use them; throw them in the scrap heap, not in the toolbox.

    Safe towing!

    Dewey Mann, research associate for agricultural safety and health, and lecturer for agricultural systems management, can be reached at (614) 292-1952 or mann.309@osu.edu.

    Scenario and foundational information referenced from:
    Deboy, G.R., Knapp, W.M., Field, W.E., Krutz, G.W., Corum, C.L. (2012). Establishing the Need for an Engineering Standard for Agricultural Hitch Pins. Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 18(2): 141-154.

     

  208. Improving Tractor Ride Comfort

    By: Dewey Mann, Research Associate

    As the ground temperature begins to warm up, preparations for spring planting are well underway. By the time this article goes to press, many farming operations will have already completed maintenance checks on spring planting equipment; meters calibrated, bearings and chains (if equipped) lubricated, planter unit leveled, change oil in the planter tractor, etc. Typically, ‘tire inflation pressure’ only makes the maintenance checklist if the operator has a planter with a ground drive system*. Sure, we might ‘check’ the tire pressure on the planting tractor, but where does our target inflation number come from? Possibly an inflation pressure we have used for years (25PSI), or a number we have heard thrown around the coffee shop. Proper tire inflation pressure can increase productivity, fuel efficiency, and yes, even ride comfort.

    Common means of suspension on agricultural tractors include (from operator to the ground): seat, cab, axle, and tire suspension. Aside from upgrading to a newer model tractor, the quickest method for influencing ride comfort is to adjust tire inflation pressure (tire suspension). Consulting tire load and inflation tables, from the tire manufacturer, is likely the best source for determining the proper tire inflation pressure.

    A row crop tractor equipped with 480/80R42 duals (4 tires across the rear axle), and an axle weight of 16,000lbs (4,000lbs per tire), the proper tire inflation pressure would be 12PSI (pounds per square inch).       

    The same concepts also apply for utility or lawn and garden tractors. If a lawn and garden tractor had a rear axle load of 1200lbs (600lbs per tire), and was equipped with 21x8.00-10 NHS tires, the recommended inflation pressure would be 10PSI.

    ALWAYS consult the tire load and inflation pressure tables, and communicate with your local tire dealer to ensure the proper inflation pressures are being used; and they the tire manufacturer will guarantee the warranty at the selected inflation pressure.


    *For those not familiar with planting equipment, a ground drive planter transfers power from a ground wheel, through a drive shaft to the planter transmission; if the diameter of the ground drive tire is altered (inflation pressure too high or too low), the planter rate will also be altered (underseeding, or overseeding). Modern planting systems are utilizing hydraulic or electric powered drive systems.

    Example load and inflation scenarios referenced using: http://www.firestoneag.com/en/tire-info/load-inflation-tables/default.aspx

    Dewey Mann, research associate for agricultural safety and health, and lecturer for agricultural systems management, can be reached at (614) 292-1952 or mann.309@osu.edu.
     

  209. Reducing the Risk of Back Injuries

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Back pain can be a common issue in the agricultural industry because of the physical nature of work and the vast array of tasks associated with agriculture. Many workers are required to do heavy lifting, a tremendous amount of walking and work in awkward positions to complete tasks.  There are a number of factors that can contribute to back pain including force, posture, repetition, and even inactivity. Back injuries can be chronic or short term, but at some point everyone will experiences some form of back injury. Once a back injury has occurred, special consideration needs to be given to the spine, muscles and tendons to prevent a back injury from occurring again. There are several measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of a back injury and many tasks can be modified to relieve stress placed on the back. Some guidelines include:

    • Maintain good posture. Don’t slouch and when standing balance your weight evenly on your feet.
    • Avoid working in awkward positions or standing for long periods of time.
    • When changing directions turn with your feet, not your waist.
    • Wear boots with high quality insoles and support the ankles reduces back pain.
    • Use correct lifting posture every time. Use your legs to lift, instead of bending at the back.
    • When carrying things keep them close to the body and make more trips carrying smaller loads.
    • Limit repetitive tasks and chores involving poor posture. Alternating this type of task with less strenuous tasks can be effective at preventing back injuries.
    • “Push” rather than “pull” objects.
    • Carts and wheelbarrows are efficient and effective to use when feeding livestock or moving bulking or heavy items.
    • Minimize stumbling or fall hazards by practicing good housekeeping methods in all areas of the farm.
    • Utilize the right tool for the job and allow the tool to do the work. Minimize excessive force when operating tools.
    • When in the seat of equipment, adjust the seat to position the thighs parallel to the floor.
    • Consider installing mirrors or cameras on equipment to reduce the need to turn.
    • Replace older equipment seating with new seats that have adjustable lumbar support, arm rests and adjustable positioning.
    • Modify tasks or work methods to reduce the number of times needed to get on and off equipment.
    • Listen to your body. Pain is the communication from your body that an injury is occurring or about to occur. 

    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

     

  210. Preventing Slips and Falls during Icy Conditions

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Program Coordinator

    When the temperature drops, ice can become a severe problem when working outdoors.  On the farm, water troughs ice over, barn doors freeze shut, and ice glazes over travel paths or equipment stored outside.  Icy conditions can cause severe injuries because a slip or slide abruptly causes a loss of balance, which results in a fall, impacting the surface below.  The most common severe injuries occur to the hips, back or head.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, there were 42,480 workplace slip-and-fall injuries in the workplace, involving ice, sleet or snow that required at least one day away from work to recuperate. This does not include thousands more winter slip-and-fall related injuries that were minor and did not result in lost work time. Here are some simple guidelines to reduce the risk of a slip / fall injury from icy conditions:

    • Use the proper footwear that can provide some slip resistance and traction.

    • Take short steps or shuffle, and try to ensure your torso stays balanced over your feet.

    • Keep your hands out of your pockets. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip and by placing your arms out to your side can help to maintain your balance.

    • Utilize handrails and grab bars, or follow a fence line in an effort to maintain your stability by holding on to a solid object.

    • If applying salt to travel paths is not an option, apply sand, gravel, kitty liter, floor dry or some abrasive substance to provide a texture for traction.

    • Use grassy areas as a secondary travel path.  This will provide a course texture to increase traction while walking.

    • Take extra precaution around livestock watering areas. Ice can form in theses areas by water being splashed or dripped around the perimeter of the tank.

    • Minimize distractions to remain alert to icy hazards and avoid carrying bulky items that block your view

    • When transitioning from the bright outdoor environment to indoor areas, stop briefly to allow your vision to catch up with the change in lighting, in order to recognize hazards ahead.

    • Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles or equipment; use the vehicle for support.

    • Use 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting large equipment (1 hand / 2 feet) or (2 hands / 1 foot). Ensure there is solid footing on the ground before final dismounting.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  211. Carbon Monoxide, Silent but Deadly

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Winter is a time when fuel-burning devices are at peak utilization, along with that come the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal, warns of following devices that may produce dangerous levels of CO gas:

    • Fuel fired furnaces (non-electric)
    • Gas water heaters
    • Generators
    • Fireplaces and wood stoves
    • Gas stoves
    • Non-electric space heaters
    • Gas dryers
    • Charcoal grills
    • Lawnmowers, snow blowers, etc.
    • Automobiles

    Carbon monoxide cannot be detected without a carbon monoxide detector/alarm. It can present like any other illness. Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 or consult a health care professional.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns, “Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.”

    What can you do to prevent CO poisoning? The CDC and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have extensive lists of guidance to follow to keep you and your loved ones safe. See the key points below:

    • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming. Replace your CO detector every five years.
    • Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
    • Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
    • If you smell an odor from your gas refrigerator have an expert service it.
    • When you buy gas equipment, buy only equipment carrying the seal of a national testing agency, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories.
    • Make sure your gas appliances are vented properly.
    • Have your chimney checked or cleaned every year.
    • Never patch a vent pipe with tape, gum, or something else.
    • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
    • Never use a gas range or oven for heating.
    • Never burn charcoal indoors.
    • Never use a portable gas camp stove indoors.
    • Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage. Only use outdoors more than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
    • When using a generator, use a battery-powered or battery backup CO detector in your home.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety, visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455.

  212. On-Farm Grain Storage Facility Safety

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As harvest finishes up, thoughts about on-farm grain storage turn to grain quality in the bin and handling or hauling out throughout the winter. Common injuries associated with grain handling facilities include slips, trips and falls; blunt trauma incidents; sprains / strains; entanglement; engulfment; and injuries caused by equipment.  Below are safety considerations for your grain storage facility when working this fall and winter:

    1. Keep equipment properly maintained. Recognize, respect, and avoid equipment hazards such as cut points, wrap points, pinch points, burn points, and stored energy. Severe injuries from equipment hazards can happen in a fraction of a second.
    1. Emergency contact information and procedures should be available and verified.  Make sure cell phones are adequately charged and have signal before starting potentially dangerous work.
    1. Try to avoid working alone. If you must work alone, notify family members or coworkers before starting potentially dangerous work and tell them when you expect to finish.
    1. Know where overhead power lines are so they can be avoided when moving equipment or using a portable auger.
    1. Insure there is adequate lighting at the facility when working in low light conditions to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
    1. Have a fire extinguisher handy and charged.  A fire in its beginning stages can many times be extinguished by quick response by someone with a fire extinguisher.
    1. If the grain is out of condition, the air quality inside the bin may not be safe. Do not try to enter without first sampling the air.
    1. Use a N-95 respirator when unloading grain or working in grain bins.  Grain dust and molds can cause serious respiratory health issues.
    1. Never enter a grain bin while grain handling components, such as augers, are in operation
      1. All equipment shutoffs should be labeled in the electrical panel and at switches.  This makes it easier to shut off specific equipment in the event of an emergency.
      2. Lockout/tagout procedures should be developed for all equipment.  When working on the grain bin, lockout/tagout keeps equipment from being unexpectedly started.
    1. If you must enter the bin use a body harness, lifeline and station a person at the entry point to monitor the person in the bin.
    1. Bridged grain or grain lining the wall of the bin is dangerous and should be handled at a distance, preferably from outside the bin.  Use a pole to break up bridged grain and try pounding on the outside of the bin to dislodged grain that clings to bin walls. 
    1. Ask your local fire department if they would like a tour of your facility.  If needed, it will help them respond more efficiently to your facility.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  213. Chain Saw Safety

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    Clearing trees and fence line shrubs are often a fall and winter activity. Having woody landscape trimmed makes for a better environment, and also provides firewood for bonfires and fireplaces. Here are important recommendations to protect all workers while using chainsaws.

    Start with wearing the right gear. Personal protection equipment should include:

    • Sturdy footwear, steel-toed boots are preferred

    • Leather gloves

    • Eye and face protection

    • Hearing protection – either ear plugs or muffs

    • Hard hat – specialized hard hats can include a debris face shield and built-in ear muffs

    • Chainsaw chaps

    • Avoid wearing frayed or loose fitting clothes that can catch on the bark or caught in the saw

    Chainsaw selection and maintenance:

    • Use the right saw for the job, as there are different sizes available for the tree size as well as the worker’s skill set.

    • Keep the saw in good condition. Check the operator’s manual for a maintenance schedule that will describe small engine maintenance and chain sharpening recommendations.

    • Sharpen the chain if:

                The chain tends to “walk” sideways while cutting.

                The cut debris shows fine powder instead of chips.

                It is necessary to press hard against the wood to cut it.

                Cutting produces the smell of burnt wood.

    Fueling and starting the chainsaw:

    • Refuel the saw while the engine is cool.

    • Never smoke when working the saw.

    • Never start the saw in mid air; always place the saw on the ground.

    • Place the chainsaw on the ground and use two hands to start it. Grip the top handle with one hand, while pulling the starter cable with the other hand.

    Recommended Operating Procedures:

    • Operate the saw on stable ground with good footing to avoid slips and falls.

    • Never operate the saw overhead.

    • Do not cut using the tip of the saw, as this can result in a kickback reaction.

    • Avoid chain contact with hard objects, including the ground, rocks, or metal hardware.

    • Do not disable any safety features of the saw, such as anti-kickback bars or bar-tip shields.

    • Operate the saw in good lighting conditions.

    • Do not operate the saw when fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    For additional information, contact Dee Jepsen at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008. Or refer to the Chain Saw Safety Factsheet at: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79033

  214. Safety During Harvest Season

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As harvest season begins, safety should be a priority on the farm and with grain handling operations. Consider that it is a time that involves long hours and the need for multiple pieces of equipment working simultaneously to be efficient and productive. The continuous activity, diminished daylight and stresses that can be associated with harvest can often lead to agricultural related injuries. Common injuries during fall harvest include slips, trips and falls; blunt trauma incidents; sprains / strains; entanglement; and engulfment.  Guidelines to reduce the risk of an injury during harvest include:

    Reducing Fatigue:
    - To reduce fatigue, try to get enough sleep.  This is your body’s time to rest.
    - Set a pace for yourself, and plan out your day’s activities.
    - Take short breaks throughout the day.  Get out of the combine or truck for a few minutes, and do something to get away from the equipment and revitalize.
     
    Equipment Safety:
    - Follow the procedures in the operator’s manual of equipment for safe operation, maintenance, and trouble shooting
    - Keep equipment properly maintained and check all guards are in position and correctly fitted before starting work.
    - Insure equipment has adequate lighting for working in the dark. Increase caution when working in early morning or late evening when daylight is diminished.
    - Maintain 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting equipment.
             (1 hand and 2 feet) or (2 hands and 1 foot)
    - Ensure that hand holds or railings are in safe operating condition.
    - Exercise caution when steps or walking surfaces are wet or dirty.
    - Avoid jumping off of the last step and anticipate changes in ground elevation or rough terrain when dismounting from the last step.
    - Be alert to you surroundings. Know where equipment is being positioned and be observant to individuals who may be walking around equipment.
    - When working with others around equipment, maintain eye contact and communicate your intentions with the other person.
    - Utilize safe travel routes between fields, and take into account potential problems with automobile traffic and narrow roadways. Use escort vehicles when needed.
     
    Grain Handling Safety:
    - Use Personal Protective Equipment when appropriate (safety glasses, gloves, etc..).
    - Utilize respiratory protection such as an N95 respirator in dusty environments.
    - Use hearing protection in work environments louder than 85 decibels for an extended period of time.
    - Know where overhead power lines are so they can be avoided when moving equipment or using a portable auger.
    - Insure there is adequate lighting at the grain storage facility when working in low light conditions to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
    - Never enter a grain bin while grain-handling components, such as augers, are in operation. Lockout/tagout procedures should be developed for all equipment. 
    - If you must enter the bin use a body harness, lifeline and station a person at the entry point to monitor the person in the bin.

     

    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

     

  215. 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 http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  216. Identifying Agricultural Workplace Hazards

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    No matter if you are finishing summer farm tasks or preparing for fall harvest, it is important to assess the safety hazards within your work area. The ability to assess potential hazards before an injury occurs is a key component to safety management and protecting the safety of those working around you. All agricultural work environments present their own unique safety hazards. No two areas or work tasks are the same, however there are general guidelines that can be followed:

    - Confirm there are no slip, trip and fall hazards such as liquid spills, tools, grease, loose grain, or elevation changes on the floor or ground.

    - Be mindful of material/chemical injuries due to splashes in the eyes or on the skin. Also watch for over-exposure in dusty environments or with vapors and mists.

    - Read safety labels and understand terms such as flammable, combustible, corrosive and potential for personal injury.

    - Recognize travel patterns of farm equipment and moving vehicles to reduce the potential for collisions, run-overs and other injuries.

    - Verify machine guarding is in place and properly functioning to avoid equipment hazards such as pinch-points, cut points, wrap points, burns, or stored energy.

    - Consider any processes that may generate flying debris or thrown objects that can cause blunt trauma including eye injuries, struck by, or punctures.

    - Ensure emergency stops or shut down procedures work properly.

    - Verify that air, water and hydraulic lines are in good condition to minimize uncontrolled release.

    - Determine if Personal Protective Equipment is being used and is proper for the job.

    - Be aware of any overhead and fall hazards that may be present in your workspace.

    - Consider factors like fatigue and repetitive motion

    The final guideline is the most important. Take the proper actions required to fix a hazard. If immediate action can be taken, such as cleaning up spills, repairing equipment, securing loads or adjusting work processes, then do so.

    A great way to identify agricultural workplace hazards is to do a site walk-through, using a safety checklist.  Agricultural specific safety checklists can be found at: http://umash.umn.edu/umash-farm-safety-check/ and http://nasdonline.org/1627/14/d001509/how-does-safety-rate-on-your-farm-...

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  217. Lawn Mowing Safety

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety & Health Leader

    Summer fun can be cut short when lawn mower safety is not practiced. Each year, nearly 80,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for various types of injuries including deep cuts, loss of fingers and toes, broken and dislocated bones, burns, and eye injuries. Sadly, many of these injuries occur to children and teens.

    A report by Nationwide Children’s Hospital finds children are injured in various ways, and the types of injuries vary by their age. Oftentimes, these young victims are not operating the mower; they are injured when they are passengers of riding mowers, or are a bystander in the mowing area. Passengers and bystanders are almost four times more likely than operators to be admitted for serious medical attention.

    Children and toddlers can be taught lawn mower safety at an early age. They can learn to recognize dangers and taught to respect the machinery for the work it performs. Adults and teens can practice lawn mower safety, including being a good role model for safe equipment operation.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following recommendations to prevent serious injury:

    • All shields should be kept in place to prevent contact with blades and other moving parts.
    • The interlock system should not be disabled or compromised in any way. This feature is in place to stop the blades when an operator leaves the seat of a riding mower or releases the hand controls of a push mower.
    • Riding mowers manufactured with a no-mow-in-reverse mechanism should be set to factory mode, and not disabled. It is not advised to mow in reverse. Push style mowers, when operated in reverse can be pulled over the foot. Riding mowers can back over children and other bystanders.
    • Make sure children are indoors or at a safe distance from the mowing area at all times of operation.
    • Do not allow children to ride as passengers on lawn mower equipment.
    • Prevent injuries from flying objects – such as stones, sticks and toys – by picking up the objects before mowing begins.
    • Use a collection bag for grass clippings or a plate that covers the opening where cut grass is released.
    • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel surfaces.
    • Start and refuel mowers outdoors, not in a garage or shed. Mowers should be re-fueled with the motor turned off and cool.
    • Operators should wear sturdy shoes (not sandals or light canvass sneakers).
    • Depending on the job, other protective gear for the operator includes anti-vibration gloves, hearing and eye protection.
    • Follow age recommendations for young operators: a minimum age of 12 years for walk behind mowers and a minimum age of 16 years for ride on mowers.

    For more information about agricultural safety, contact Dee Jepsen, at jepsen.4@osu.edu or 614-292-6008. For more information about injuries documented by Nationwide Children's Hospital, see the article: "Lawn mower injuries send 13 children to the emergency department every day: Researchers encourage parents to keep young children inside while mowing and teach teens safety tips." ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170530082040.htm (accessed July 3, 2018).

  218. Heat Stress Injuries

    Kent McGuire – CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    We have reached the time of year when working in extreme hot weather can create potential health hazards. Risk factors for heat illness include working long hours in high temperatures and humidity, direct sun exposure, no breeze or wind, and usually coupled with heavy physical labor. A heat stress injury occurs when the body cannot regulate its temperature. If the body is working correctly, it is self-cooled by perspiration. When the body’s temperature rises faster than it can cool its self, the core temperature begins to rise quickly and heat stress injuries result. Common heat stress injuries include: 

      1. Heat Cramps
        • Caused by dehydration.
        • Prevention- Water consumption every 15 to 20 minutes.
        • Carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement beverages help prevent a loss of sodium caused by excessive sweating.
        • Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage will help relieve spasms. Take sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water.
      2. Heat Exhaustion
        • Headache, nausea, weakness, thirst.
        • Get out of the sun. Lie down and loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air-conditioned room or vehicle, if possible. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention or if little to no improvement after 30 minutes.
      3. Heat stroke
        • The body’s temperature rises to critical levels.
        • Confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness, convulsions, lack of sweating, hot dry skin, and abnormally high body temperature.
        • Do not consume fluids when having a heat stroke and seek medical treatment immediately. Delaying medical treatment could result in death.

    Some precautions to prevent heat stress injuries should include:

    - When possible, strenuous work should be scheduled for the coolest time of day (early morning or evening).

    - Dress lightly - lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.

    - Take multiple short breaks in a shaded area or controlled environment, throughout the day.

    - Use extreme caution when working around equipment or machines that will give off additional heat during operations.

    - Provide ventilation to enclosed work locations with limited airflow, such as haymows.

    -  Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after strenuous activities. Cold fluids can also help cool the body. Plan ahead! Hydrating the body should start 24 hours before strenuous activity in higher temperatures.

    - Avoid foods that are high in protein because they increase metabolism, increasing body heat and water loss.

    - Avoid getting too much sun and use sunscreen. Avoid scheduling tasks in direct sunlight, during the middle of the day. Sunburn makes reducing body temperature more difficult.

    - Spend time in air-conditioned places, especially during periods of rest, which allow the body to recuperate.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit http://agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  219. Beautification Time on the Farm

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Summer tasks on the farm often include getting a fresh coat of paint on the barn. If painting is on the summer to-do list at your farm, make sure to review some ladder safety basics with your kids or employees that will be reaching new heights.

    • Ascend and descend facing the ladder
    • Maintain 3 points of contact (2 feet and a hand or 2 hands and a foot) when on a ladder
    • Know the load limit of the ladder in use
    • Seek a solid, level base to set the ladder
    • Use a fiberglass ladder when working around any electrical sources
    • Locate a ladder away from entrance/exit doors or be sure the doors are locked or blocked while a ladder is present
    • Keep your center of gravity between the ladder supports, do not lean to the side
    • Never place a foot on another adjacent surface to extend your reach
    • Move a ladder to avoid overreaching
    • Place extension ladders at a 4 to 1 ratio: for every 4 feet of ladder the base should be one foot away from the vertical support surface
    • Avoid areas with overhead power lines and keep all ladders at least 10 feet away from energized lines
    • Keep ladders free of slippery materials
    • Do not stand on the top three rungs of an extension ladder
    • Ensure the top of the ladder extends 3 feet above the upper landing surface when used to gain access to that landing
    • Materials should not be carried in hands while climbing, use of a tool belt or pulley system is recommended

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit https://agsafety.osu.edu/ or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455.

  220. Livestock Handling Safety

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    There are many activities during the summer that involve working with livestock. No matter if you are moving animals to different pastures, providing veterinary care, or youth working with 4H animals for the fair, safety should be a priority when handling livestock. Animal behavior can be unpredictable at times and livestock can revert to instinctual reactions when they feel threatened or stressed. Individuals can be injured due to preoccupation, haste, impatience, or even anger. Injuries that are common when working with livestock include bites, kicks, being stepped on, pinned against a solid surface, or overcome by a single animal or the whole herd. Some general guidelines when working with livestock include:

    - Understand and study the typical behaviors of the livestock you are working with.

    - Herd livestock such as cattle or sheep can become agitated or stressed when one animal is isolated from the herd.

    - Maternal female livestock can become aggressive in an effort to protect their young.

    - Mature male livestock can become aggressive in an attempt to show dominance.

    - Understand aggressive warning signs such as showing of teeth, ears laid back, raised hair, snorting, or stomping of feet.

    - Recognize that livestock such as beef, swine, sheep and dairy cattle are generally colorblind and have poor depth perception, which may cause the animal to balk at contrasting shadows or rapid changes from light to dark.

    - Avoid startling an animal by making it aware of your approach before getting too close. Approach from an angle that you can be seen.

    - Move calmly, deliberately, and patiently.  Avoid quick movements or loud noises that may startle animals.

    - Excessively changing of the animal’s environment or daily routine can take the animal out of their comfort zone.

    - Avoid being in travel paths during the feeding of a herd or large group of livestock.

    - Be aware of your surroundings and always leave an escape route when working in close quarters with livestock.

    - Be patient, and avoid frustration when working with difficult or stubborn livestock.  Back injuries, muscle strains and slip /fall injuries can occur when frustrations lead to over aggressive handling practices.

    - Bottle fed or show livestock can become playful because of constant handling, After being placed back in with the general livestock as an adult, they may still approach you in a playful manner when you are not expecting it.

    - Use the proper personal protective equipment to prevent injuries and exposure to potential zoonotic illnesses.

    - Utilize good housekeeping practices in barns and livestock facilities to prevent slips, trips, or falls.

    - Plan ahead and consider your safety and the animal’s safety when loading, unloading, and trailering livestock.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

     

  221. Who Can Work on Your Farm

    Emily G. Adams -  Ohio State University Extension Educator, Coshocton County, Ohio

    It won’t be long until hay season will be upon us. For some farms that means more labor than usual is required to get all the jobs done. That labor may include your own children or grandchildren. Today we’ll take a look at what the law allows and also consider what types of jobs kids are capable of handling from a developmental standpoint.

    One great reference to guide these considerations are “Youth on the Farm: What Type of Farm Work Can They Perform” by Peggy Hall and Catherine Daniels in the OSU Agricultural and Resource Law Program. Another very helpful publication is Penn State Extension’s “Children and Safety on the Farm.”

    The law treats the children you hire differently depending on their relationship to you. If you hire your own child or grandchild, Ohio and federal law allows you to have the child do any type of job, including agricultural jobs that are categorized as hazardous. However, if you hire a student, neighbor, friend, niece, nephew, cousin, etc., then there are very specific rules about the jobs they can perform according to their age.

    A 16 or 17 year old that you hire may perform any type of farm job, including those that are considered hazardous. If you hire a 14 or 15 year old, who is not your child or grandchild, then they may not perform hazardous jobs. There is an exception if they hold a certificate for tractor operation or machine operation from 4-H or agriculture education/ vocational agriculture training.

    It is helpful to define was types of jobs are considered hazardous according to the state and federal law. These tasks include:

    • Operating a tractor with over 20 PTO horsepower, or connecting or disconnecting an implement or any of its parts to or from such tractor.
    • Operating or assisting to operate the following: grain combine, hay mower, forage harvester, hay baler, feed grinder, crop dryer, forage blower, auger conveyor, power post-hole digger, trencher or earthmoving equipment, fork lift, or power-driven circular, band, or chain saw.
    • Working on a farm in a yard, pen, or stall occupied by a bull, boar or stud horse maintained for breeding purposes, a sow with suckling pigs, or a cow with a newborn calf with umbilical cord present.
    • Felling, bucking, skidding, loading, or unloading timber with a butt diameter of more than six inches.
    • Working from a ladder or scaffold (painting, repairing, or building structures, pruning trees, picking fruit, etc.) at a height of over 20 feet.

    Remember that injuries often occur when children are doing something that is beyond their abilities. This includes mental, physical and emotional abilities. Physical readiness must certainly be considered when assigning tasks to youth, but reasoning and cognitive ability are even more important if a dangerous situation suddenly arises. Few children under the age of 14 can anticipate or handle danger.

    And finally, the best way to establish safe habits in the youth that work on your farm is to model safe habits. I’ll leave you with this quote today from James Baldwin, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” 
     

  222. Preventing Falls From Equipment During Spring Planting Season

    Kent McGuire – CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    Finally, warmer spring weather brings better attitudes and a busy start to the spring planting season. Spring planting is a time when farmers and farm workers are continuously moving from one piece of equipment to another and climbing on equipment to fill with seed or make repairs.  Long hours, fatigue, rushing to beat the incoming weather, and working into the night can all contribute to fall related injuries. This is a time that farmers should take extra precaution to prevent falls when working around farm equipment.  Precautions to prevent slips, trips and falls during spring planting should include:

    - Observe the basic safety rules of the equipment’s operating manual.

    - Review the warning labels located on equipment.

    - Shut off equipment and make sure equipment is in “park”, before dismounting

    - Maintain 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting equipment.

             (1 hand and 2 feet) or (2 hands and 1 foot)

    - Ensure that steps, hand holds, platforms or railings are in safe operating condition.

    - Clean dirt, mud, and debris from work platforms and decks of equipment, before entering these areas.

    - Face towards the equipment when mounting or dismounting equipment with ladder style steps.

    - Avoid trying to carry objects when mounting or dismounting equipment.

    - Exercise caution when steps are wet or dirty.

    - Avoid jumping off of the last step.

    - Anticipate changes in ground elevation or rough terrain when dismounting from the last step.

    - Be alert and focus on foot placement when walking, especially during early morning or evening when daylight is limited.

    - Lower equipment to the ground and work from the ground if possible.

    - Minimize crawling around on top of tillage equipment. Work from a ladder or step stool.

    - Avoid distractions or hurrying when doing elevated work on equipment.  Be observant to any slip, trip or fall hazards. 

    - Ensure that equipment or the work area has adequate lighting to complete the task in low light conditions.

    - Use a ladder or elevated platform to work on those hard to reach places, rather than trying to stand on the equipment in an awkward position.

    - Clean up debris, liquid spills, or spilled seed. All of these can cause a slip, trip, or fall.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit http://agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  223. Hitching / Unhitching Safety with Equipment

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    One of the most common tasks on the farm is hitching or unhitching equipment. The two most common tractor-hitching methods use the drawbar or the 3-point hitch assembly. In either case, there can be multiple elements involved in the process including: connecting the implement using a hitch pin, adjusting a jack stand, attaching safety chains, connecting the PTO shaft, connecting hydraulic couplings, or plugging in electrical connections. Common injuries during hitching are caused by pinch points, crush points, blunt trauma, and run-over. General safety guidelines to follow when hitching or unhitching equipment include:

    - Review the operator manual of the tractor and implement before use.

    - Ensure hitch attachments match the tractor hitch category.

    - Assess the situation and make a plan prior to attempting to hitch the implement.

    - Ensure any bystanders are all clear of the tractor and implement.

    - Place the tractor in a lower gear and lower the RPMs to reduce sudden quick movements when approaching or pulling away from the implement.

    - When assisting the operator, keep visual contact and communicate with the operator at all times.

    - The ground person should stay outside of the wheels of the tractor until the hitch and drawbar are lined up correctly.

    - Leave yourself an escape route. Plan a travel path to get out of the way should the tractor lurch towards you.

    - Once the hitch and implement are lined up, make sure the tractor is in PARK and shut off the engine before installing the hitch pin or completing additional hitching tasks such as connecting PTO or hydraulic lines.

    - Use only approved hitch pins. If hitch pins are damaged or bent, take them out of service.

    - Make sure the hitch pin is locked in place or secured with a hitch pin clip.

    - Before connecting or disconnecting hydraulic lines, ensure the pressure has been released from the system.

    - Use proper lifting techniques to reduce sprains / strains when lifting or moving the implement tongue.

    - Ensure there is sufficient tongue weight to stabilize the implement when unhitching.

    - Use an approved size tongue jack to support the tongue weight of the implement.

    - Only use jacks that are attached to the tongue. Temporary jacks can kick out or fail with minimal implement movement.

    - Remove all additional connections prior to pulling away from equipment.

    - When unhitching on slopped areas, chock the wheels of the implement to prevent unwanted movement.

    For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit http://agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  224. 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 http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

     

  225. Safety with Hand and Power Tools

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    It’s time to start those projects or repairs that need to be completed in preparation for the spring busy season. Most of these projects will involve the use of hand or power tools. Common injuries associated with hand and power tools include cuts, burns, blunt trauma, or flying debris, as well as health hazards associated from dust, or fumes. Below are safety considerations when working with hand and power tools.

    General Safety Guidelines:
    - Use tools that are the right size and right type for the job.
    - Operate all tools according to the manufacturers’ instructions and recommendations.
    - Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to prevent injury during use of the tool.
    - Keep all tools in good condition with proper storage and regular maintenance.
    - Examine each tool for damage before use.
    - Secure small or short work with a vise or clamp.
    - Avoid leaving tools on an elevated work area or hanging over the edge of a workbench, where they could fall.
     
    Hand Tools (any tool not self- powered: hammer, screwdriver, handsaw, shovel, ax, etc…):
    - Inspect hand tools for any damage. Replace any worn, bent, cracked or damaged handles.
    - Only use tools with insulated handles on electrical projects.
    - When using cutting tools, cut away from the body.
    - Make sure saw or knife blades are sharp to promote efficient use of the hand tool.
    - Keep impact tools such as punches or chisels free of mushroomed heads.
    - Keep edges of large tools such as shovels or axes sharp.
    - Avoid laying large handled tools flat on the ground or with sharp edges or points up.
     
    Power Tools (electric, pneumatic, or gasoline powered):
    - Disconnect power tools when not in use or when changing blades, grinding wheels, or drill bits.
    - Inspect electrical cords before use and replace any damaged cords.
    - Never carry a tool by the cord or unplug by “yanking” the plug out of the outlet.
    - Do not hold finger on the power button or switch to avoid accidental starting.
    - Make sure machine guards are in place and functional.
    - Do not use electrical power tools in wet or damp conditions.
    - Keep a good footing and maintain balance when operating power tools.
    - Consider specific PPE needed when working with “hot work” tools such as welders or torches.
    - Make sure pneumatic tools are properly oiled and hoses / connections are free from damage.
    - Make sure air hoses on the ground do not become trip hazards.
    - Ensure that all safety switches work properly.
    - Work with with gasoline power equipment only in properly ventilated areas.
    - Clean up the work area after the project is complete. Remove any dust, debris, metal shavings, cutting oil, or any other materials from the workspace.
     
    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.
  226. Minimize Risk of Injuries in Winter Working Conditions

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As we progress further into winter with bitter cold temperatures and the potential for freezing rain or significant snowfall amounts, there is still work to be done around the farm or agri-business.  Layered clothing is a necessity, but can be restrictive to range of motion in your body movements. Individuals who continue to perform work activities in winter conditions are at a higher risk of a variety of injuries including: frostbite, overexertion, muscle strain, slips trips and falls, or heart attack.  Some simple guidelines for reducing the risk of injury in winter working conditions include:
     
    - Keep track of weather forecasts. Watch the local weather and check the National Weather Service. Know when temperatures and conditions could make outside work dangerous.
     
    - Plan ahead and wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions, even a simple task may take longer to complete than planned. Dress warm enough to withstand the lowest forecasted temperature or wind chill temperature. Remove or replace wet or damp clothing as soon as possible, including gloves.
     
    - If possible, perform work during the warmest part of the day and take frequent short breaks in a warm dry area to allow the body to rest and warm up.
     
    - Keep travel paths free from ice and snow. Be observant to areas such as water troughs or leaking roofs / gutters, where liquids may have splashed and have frozen.
     
    - When walking on an icy or snow covered areas, take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction.
     
    - Keep your hands out of your pockets when walking. This can reduce the risk of you falling or completely losing your balance in case you slip while walking on ice or snow.
     
    - Be observant to hazards at the perimeter of buildings such as falling ice cycles and sliding snow on metal roofs during thawing conditions.
     
    - When shoveling snow or removing ice: Stretch your muscles before you begin.  Don't overload the shovel, and take frequent breaks to stretch your back. Bend your knees and let your legs do the lifting. Avoid twisting motions which can lead to muscle sprain / strain injuries.
     
    - Use 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting equipment (1 hand / 2 feet) or (2 hands / 1 foot). Be observant to potentially hazardous ground conditions when dismounting equipment. 
     
    - During the daytime, wear sunglasses to reduce glare and protect your eyes from UV rays being reflected by snowy ground cover.
     
    -When transitioning from the bright outdoor environment to indoor areas, stop briefly to allow your vision to catch up with the change in lighting.
     
    - Snow removal operations such as plowing, sweeping, and snowblowing can reduce visibility to near zero in the immediate area. Utilize a visual reference point to stay on course and avoid any potential hazards.
     
    - Use caution with gas powered equipment. Dangerous carbon monoxide can be generated by gas-powered equipment as well as alternative heating sources. Use these items only in well - ventilated areas.
     
    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.