:

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. 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
     
     
  2. Announcements

    CHECK OUT AG SAFETY AT THE 2019 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.
     
     
     
  3. 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.

     

  4. 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.

     

  5. 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.

     

  6. “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/
     
     
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

     

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

     

     

     

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.
  22. 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.

  23. 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.
  24. 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/.

     

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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.
  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. “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 

     

  32. 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.
  33. 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/

  34. 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  

  35. 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

  36. 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.

  37. 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/.

  38. 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

     

  39. 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

  40. 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

     

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

     

  43. 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.

  44. 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/.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

     

  47. 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.

     

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

     

  50. 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. 

  51. 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.

  52. 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
  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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!
  56. 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

  57. 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.

  58. 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. 

  59. 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.

  60. 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.
  61. *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.

  62. 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
  63. 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.

     

  64. 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/

     

  65. 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

  66. 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.

  67. 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

  68. 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
     

  69. 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

  70. 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.
     

  71. 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.

  72. 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

  73. 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

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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

  77. 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.

  78. 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  

  79. 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

  80. 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

  81. 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.

  82. 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

  83. 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.

  84. 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
  85. 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

  86. 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.

  87. 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

     

  88. 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.
  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

     

  93. 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/.

  94. 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/

     

     

  95. 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/

     

  96. 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/

  97. 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

  98. 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

  99. 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

  100. 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.

  101. 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/.

  102. 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/

  103. 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

  104. 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

  105. 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

  106. 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/

  107. 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/.

  108. USDA Disaster Resource Center

    Resources about how to prepare and recover from disasters and emergencies, https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster

  109. 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./.

  110. 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.

  111. 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

  112. 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

  113. 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

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

     

  116. 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.

     

  117. 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.

  118. Ohio AgrAbility in Action: Becoming an Ohio AgrAbility Client

    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.

  119. 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.

     

  120. 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.

     

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

  126. 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.

  127. 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.

  128. 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.

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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 and Garden Smart, Garden Easy, from University of Delaware/ Delaware Extension.

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

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

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

  134. 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.

  135. 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.

     

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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.

     

  139. 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.

     

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

     

  142. ‘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.

     

  143. 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.
     

  144. 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.

     

  145. 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.

  146. 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.

  147. 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.

  148. 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

  149. 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.

     

  150. 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.

  151. 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.

  152. 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).

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

     

  156. 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.” 
     

  157. 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.

  158. 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.

  159. 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.

     

  160. 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.
  161. 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.
     
  162. Baby, It’s Cold Outside

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Those Dean Martin lyrics have become an earworm by the close of the winter holiday season every year, but they sure rang true this year in Ohio for the final weeks of 2017. Ohio farmers who had to be out in those frigid temps endured that cold firsthand. Daily work on the farm goes on regardless of what weather blows in. Farmers do not get the luxury of hibernating in a warm office or calling in sick when the weather outside takes a drastic turn for the worse. There are still numerous responsibilities to tend to out in the elements: animals to feed, water supplies to check, hatches to button down, fences to maintain, shelters to clean, lanes to clear, medications to administer. It really is an endless list.

    Along with the cold outside, comes the dangers of frostbite and hypothermia. If you can’t avoid the cold because work still has to be done, knowing who is at high risk for frostbite and hypothermia, the most vulnerable body parts, and how to dress to protect yourself can help to keep you safe. Keep in mind that preventive measures are the first line of defense. Prepare your home and vehicle with winter weather emergencies in mind.

    Wearing a scarf or mask that covers the face and mouth, a hat, a water-resistant coat, mittens or gloves, multiple layers of clothing, and water-resistant boots will offer you protection. The ears, nose, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes are the areas of the body most often affected, so make sure you cover those areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns those most at risk fall into the following categories:

    • Older adults with inadequate food, clothing, or heating
    • Babies sleeping in cold bedrooms
    • The homeless, hikers, hunters, or those that remain outdoors for long periods
    • Those who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs

    Both frostbite or hypothermia can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. In the cold the body loses heat faster than it can be produced, which in turn can lead to health problems.

    The CDC has a list of signs and symptoms that may indicate frostbite:

    • Redness or pain in any skin area
    • A white or grayish-yellow skin area
    • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
    • Numbness

    Signs & symptoms of hypothermia the CDC points to are:

    • Shivering
    • Exhaustion
    • Confusion
    • Fumbling hands
    • Memory Loss
    • Slurred speech
    • Drowsiness
    • Infants may present with bright red, cold skin and/or very low energy

    If you notice any of the above signs, move the person to warm shelter and take their temperature. If a person’s temperature is below 95° get medical attention immediately. Remove any wet clothing and wrap the person in warm blankets.

    Please reference the factsheet, “Injury Prevention: Working In Cold Weather” at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/AEX-981.14-11 for more precautions and recommendations on the subject.

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

     

  163. Skid Loader Operator Safety

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Skid loaders are an ever-increasing popular piece of equipment used by farmers, agri-businesses, landscape companies and the construction industry. It is estimated that over 30,000 skid loaders are purchased from equipment manufactures annually in the United States. They are compact, powerful, and versatile machines that can fit into small spaces, and turn within a very tight radius. Primary functions of a skid loader include pushing, scraping, scooping, lifting, and dumping materials.  What makes this machine so versatile is a variety of attachments that can make efficient work when completing a variety of tasks.  Skid loaders can be easy to operate; however the operator must know the machine’s capabilities, as well as its limitations. When looking at skid loader operator safety, four critical areas need to be considered:

    Machine Maintenance
    - Stay clear of moving parts.
    - Inspect the machine each day before use.
    - Ensure shields and guards are in place.
    - Repair leaking fittings or damaged hydraulic hoses.
     
    Mounting and Dismounting
    - Face the machine and maintain 3 points of contact.
    - Keep steps clean from mud, oil, or debris.
    - Always enter with the loader arms down.
    - Never use the controls as handholds.
    - Avoid jumping off when exiting.
     
    Safe Operation
    - Understand the controls and the safety equipment of the machine.
    - Keep riders off of the machine.
    - Be aware of potential site hazards.
    - Be aware of bystanders or coworkers.
    - Before backing, ensure that there is a clear travel path.
    - Understand how attachments change the operation and handling of the machine.
    - Lower all attachments to the ground before shut down.
     
    Stability Considerations
    - Travel with the heavy end uphill.
    - Use caution on slopes and avoid abrupt turns at high speeds.
    - Evenly distribute materials to stabilize the load.
    - Avoid overloading; check the owner’s manual for the load capacity.
    - Keep loads close to the ground to aid with visibility and lower the machine’s center of gravity.
    - Loader attachments can alter the machine’s center of gravity.

     

    For more information about the 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.

  164. Conditions In The Bin – Safety While Checking Your Grain

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    As the combine is tucked back in the machinery shed and harvest is complete, taking safety precautions should not fall by the wayside when checks on the condition in bin become a part of the routine. Some of the biggest safety concerns present in grain farming are located at the bin. Slip, trip, and fall hazards are prevalent. Engulfment can happen in seconds. Combustible or toxic environments can be hidden to the naked eye. Entanglement and amputations can happen at the storage facility even after harvest season has been completed.

    Follow these safety tips when working in and around grain storage bins:

    • Frequently check ladders and stairways attached to the bin for needed repairs.
    • Make sure guards are in place on all equipment.
    • Turn off and lock out all equipment.
    • Ensure no grain is being moved into or out of the bin.
    • Test the air within a bin prior to entering.
    • Use a N-95 mask when working in a bin with grain.
    • Wear a body harness with a lifeline when entering a bin.
    • Utilize a farm employee or family member to act as an observer outside the bin when entering.
    • Do not walk down grain to make it flow.
    • Never enter a bin if there is the potential for bridged grain.
    • Account for any items you take into a bin and ensure return to the outside so bin equipment does not later become clogged.

    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.

     

  165. Safety Starts with Housekeeping

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    A clean orderly workplace sets the tone for everything else. It creates an atmosphere that employees want to work in. It sends a message to visitors that you take your work seriously. Customers and vendors can see there is a pride in the quality of workmanship. Most importantly, everyone can sense that this is a professional and safe workplace.  Work areas such as the maintenance shop, livestock barns, and equipment / material storage buildings are typically used to the fullest extent, however a priority to maintain a clean and orderly workplace in these areas is essential to avoid falls, fires and many other types of injuries.  Checklists are a useful way to eliminate the hazards of poor workplace housekeeping. Here is a simple checklist that can be used to help keep your agricultural workplace safe and organized.

    • Workstations / workbenches are clean and free of clutter.
    • Materials stored in clearly labeled containers and in designated storage areas only.
    • Floors are clean, dry and in good condition.
    • Spills and leaks of any type are cleaned up quickly and properly.
    • Proper waste containers are located in easy to access areas and emptied regularly.
    • Oily rags are disposed of in covered metal containers.
    • Tools and equipment are kept clean, well maintained and stored properly.
    • Electrical boxes or components are free from dust buildup and cobwebs.
    • Electrical cords, plugs and outlets are inspected regularly for wear and damage.
    • Stools and chairs are tucked away so they are not tripping hazards.
    • Drawers and cabinet doors are kept closed to prevent tripping hazards.
    • Aisles, stairways, exits and entrances are free of obstructions.
    • Materials are safely stacked so they will not collapse or fall.
    • Fire Extinguishers are easily accessible and not blocked by stored materials or other obstructions.

    Using the checklist on a regular interval (weekly or monthly) can identify waste accumulation areas, locations that need cleaned or organized, and can significantly reduced the risk of injury.

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

  166. Safety Tips for Bonfires

    Dee Jepsen, State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    Fire safety is important - even at a bonfire. Follow these recommendations to make your next bonfire safe and enjoyable for all:

    • Use a fire pit, as opposed to just building a fire on the ground. Fire pits should be approximately 12-18 inches deep, at least 2 feet wider than the size of the fire, and circled with stones or bricks.
    • Find a safe place to build your fire pit. It should be away from buildings, parked cars, overhead trees, and other fuel sources.
    • Use a small amount of wood combined with kindling materials to start the fire. Never use starter fluids or fuel to light the bonfire.
    • Don't let the flames get out of control or exceed 3 feet higher than the wood materials.
    • Have at least one type of extinguisher on hand. This could be a 5-gallon bucket of water, a bucket of sand, or a charged ABC fire extinguisher.
    • Have a shovel nearby to keep hot embers in check, and to help extinguish the fire at the end of the evening.
    • Children should always be under adult supervision, and not be permitted to tend the fire.
    • Fireworks and alcohol do not mix well at bonfires, and should not be allowed near the open flame.
    • Keep a first aid kit on hand for minor injuries like splinters, scratches, and burns.
    • Keep a cell phone on hand for calling 9-1-1 for larger injuries or to report an out-of-control fire.

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

  167. Safe Combine Operation During Harvest

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As we continue to progress further into harvest season, the continuous activity, diminished daylight and stresses that can be associated with harvest can often lead to agricultural related injuries. 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 insure 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, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  168. Caught-in or Caught-between Objects

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety & Health Coordinator

    As we progress into harvest season, consider the hazards associated with agricultural equipment.  In some instances farmers can find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and in a situation to be caught-in or caught-between objects, which can lead to serious injuries. Caught-in or between incidents can occur from some of the following reasons:
    - Working on or around moving equipment
    - Working on equipment with stored energy (Example: Hydraulic cylinder)
    - Inadequate guarding on equipment or guards have been removed exposing moving parts
    - Incorrect hitching practices
    - Not being visible to the equipment operator
    - Unaware of approaching danger in the work environment
     
    Some guidelines to use to prevent caught-in or caught-between incidents should include:
    - Always shut down equipment before doing repairs or inspecting of equipment.
    - Never work under equipment that is supported only by a jack. Use a secondary support device.
    - Use the cylinder safety locks on equipment that support hydraulic cylinders, to prevent the release of stored energy in the cylinder.
    - After servicing equipment make sure all guards are in place and properly secured
    - When hitching or unhitching equipment, stand to the side, and be clearly visible to the tractor driver.
    - Chock the wheels on equipment that could move or roll.
    - Leave an escape route to prevent getting pinned between two objects.
    - Use extra caution when working around equipment with belts / pulleys: chains / sprockets: or PTO shafts.

     

    For more information about agricultural safety, visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu, or contact Kent McGuire, Safety & Health Coordinator for the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  169. Check Your First Aid Kits

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety & Health Coordinator

    It has been a busy year so far with spring planting and all of the farm activities through the summer. As we start to plan for fall harvest, don’t forget to check the first aid kits.  Over the course of time items in the first aid kit get used, while not being restocked or items become expired and outdated. When in a time of need, the worst thing that can happen is to open the first aid kit and there is nothing left to use. A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies. Basic items in a first aid kit should include:

    - Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
    - Absorbent compress dressings (at least 5 x 9 inches)
    - Sterile gauze pads (at least 3 x 3 inches)
    - Adhesive cloth tape (at least 1 inch wide)
    - Roller bandages (at least 2 inches wide)
    - Triangular bandages
    - Instant cold compress
    - Antibiotic ointment
    - Antiseptic wipes
    - Non-latex gloves
    - Scissors
    - Tweezers
    - First aid instruction booklet
     

    Many store bought first aid kits will have additional items such as aspirin, sterile eyewash, an emergency blanket, hand sanitizer, and small splints. If any of the items have an expiration date, make sure to replace items that have expired.

    One item that should be added to the first aid kit is a specific list of contact numbers, emergency phone numbers, poison control center information, and even chemical spill contact information. An updated list can easily be taped to the inside of the lid of the first aid kit so it can be referred to during an emergency.

    Keep first aid kits in easy-to-retrieve locations based on the workplace environment, the number of people that may use the kit, and type of activity being conducted. Keep at least one first-aid kit in the home or workplace, and consider keeping one in vehicles or equipment that are used on a regular basis.

    For more information about agricultural safety, visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu, or contact Kent McGuire, Safety & Health Coordinator for the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  170. Preventing Heat Stress Illness

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety & Health Coordinator

    Although summer has started out with mild temperatures, we are approaching the time of year when hotter work environments can create potential health hazards. Working long hours in higher temperatures or non – shaded areas increase the risk of a heat stress illness such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. These types of illnesses can occur when the body’s temperature rises faster than it can cool itself. At this point, the body cannot regulate its temperature and can very quickly become a serious medical emergency if precautions are not taken.

    Planning ahead is essential to preventing heat related hazards. A primary indicator that can be used when planning to work during hot weather is the heat index. The heat index is a single value that takes both temperature and humidity into account to determine what it feels like to the human body. OSHA has developed a chart to help employers prepare and implement plans to protect employees when working in hot environments.

    Some precautions and measures to use when preparing for hot weather work include:

    - When possible, strenuous work should be scheduled for the coolest time of day (early morning or evening).

    - Dress lightly.  Light-weight, 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.

    - Do not work alone. Use the buddy system when working in isolated areas to monitor each other for signs and symptoms of heat stress.

    - Avoid foods that are high in protein. These foods increase metabolism, increasing body heat and water loss.

    - Avoid getting too much sun and use sunscreen. Sunburn makes reducing body temperature more difficult.

    - Spend time in air-conditioned places, especially during periods of rest, which allow the body to recuperate.

    - Provide training to employees about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.

     

    If heat stress is suspected:

    - Get out of the sun.

    - Lie down and loosen clothing.

    - Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or go to an air-conditioned room or vehicle, if possible.

    - Take sips of cool water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water.

    - Seek immediate medical attention if there is any question to severity of the heat stress illness.

    More information about controlling heat stress illness can be found through The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/recommendations.html

    For more information about agricultural safety, visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu, or contact Kent McGuire, Safety & Health Coordinator for the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  171. Safety Considerations for Hay Baling Season

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As we progress into summer, hay baling moves to the forefront of things to be done on the farm.  Hay baling season can come with its own set of hazards that can cause injuries. These include equipment hazards, working in hot temperatures, lifting injuries, and even the stress of getting hay down, dried and baled in a narrow window to beat the weather. Some guidelines to use to prevent injuries this hay baling season include:

    • Review the owner's manual and warning labels of the equipment prior to operation.
    • Make sure that all guards and shields are in place for the tractor and hay harvesting equipment.
    • Ensure that safety locks are in place when working on the baler while the bale chamber is open.
    • Make sure twine is properly threaded and the knotter system and twine arm are in good working condition. Do not feed twine by hand into the baler.
    • Equip the tractor with a 10-pound dry chemical (ABC) fire extinguisher.
    • When operating the baler, do not leave the tractor seat until the power take-off (PTO) is disengaged and the flywheel or other moving parts have completely stopped.
    • Stay clear of power take-off, pick up area, auger or feeder forks while a baler is in operation.
    • Maintain proper settings and speed. Travel at a speed that allows the baler to handle the size of the windrow.
    • NEVER try to unplug the baler until the power take-off is disengaged and the tractor’s engine is shut off.
    • Make sure wagons are securely hitched to the drawbar by using a safety pin and a safety chain.
    • When baling on uneven or hilly terrain, travel slowly and avoid holes, drop-offs and ejecting bales that may roll down a slope.
    • Avoid sudden movements when operating the tractor. Workers can be thrown or fall off the wagon platform and be run over by the machine.
    • Make sure workers do not ride on top of the wagon stack.
    • Keep the bale close to the ground when moving bales with a front-end loader.
    • When hauling bales with a wagon or trailer, use a tractor or truck large enough to handle or stop the weight of the load.
    • When transporting bales on a public roadway, properly secure the bales on the wagon or trailer by using straps.
    • Tractors, harvesting equipment and all wagons should be equipped with a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblem.
    • When assisting with hitching wagons, keep visual contact and communicate with the operator at all times. Leave yourself an escape route.
    • Chock the wheels on wagons that could move or roll.
    • Be aware of the stack condition, bales falling off the stack can strike a worker and result in a serious injury.
    • Be aware of workers throwing the bales. Bales can bounce or roll striking another worker.
    • Use proper lifting techniques when lifting, carrying, or stacking bales.
    • When working in hot temperatures and haymows with no air movement, take several breaks and stay hydrated with water.

    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.

  172. Things To Remember When You Hope For Those Sunny Days

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    A day in the life of a farmer can mean sun exposure from sun up to sun down. Farmers would be hard pressed to avoid the sun entirely. Performing work tasks requires time in the sun, often for the entirety of the workday.

    Sun exposure presents a safety hazard that can be equally as deadly as equipment hazards on the farm. Here are some of the hard facts to prove the risks:

    • One person dies of melanoma every hour.
    • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime
    • Regular daily use of SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces risk of melanoma by 50%
    • Ultraviolet rays cause the vast majority of mutations in melanoma.
    • Your risk for developing melanoma doubles if you have had more than five sunburns.

    So what can you do to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays?

    • Wear protective clothing
    • Hats
    • Sunglasses
    • Long-sleeve shirts
    • Full-length pants
    • Use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher year-round. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive swimming.
    • Utilize engineering adaptions to create shade

    (Remember clouds give a false sense of protection!)

    Seek medical attention when moles have:

    • Irregular borders
    • Multiple colors
    • Tendency to bleed
    • Sensitivity
    • A diameter larger than a pencil eraser

    Use that Skin Cancer Image Gallery at the American Cancer Society website, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/galleries/skin-cancer-image-gallery.html, as a reference tool.

    Sources: American Academy of Dermatology, American Cancer Society, EPA, and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

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

  173. Summer Childcare on the Farm

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    The long hours in the field during the busy months of planting and the beginning of hay harvest leave many farmers missing their young children. While it is tempting to spend some time bonding by bringing the little ones along on the tractor, remember it flies in the face of recommended safety practice. Often it is nostalgic to think of the time you spent riding alongside your grown-up farmer during your own youth, but machinery and equipment have grown in size, complexity and speed, so take pause before you tote your budding farmer along. A farm can be a dangerous environment for a child still growing in physical, mental, and emotional capacities. A summer farm safety assessment is a good practice to have before the kids are out of school and back home in the farmyard all day.

    Some questions to consider in performing a mental check:

    • Where are poisonous chemicals are stored? Are they locked or out of reach?
    • What barriers are in place around manure pits or ponds?
    • Is there access to livestock holding areas or pastures for small children?
    • What is the farm protocol for key storage to equipment? Don’t forget to think about the small equipment like ATVs, UTVs, or lawn tractors the little ones are likely to think they can handle.
    • Are equipment travel paths outside of possible bicycle, scooter play areas?
    • Do haylofts have the proper barriers installed to protect from falls?

    Remember to be a good safety role model on the farm, even when the days get long.

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

  174. Safe Handling of Pesticides on the Farm

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

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

    Pesticide Handling:

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

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

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

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

    - Mix or pour in a well - ventilated area.

    - Prepare only the amount needed for application.

    - Clean up spills or leaks immediately.

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

    - Securely close containers immediately after use.

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

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

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

    - Triple rinse and dispose of empty containers properly

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

    Pesticide Storage:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

  175. Safe Driving Through Work Zones

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

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

    1. In any work zone along any road, major or minor, expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people and vehicles may be working on or near the road.
     
    2. Obey warning signs – they are posted in advance of road construction projects to give you time to follow their instructions to merge, slow down or stop.
     
    3. Stay alert and minimize distractions. Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and resist the temptation to get on your cell phone or engage in other distracting behaviors while driving through a work zone.
     
    4. Stay calm. Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you. They’re necessary to improvethe roads for everyone.
     
    5. You may see flashing arrow panels or “lane closed ahead” signs. Merge as soon as possible. Don’tzoom right up to the lane closure, then try to barge in – if everyone cooperates, traffic moves more
    efficiently. Motorists can help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by moving to the appropriate lane at first notice of an approaching work zone.
     
    6. Slow down when the signs say to. Speeding is one of the leading causes of work zone relatedcrashes so slow down and take your time.
     
    7. The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision, so remember to leave atleast two seconds of braking distance between you and the car in front of you. The amount of space
    required to provide two seconds of stopping time will increase the faster you’re driving!
     
    8. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, trucks, construction equipment andworkers. Just like you, highway workers want to return home safely after each day’s work.
     
    9. Just because you don’t see the workers immediately after you see the warning signs doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Some work zones – like line painting, road patching and mowing are mobile,
    moving down the road as the work is finished. Observe the posted signs until you see the one thatstates you’ve left the work zone.
     
    10. Highway agencies use many different and varying ways to inform motorists about the location and duration of major work zones. Often, the agencies will suggest a detour to help you avoid the work
    zone entirely. Plan ahead, and try an alternate route.
     
    For more information about the OSU Ag Safety visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.
  176. Stay Safe During Spring Planting Season

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator 

    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 injuries. This is a time that farmers and farm workers should take extra precaution when working around farm equipment and consider the consequences of an injury during spring planting season.  Precautions to reduce the risk of injuries this spring can include:

    - To reduce fatigue, try to get enough sleep.  This is your body’s time to rest.

    - Plan out your day’s activities.

    - Take short breaks throughout the day.  Get out of the tractor for a few minutes, and to give your mind and body a chance to revitalize.

    - 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 steps, hand holds, and 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.

    - Plan ahead and utilize safe methods when hitching and unhitching equipment.

    - When working with others around equipment, maintain eye contact and communicate your intentions with the other person.

    - Use Personal Protective Equipment when appropriate (ear plugs, safety glasses, gloves, respirator, etc.)

    - Review all fertilizer and pesticide labels or Safety Data Sheets prior to using the product.

    - Utilize safe travel routes between fields, and take into account potential problems with automobile traffic and narrow roadways. Use escort vehicles when needed.

    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.

  177. Protecting Your Hands this Spring

    Kent McGuire – OSU CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator

    As we prepare equipment for planting season, start to apply anhydrous ammonia, and eventually begin work in the field, take a moment to consider the importance of protecting your hands.  When it comes to hand protection, hazards can vary drastically by work task. These hazards can include chemical burns, electrical dangers, abrasions, cuts, impact with objects and exposure the extreme temperatures. Therefore, picking the right hand protection is extremely important. There are a variety of things to consider when choosing appropriate hand protection. This includes working with sharp metal parts, chemicals, extreme thermal conditions and the need for dexterity for job tasks. During the selection process there are a few questions that can be used to identify the proper glove selection. These questions can be based on the potential hazard.

    Chemicals:
    - Are chemical hazards present?
    -What form is the chemical in: liquid, gas, powder, or vapor form?
    -Are the hands subject to light splashes or immersion into chemicals?
    Check the label of the chemicals being worked with. A warning or recommendation of all personal protective equipment should be located on the label.
     
    Cuts / Punctures / Abrasions
    - Is there the potential for cuts and punctures from sharp objects? 
    - Will abrasions or punctures likely occur to the palm, top of the hand, or fingers?
    Many gloves are designed to protect from abrasions and even offer some protection from slashes caused by sharp objects. Few provide high levels of puncture resistance.
     
    Grip or dexterity
    - Is a secure grip vital to the application?
    - Are wet or oily material surfaces present?
    - Is dexterity important?  Is sensitivity to handle small parts or objects quickly needed?
    - Which characteristic is more important: protection or dexterity?
    In most cases, thinner-gauge gloves offer more dexterity, while heavier-gauge gloves offer greater hand protection. Special coatings on gloves can provide the desired dexterity and a certain level of protection.
     
    Extreme Heat or Cold
    -Will the gloves be required to offer protection from heat or cold temperatures?
    - What is the length of exposure time to these temperatures?
    Insulated gloves should be selected to protect from extreme temperatures. For some tasks, such as welding or torch work, specialty gloves designed for that task should be used.
     
    Size of Gloves
    - Are the gloves properly sized for the user?
    Too large of gloves will slide around on the hands, provide minimal protection and could become caught in machinery or moving parts. Gloves that are too small can decrease dexterity and become uncomfortable.
     
    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.

     

  178. Get Ready, Here They Come – Wobbly Legs and All

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Winter 2017 in Ohio has been anything but predictable. Rolling on through late winter and early spring here, will likely present farmers with a rollercoaster of environmental conditions to face while managing animal herds during spring birthing. As we move between freezing and thawing the farm yard changes conditions from frozen to muddy, leaving terrain challenging to navigate for both farmer and animal.

    We all know safety is something that frequently gets pushed to the background as responsibilities pick up pace around the farm. Analyzing supply inventories, past experiences, and personal practices and habits at the front end of this season is a good start for making some simple preparations that might ultimately reduce health, safety, and financial risks.

    We can start by thinking about the things you will need and where you can find them when calving, foaling, lambing all get into full swing. Where are the obstetrical chains? When did you last use the tag gun? Did you sanitize the bottles and nipples following that late herd birth that happened post-birthing season? A laundry list of supplies that can come in handy follows, so scan it and make a mental note of the state of your own preparedness around the farm for when those four-legged little ones begin to hit the ground.

    What kind of shape are you in when it comes to the supplies around your farm? Do you have these items and are they centrally located to where you are most likely to use/need them?

    • obstetrical chains
    • sleeves
    • lubricant
    • bucket
    • soap
    • iodine solution
    • colostrum/milk replacer
    • bottle and nipple
    • halter
    • medications/vaccinations
    • thermometer
    • pocket record book
    • blanket
    • animal identification supplies -tattoo kit/tag gun/branding iron/paint branding numbers
    • animal husbandry procedures – docking or castration supplies

    After thinking about supplies, reflect on some of those surprise animal reactions or behaviors during birthing that have caught you off guard in the past. Animals are unpredictable and when you throw a newborn into the mix often times agitation sets in quickly. Farmers tend to work alone and can get into dangerous situations quickly. Processing those memorable behaviors from the past will help you stay alert to the dangers in the season ahead. Always plan for the unexpected. Plan an escape route when you need to be in an enclosed area with any of your animals. Try to always keep a cell phone on your belt or in you pocket when you will be working with animals alone, it will facilitate getting help should you need it.

    Those ever changing lovely weather conditions of Ohio can also present a host of safety challenges. Winter can make for slow movement due to bulky clothing, cold induced arthritis, or slippery walking surfaces, all slowing reaction times when working with animals. The spring like weather we have been having can also lead to slippery surfaces because of mud, so there is a lot to be aware of under foot. Those same environmental factors present risks to newborns of getting stuck or not surviving if they are dropped in the soup. Providing a safe dry environment for animals during the birthing process can help their health, the health of the newborn, and ultimately your overall bottom line financially.

    Stay safe out there and enjoy one of the most hopeful times of the farming year!

    Questions about OSU Ag Safety, visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455.

  179. 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 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 slip / fall injuries because an individual slides abruptly causing a loss of balance and impacting the surface below. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, there were 34,860 workplace slip-and-fall injuries 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, please contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

     

  180. The Silent Killer – Carbon Monoxide

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Winter is a time when fuel-burning devices are at peak utilization and along with that come the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal, lists examples of devices the may produce dangerous levels of CO gas as:

    • Fuel fired furnaces (non-electric)
    • Gas water heaters
    • Generators
    • Fireplaces and wood stoves
    • Gas stoves
    • Non-electric space heaters
    • Gas dryers
    • Charcoal grills
    • Lawnmowers, snowblowers, 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.

    Helpful resources with more in-depth information can be found at:

    The Ohio Committee For Severe Weather Awareness website, http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/CarbonMonoxideSafety.aspx

    The Ohio Department of Commerce website, http://www.com.ohio.gov/documents/fire_CarbonMonoxide.pdf

    The American Red Cross website, http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340092_FireCOFactSheet.pdf

    Questions about OSU Ag Safety, visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455.

  181. Working in Cold Weather

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Program Coordinator

    Winter is around the corner and the day to day operations of the farm will continue despite ever increasing winter conditions such as colder temperatures, ice and snow. Farm activities such as feeding livestock, breaking ice in the water trough, cutting wood or loading stored grain can be increasingly difficult when exposed to winter conditions.  Even though it may be tempting to “tough it out” or “work through it”, prolonged exposure to cold, wet, and windy conditions, can be dangerous, even at temperatures above freezing. When working in cold weather, precautions should be taken to minimize the risk injuries like frostbite or hypothermia.

    To reduce exposure, 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 for working in cold environments:

    - Wear several layers of clothing. Trapped air between layers forms a protective insulation.

    - Wear warm gloves, and keep an extra pair handy in case the first pair becomes wet.

    - Wear a suitable hat that provides protection for your head, ears, and even your face in extreme conditions.  Forty percent of a person’s body heat can be lost when the head is left exposed.

    - Use the hoods of jackets or sweatshirts for added protection for your neck, head, face and ears.

    - Wear appropriate footwear with warm socks. Footwear should not fit too tightly which could reduce blood flow to the feet    and increase the risk of a cold injury.

    - Wear synthetic, wool, or silk clothing next to the skin to wick away moisture. Cotton clothing can lose insulating properties when it becomes damp or wet.

    Additional safety precautions while working in cold weather should include:

    - If possible, perform high exposure work tasks during the warmest part of the day

    - Avoid getting wet. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), body heat can be lost 24 times faster when clothing is wet.

    - Take short frequent breaks in areas sheltered from the elements, to allow the body to warm up.

    - Avoid exhaustion and fatigue because energy is needed to keep muscles warm.

    - Consume warm, high calorie foods to maintain energy reserves.

    - Drink warm sweet beverages, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, to avoid dehydration.

    - Work in pairs (buddy system), especially in remote areas, to keep an eye on each other and watch for signs of cold stress.

    - Have a cell phone handy, to call for help in the event of an emergency.

    - Shielding work areas from the elements can reduce wind chill or the chances of getting wet.

    - Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

    - Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, seek a warm location, remove any wet clothing, warm the center of the body first, and get medical help as soon as possible.

    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.

     

     

     

  182. Safety for On-Farm Grain Storage Facilities

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As we move into late fall, there is a lot of activity at on-farm grain handling facilities. Throughout Ohio, on-farm grain storage facilities are being upgraded and newly constructed storage facilities are getting larger and larger. Common injuries associated with grain handling include slips, trips and falls; blunt trauma incidents; sprains / strains; entanglement; engulfment; and injuries due to fatigue.  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. Notify family members or coworkers before starting potentially dangerous work and tell them when you expect to finish.  If you are supposed to be done in three hours someone can check on you if you are late.
    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. 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. Bridged grain or grain lining the wall of the bin is dangerous and should be handled at a distance.  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. If the grain is out of condition, poisonous gases may accumulate.  If you suspect that the air inside the bin is not safe, do not try to enter without first sampling the air.
    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. 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 farm.

    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.

  183. Slips, Trips, and Falls

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As we progress into summer, there is a full list of work to be done on the farm such as spraying crops, side-dressing corn, baling hay, and moving livestock to pasture.  Throughout the workday, a farmer may encounter several types of walking and working surfaces. Farmers have an increased risk of injury from a slip, trip, or fall because of the variety of surfaces they encounter on a regular basis. Areas which have a greater risk for these types of injuries include: sloped terrain, feed lots, areas that are washed down on a daily basis, hay mows, ladders and equipment steps or platforms.

    Incidents that can occur on walking and working surfaces.

    Trips occur when an obstruction catches the worker’s foot and causes him/her to stumble forward. Tripping hazards include cords, equipment, uneven floor mats, unseen or unexpected objects. These tripping hazards should be picked up and put away after every use. When they are in use, be aware of the danger they could pose in a walkway, such as an electrical cord strung across a sidewalk.

    Slips occur when an individual slides along smoothly causing a loss of balance. Slipping hazards include wet, icy, greasy, or soiled ground or floors. Farmers should wear the foot apparel appropriate for the job, such as steel toed and slip resistant boots. Also, take the time to clean up any spills, especially oily material and corrosive materials.

    Falls occur when an individual descends or drops freely by the influence of gravity. A fall can happen from any surface, however falls from higher elevations such as ladders, large equipment, elevated surfaces, ramps, or platforms have a higher risk for injury.

    Preventing slip, trip, and fall injuries.

    Proper housekeeping and lighting of working and walking surfaces can prevent many slip, trip, and fall incidents. However, some additional guidelines to consider when working in an agricultural environment include:

    - Utilize handrails or grab bars in areas where there are stairs or changes in elevation.

    - Use 3 points of contact when mounting or dismounting equipment and using ladders

                 (1 hand / 2 feet) or (2 hands / 1 foot).

    - In wet or slippery conditions, take smaller steps and try to ensure your torso stays balanced over your feet.

    - Use slip resistant matting or provide textured surfaces in potentially wet areas.

    - Maintain good housekeeping in livestock barns and work areas, by removing manure and keeping surfaces clean and dry.

    - Remove obstructions from travel areas, such as extension cords, power cords, hoses, boxes, or tools.

    - Use the proper ladder for the job and follow all warning labels.

    - Repair uneven / warped flooring, protruding nails, splinters and loose boards, or cracks in concrete which can create an uneven walking surface.

    - Sweep loose hay or grains from areas where those materials are handled and stored.

    - Minimize distractions to remain alert to hazards and avoid carrying bulky items that block your view.

    - Stay alert to items projecting from buildings or equipment.

    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.

  184. Hitching/Unhitching Safety with Farm Equipment

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health

    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 equipment 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.

    - 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.

    - 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 retainer clip.

    - Once the implement is attached, make sure the tractor is in PARK and shut off the engine to complete additional hitching tasks such as connecting PTO or hydraulic lines.

    - 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://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  185. Safety Considerations for Community Gardens and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

    Dee Jepsen—State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader
    Andrea Costin, MPH—Recent OSU graduate where she conducted a research project on agricultural related injuries
     
    Community gardens present unique safety and health hazards for garden staff and volunteers. Workers of all ages tend to these gardens, with various levels of knowledge, skills, and physical condition. For many volunteers, working in a community garden or on a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm, is their first experience with crop production or horticulture. Having awareness of the hazards and risk is not something they think about when they come to work. Educating the staff and volunteers on workplace safety, emergency action plans, and first aid is important for community garden owners and managers. 
     
    Workplace Safety. The physical environment itself on farms, gardens and greenhouses can have hazards that lead to injuries. 
     
    Hand tools designed to cut, dig and prune do not discriminate between plant and soil, and human skin. Often times a good pair of gloves, close-toe shoes, and long sleeves/pants will protect the person from minor cuts and abrasions. 
    Community gardens built on previous residential or industrial plots may have debris in the soil left behind by the previous owners; it is not uncommon to find scrap metal, nails, broken glass, and other discarded items on the property. Working on these newly developed sites may also require gloves, close-toe shoes, and long sleeves/pants to protect from cuts abrasions, and puncture wounds. Having a current vaccination for tetanus is a good idea as well.
    Some tasks using roto-tillers, electric pruners and chainsaws will require stronger protection like leather gloves and boots. 
    Chemical handling will require rubber gloves, and possibly a rubber apron, rubber boots, and goggles (depending on the scope of the project, and the type of chemical being applied).
    Slips, trips and falls are common in garden and greenhouse environments. Uneven terrain, water hoses, garden tools, and equipment like pots, stakes, and harvest containers are often to blame. Persons with limited mobility or other handicaps may find it difficult to assess all areas of the greenhouse or garden plot.
    Common ergonomic issues affecting horticultural workers include repetitive motions and awkward posture. It is recommended to take regular stretch breaks or rotate between garden tasks that require long periods of the same activity in order to reduce muscle tension.  
    Sun safety practices include wearing a hat with a 3” brim all the way around and lightweight clothing. These protect the skin from from UV exposure when sunscreen is not desirable.   
     
    Emergency Action Plans. Because emergencies are unpredictable and can occur at anytime, including weather-related emergencies, it is important to have a pre-determined plan of action for all garden staff and volunteers to follow. Not all persons may be familiar with the community or know where to take shelter if a thunderstorm or weather event strikes.
     
    Posting a sign where to take shelter in the event of a weather-related emergency is important for staff, volunteers, and visitors. When there is no place to post the sign, and there is a small workforce (10 or fewer), it is possible to verbally give this information.
    Have emergency numbers posted for non-life threatening 911 emergencies. It is also recommended to post a number where a supervisor or property manager can be contacted. 
     
    First Aid. Being prepared for injuries is just as important as preventing injuries. 
     
    Have a first aid kit available on-site, or possibly in a person’s vehicle, for treatment of injuries, insect stings, and heat/headache relief.
    Access to fresh water for drinking, hand-washing, and heat stress cool-down is recommended. Having staff and volunteers bring their own water when attending the gardens may be necessary in some locations. On-site water supplies collected from rooftops or rain barrels should not be assumed to be drinking quality; many contaminants can be present.  
     
    Additional safety and health information, designed specifically for community gardens, greenhouses, small farms and community supported agriculture (CSA) land can be accessed on-line at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/topic/yard-and-garden
     
    Additional planning guides for emergencies, including safety information for agritourism and outdoor community festivals or events, are available at https://u.osu.edu/agritourismready/
     
    For more information on agricultural safety, contact Dee Jepsen, State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader at jepsen.4@osu.edu or visit the Ag Safety and Health Program website www.agsafety.osu.edu.
     
  186. Warning Labels and Equipment Manuals can Help Reduce Injuries

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health

    Today’s agricultural equipment is powerful, very efficient and versatile in how it can be used. Recently while looking over a new piece of tillage equipment, I counted thirty-seven warning labels located all around the unit. Also in the operator’s manual there was a section dedicated to safe operation and a review of the warning labels. Manufacturers use these items to reduce liability while the product is being used by the consumer. However, the warning labels and equipment manual can be great tools for refreshing our memory of the hazards associated with the equipment. Warning labels on farm equipment usually indicate the following potential hazards:

    Wrap Points: Any exposed equipment component that rotates at high speed or with a high degree of torque.  Injuries occur because of entanglement with the part.

    Shear / Cut Points: Shear points happen when two edges come together or move passed each other to create a cut. Cut points happen when a single edge moves rapidly and forcefully enough to make a cut.

    Pinch Points: Any equipment that has two objects that come together with at least one of them moving in a circular motion.  Most pinch points involve belts and pulleys or chains and sprockets.

    Crush Points: This occurs when two objects come together or a single object moves towards a stationary object creating a blunt impact. This can include being caught under or between moving parts or equipment.

    Burn Points: Any area on a piece of equipment that can generate enough heat to cause a burn to the skin if touched.

    Free - Wheeling Parts: Some mechanical systems will take time to come to a complete stop. These parts can include rotary mower blades, flywheels, and equipment that must go through a full revolution or cycle to come to a complete stop.

    Stored Energy: Any amount of potential energy waiting to be unintentionally released. This can include pressurized hydraulic systems, electrical circuits, spring tension, and chemical reactions.

    Thrown Objects: Occurs when material or objects are discarded from the equipment with great force. Injuries occur when the object strikes the individual.

    Take some time this spring to review the safety sections of equipment manuals and walk around each piece of equipment to examine the warning labels. Recognizing the hazards associated with the equipment can significantly reduce the potential for injuries.

    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.

  187. Overexertion and Fatigue

    Andy Bauer—Ohio AgrAbility Program Educational Coordinator

    Hopefully, spring weather is finally here, bringing with it long hours.  Getting field work done, crops planted and the garden planted in a timely manner are important tasks this time of year. During this time of long hours and hard work, don’t forget about your own health.

    Overexertion and fatigue are two types of injury that long hard days can cause. Remember, your body is your most important tool, so learn to respect it. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and rest. 

    •  In the morning, take time to do some stretching exercises and warm the body up to get ready for a strenuous day.
    •  Remember to use proper lifting technics when lifting objects. Try not to lift more than you can, don’t overextend yourself. Ask for help when it is too heavy.
    • Switch tasks as often as you can when bending, lifting and reaching out to do repetitive jobs.  Take care of your back.
    • When sitting in equipment for long periods of time, stop every couple of hours to get out and stretch your legs. Do some stretching to loosen up your back. Rough ground and old tractor seats can be hard on your back. Stretching and walking around will also help to prevent fatigue.
    •  Try to get a good night’s sleep.
    • Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as you work long hours and temperatures rise.

    Taking care of yourself will help prevent planting delays that are caused by things we can control.

    Overexertion and fatigue are also two concerns to be aware of when working in the garden. Pace yourself when working in the garden. Be careful of bending and reaching out to plant, don’t overextend yourself. Try to limit the hours worked in the garden and get some rest to prevent fatigue the next day. Plan your days out and work smart.

    For more information contact the Ohio AgrAbility Program at agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at 614-247-7681 or bauer.528@osu.edu

  188. Should Have Known Better

    Cindy Folck—Guest Writer

    I should have known better. I’m recovering from a severe concussion; one so bad that I couldn’t drive, watch television, or do anything on the computer or smartphone for nine weeks. My recovery is still ongoing and while writing three months later, I’m only working part-time at my job in town and can’t help on the farm.

    The catalyst for my concussion was not a car accident, falling down the stairs, or even sports related. A 500-pound sow caused my concussion because I didn’t follow safety procedures around livestock.

    I should have known better. I know what to do to keep myself safe around livestock. I grew up on a beef feedlot where we fed out 1500 steers a year and had a 50-cow Angus herd. I helped move cattle, process them in the chute, and load trucks. I showed steers and heifers since I was nine-years-old, including the job of halter breaking 500-pound steers. My husband and I have been raising sows and feeder pigs for 13 years. Over the years, I’ve seen injuries that can result from not handling livestock properly—so I should have known better.

    But, I had become complacent. I was only going to be in the field with the sows for a few seconds to pick up some buckets. I walked out into the field without a cane or stick. My second mistake was I turned my back on a sow in heat. She came up behind me and gave me a push, which threw me into the fence. I got up a little dazed and, with my back still to her, she hooked her nose under my behind and tossed me in the air. The last thing I remember was the sensation of flying in the air. Fortunately, my 16-year-old son, Chester, ran from a nearby barn and took control of the situation.

    It was only a few seconds, but those seconds brought my life to a screeching halt and cost me a precious commodity—time. My Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent visiting with family in a dark room we created in our house. I lost contact with the outside world as I waited for my brain to heal. Unlike a broken leg, you can’t put a cast on your brain to allow movement and interaction with the outside world. Concussions only allow you to sit and wait for the brain to overcome the trauma.

    I’m thankful that my neck was not broken, which was an early concern. I’ve successfully begun to drive, work on the computer again and can at least handle the weather report on the television. My recovery continues and I’m hoping to be able to help on our farm by the time u-pick strawberry season starts. A few seconds of ignoring what I knew I should do cost months of recovery time.

    As we enter into the season of 4-H and FFA members obtaining and working their projects, I encourage parents to really look at how everyone involved is exposed to the animals. The sow that attacked me had been shown. She had traveled to shows around Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Because we interact with them daily, we forget that they are still animals and therefore unpredictable. Don’t cost yourself or other family members time. It’s the one commodity that’s not renewable.

     

    Photo caption: Cindy Folck (right) and her son, Chester. It’s over three months since the accident and Cindy still has to wear noise-reducing earphones in the farrowing barn.

  189. Working Safely with Anhydrous Ammonia

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Many farmers will be applying anhydrous ammonia in the next few weeks. 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 with working with anhydrous ammonia. 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 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.

    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.

  190. Pre-Spring Housekeeping Around the Farm

    Andy Bauer—Ohio AgrAbility Program Educational Coordinator

    The farm shop is a busy place this time of year getting equipment ready for spring work. As you are doing maintenance and repairs on equipment to prevent any delays, remember to do some daily basic housekeeping in the shop.

    ·      Keep walkways and areas in front of workbenches free of clutter. Mark walkways on the floor to prevent trip or fall hazards. Keep work mats flat on the floor.

    ·      When working at the workbench for an extended time, use a stool to rest on and take some of the strain off your lower joints instead of standing all the time. Use a short stool when working on equipment instead of sitting on a cold floor or kneeling on it.

    ·      Put tools away when done with them so you are not stepping on them and they can easily be found when needing them again.

    ·      Use a rolling toolbox if possible and keep the tools you are going to need close buy.

    ·      Keep new and used parts out of walkways and keep them in their designated storage areas when done.

    ·      Try to eliminate as many trip hazards as you can.

    ·      Do not let packaging materials, boxes, pallets or other trash build up in working areas. Dispose of it properly.

    ·      Be sure that containers and materials stored on shelves are stable and secure and also that the shelving is designed to handle the weight. Keep frequently used items on shelves in an area 18”-54” off the floor for easy access.

    ·      Organize chemical storage areas and keep them secure from loss and access by any unauthorized persons. Keep pesticides, herbicides, and flammables separated to prevent unneeded issues.

    ·      Keep welding and cutting areas free of debris to prevent fire hazards.

    ·      Spend 10 to 15 minutes at the end of the day in the shop cleaning up and organizing the work area.

    ·      Outside the shop, keep walkways clear of snow, ice and other clutter to prevent falls.

    Following these safety tips will keep you organized and ready for a busy planting season.

    For more information contact Ohio AgrAbility at agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681

  191. February is Heart Disease Awareness Month

    Andy Bauer—Ohio AgrAbility Program Educational Coordinator

    February is American Heart Disease Awareness month and also a time for cold weather and snow. During cold weather, work must be done around the farm, such as feeding livestock, breaking ice in the water trough, cutting wood, or loading stored grain. It is also a time for getting equipment ready for spring tillage and planting the new crop. Farming is a stressful occupation, with farmers experiencing stresses associated with most occupations such as high demand, time pressures, and increased workload. However, farmers have added pressures associated with agriculture, such as uncontrollable weather, machinery breakdowns, variable crop prices, or even economic survival. Farming consistently has one of the highest rates of death due to stress-related conditions like hypertension and heart or artery disease.

    Managing stress is an important part of preventing heart disease. Stress makes the heart beat faster to get ready for action. People who are stressed all the time secrete a hormone that that raises blood pressure causing the body to retain more fluids placing excessive stress on the heart.

    ·      Weather is one of the uncontrollable stress factors for farmers, dress in layers and take breaks to warm up when working outside or in unheated buildings. You cannot control the weather but you can control how you prepare for it.

    ·      Marketing grain is another area of uncontrollable stress for the farmer. Know your input costs, planting costs, and harvesting costs and control what you can. Knowing these costs will help to make marketing a little easier in knowing what your break-even point is and at what level to market your crop. 

    ·      Doing winter maintenance on equipment is also important to reduce breakdowns and stress in the spring. Don’t overwork yourself in the cold weather.

    Winter is also the time for farmer meetings. I often ask, “What is your most valuable piece of equipment?” Nine times out of ten the answer is the combine, planter or big tractor, all of which are high dollar items. But, the most valuable piece of equipment on the farm is you and the biggest maintenance item you need to take care of is yourself. Get into your Doctor and get a check-up. Get the condition of your heart and body checked and make sure YOU are ready for spring. After all you are your most important and valuable piece of equipment. If you go down due to health issues, the work will not get done on a timely basis.

    For more information contact Ohio AgrAbility at agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681.

     

  192. Preventing Sprain/Strain Injuries

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    The physical demands of spring work will soon be here.  Due to the physical nature of agricultural tasks, there can be a tremendous amount of wear and tear on the body. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sprain/strain injuries account for over 38 percent of all workplace injuries requiring days away from work. Sprain/Strain injuries are common during physically demanding tasks because your joints and muscles take the majority of the punishment. 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 is 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.

  193. Universal Design and Assistive Technology

    Andy Bauer—Ohio AgrAbility Program Educational Coordinator

    Now that the winter weather is knocking on our doors, it may be time to start getting ready for spring field work. When working on equipment in the shop, give some thought to Universal Design concepts and make life and work easier on you and your help. Universal Design is the design of products or environments to make life easier for all people. Most people have Universal Design concepts in their homes, but don’t realize it. For example, lever style handles on doors and faucets, flat rocker style light switches make opening doors, turning on water and lighting a room easier. Can you think of other items in your home that can make life easier? Several of these concepts can be applied to your farm shop and buildings to make work outside easier for you not only in cold weather, but also throughout the year. When carrying heavy or awkward loads in your arms it is easier to turn on lights with the bump of an elbow on a rocker switch than a toggle switch. Think about changing some of those sliding doors to overhead doors or put in an electric opener to make it easier to get equipment in and out in bad weather.

    Assistive Technology includes any kind of device, modification, or service that will help a person with a disability work and live more independently. Ultimately, it makes it possible for someone to complete a job that might otherwise be difficult. While assistive technology can make farming possible for individuals with limitations, it can also make life easier for everyone. When working in the shop this winter, think about the changes or modifications that you could do to your equipment to make your jobs easier to do or reduce stress on your body. Reducing some of the stress on your body now will help extend your ability to work longer the future. Maybe the steps could be extended to get on or off equipment easier, saving stress on your joints. If your legs, knees and back need more help then just extending the steps, consider hand rails in addition to the extended steps. A lift mounted on the equipment or independent of the equipment could make your access easier and extend the length of time you can continue to do your job. Change worn out tractor seats to reduce stress on your back, consider an air ride seat, or maybe a seat that will swivel to make it easier to see behind you. Another consideration of assistive technology would be the addition of mirrors or cameras to see equipment behind you and beside you to save stress on your back and neck to keep you working safely.

    Assistive Technology ideas are designed to help the farmer with disabilities to be able to continue farming. Even for persons without disabling limitations, assistive technology allows the person to continue farming with reduced stress, and extend their ability to work.

    For more information on the Ohio AgrAbility Program contact us at agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681.        

     

  194. Caught-in or Caught-between Objects

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Throughout the year there are a variety of farm tasks that involve working around equipment or livestock.  In some instances farmers can find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and be in a situation to be caught-in or caught-between objects, which can lead to serious injuries. Caught-in or between incidents occur for some of the following reasons:

    - Working on or around moving equipment
    - Working on equipment with stored energy (Example: Hydraulic cylinder)
    - Inadequate guarding on equipment or guards have been removed
    - Incorrect hitching practices
    - Not being visible to the equipment operator
    - Unaware of approaching danger in the work environment
    - Being pinned against equipment or solid surfaces when working livestock
     

    Some guidelines to use to prevent caught-in or caught-between incidents should include:

    - Always shut down equipment before doing repairs or inspecting of equipment.
    - Chock the wheels on equipment that could move or roll.
    - Never work under equipment that is supported only by a jack. Use a secondary support device.
    - Use the cylinder safety locks on equipment that support hydraulic cylinders, to prevent the release of stored energy in    the cylinder.
    - After servicing equipment make sure all guards are in place and properly secured
    - When hitching or unhitching equipment, stand to the side, and be clearly visible to the tractor driver.
    - Leave an escape route to prevent getting pinned between two objects.
    - Use extra caution when working around equipment that uses belts / pullies: chains / sprockets: or PTO shafts.
     

    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.

  195. Safety Ideas within your Tax Bracket

    Dee Jepsen—State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    As the end of 2015 draws closer, there may be families and businesses looking for ways to reduce taxes by lowering their reportable annual profit. While the OSU Safety Program does not typically provide tax advice, there are some great safety ideas that can help agricultural operations looking to make an investment in safety. In the long run these purchases can do more than save a tax dollar, they may just save a life or prevent property loss.

    For those small purchases, in comparison to the cost of office supplies, consider buying N-95 dust respirators, earplugs or ear muffs. Stock up supplies for the First Aid kits, or purchase new kits for farm and employee vehicles. Replace damaged or missing SMV emblems and fire extinguishers on combines and field machinery.  An idea for grain bin facilities is to purchase a fall protection harness, available in roofing sections of the larger hardware stores.

    Medium-ranged purchases include replacing damaged ladders, adding protective guards to mobile and stationary equipment, and making lighting improvement to barns and workstations with poor visibility. Retrofitting tractors with ROPS (rollover protective structures) can be a medium- to large-size investment, but many dealers will sell and install the retrofits at their cost, with minimal retail mark-up.

    Substantial investments to capital assets could include completely ditching the loyalty to the vintage tractors still used on the farm. Typically older models have less safety features and require more maintenance. By upgrading to a newer model with safer systems throughout and wider-set wheelbases to maintain a stable center of gravity, newer models can typically handle more HP load and improve fuel efficiency. Other farm improvement capital investments may be to the farm shop’s ventilation system, especially to improve exhaust capacity in welding areas. Another improvement could be to the electrical design systems, making an effort to replace old wiring, open breaker boxes, and broken conduit in buildings, and eliminating overhead lines with buried power. Many of the older grain handling facilities should consider converting to Three Phase underground supplied electrical systems.

    While safety is important to practice everyday, this time of year is a good time to consider investments that will put you in a safer place, and improve your position for taxable income. It’s not just your financial liability that will benefit from these planned strategies.

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

  196. Reducing Stress for a Healthy Heart

    Andy Bauer—Ohio AgrAbility Program Educational Coordinator

    Fall harvest is complete in most areas of Ohio, and fall tillage is also completed in a lot of the state. Welcome rain has fallen across the state. However, farmers may continue to experience stress related to marketing this crop with current prices, year end financial planning, planning for next years crop and the upcoming cold weather. Farming consistently has one of the highest rates of deaths due to stress-related conditions such as hypertension and heart disease.  Stress makes the heart beat faster, preparing the body for action. However, prolonged high levels of stress can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, damage to arteries and higher cholesterol levels.

    I asked participants in some AgrAbility presentations, “What is your most valuable tool on your farm?” and I generally heard the response, “The big tractor, planter, or combine.” On a dollar basis, these pieces of equipment are very valuable, but in reality your body and health are more valuable than all the other tools combined. Farmers perform regular maintenance on their equipment and try to keep it in good operating condition. However farmers don’t always keep up the maintenance on their own health. Seeing a doctor on a regular basis and following their advice will help to reduce some stress. Other suggestions for managing stress include:

    ·      Begin to take note of things that cause you to feel stressed.

    ·      Accept the fact that you may not be able to control everything.

    ·      Take time out each day to relax.

    ·      Maintain a healthy lifestyle through exercising, eating healthy and getting enough sleep.

    ·      Plan your day and prioritize what needs to be done.

    ·      Set realistic goals and expectations.

    ·      Avoid the “what ifs” and focus on what you do not know or can control.

    ·      Control stress during long work hours or activities by taking a relaxation break or short walk, get out and stretch your legs if you have been sitting on equipment for an extended period of time.

    ·      In cold weather, plan your day and avoid overexertion when doing tasks.

    For more information about the Ohio AgrAbility Program visit agrability.osu.edu or contact Andy Bauer, Ohio AgrAbility Educational Coordinator, at bauer.528@osu.edu or call 614-247-7681.

  197. Reducing Winter Work Injuries

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Winter is around the corner and the day to day operations of the farm will continue despite bitter cold, freezing rain, or significant snowfall amounts. No matter what the conditions are outside, there is still work to be done around the farm such as feeding livestock, breaking ice in the water trough, cutting wood or loading stored grain.  Even though it may be tempting to “tough it out” or “work through it”, prolonged exposure to cold, wet, and windy conditions, can be dangerous, even at temperatures above freezing. Layered clothing is a necessity, but can be restrictive to the 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 on 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:

    - Plan ahead and wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions, even a simple task may take longer to complete than planned. 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 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.

    - 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.

    - 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.

    - Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

    - Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, seek a warm location, remove any wet clothing, warm the center of the body first, and get medical help as soon as possible.

     

    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.

  198. Preventing Hearing Loss

    Dee Jepsen—State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    How much haven’t you heard today?  Noise-induced hearing loss is a growing concern for Ohio farmers and rural land owners as they go about their normal chores, and especially this time of year. Common pieces of machinery that can cause hearing loss include tractors, grain dryers, chainsaws and firearms. Other small equipment like air compressors, grain augers, lawn mowers, leaf blowers and shop tools can also contribute to the problem. Daily noise exposure is cumulative and hearing loss from these items is permanent and irreversible.

    To learn more about noises on the farm, watch a new video produced by the OSU Ag Safety and Health program in partnership with Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. This video explains the common ways hearing loss can occur in agricultural environments and the steps to prevent the damage. The link to the online video is: https://youtu.be/YxH10xQVTok

    The two primary strategies to reduce or prevent exposure involve taking action against the equipment being used, as well as the person’s exposure to the noise. Here are several steps to control noise exposure.

    For the equipment, it means controlling the noise at the source:

    1.     Select machinery and equipment with lower sound levels. Often times, newer equipment has housing and insulation that reduce noise output.

    2.      Perform routine maintenance. Replace worn, loose or unbalanced machine parts to cut down on the vibration and noise that is emitted. Well-lubricated machine parts will also reduce vibration and friction. Ensure mufflers are installed and in good condition on self-propelled machines.

    3.     Isolate the noise source from the worker. Tractor and other equipment cabs are good options for keeping the worker away from engine and machine operation noise on self-propelled machines. Insulating walls in the farm shop or garage will also prevent the noise from travelling through to other work or living spaces. 

    4.     Limit movement and vibration of stationary power tools. Tool stands can add vibration and more noise to the worksite, especially if they are not secured. Check that all connections are tight and snuggly bolted down. Add rubber pads to the base of table-mounted equipment to keep the tool from being directly mounted to a metal stand.

    For the equipment operator:

    1.     Wear hearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in workplaces that exceed 85 decibels (dB).

    2.     Choose PPE with a 20 NRR rating or higher. The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) is included on the package of each product. This number tells the user the decibels that are reduced by wearing the hearing protection. The higher the rating, the better the product. As an example, if the workplace measures 100 decibels (dB), wearing hearing protection with an NRR rating of 22, makes the total exposure 78dB.

    3.     Wear hearing protection correctly. The NRR will do no good if the product is not worn correctly. Ear plugs need to be inserted into the ear canal, while ear muffs cover the entire outer ear. Either type is acceptable if worn correctly.

    4.     Limit daily exposure to high noise areas.  When the worker is continuously exposed to an 85dB or higher work area, PPE is needed for the entire day. Chores measuring 90dB and higher will require protection while doing that task, but these activities may not take an entire work day. 

    5.     Post signs “High Noise Area” in workplaces that require PPE. A sound pressure level meter can accurately measure the work environment so protection is used when it is needed.

    Waiting too long to put a noise protection practice in place is not wise. Hearing loss is permanent! Unlike wearing corrective eyeglasses, hearing aids cannot restore a person’s hearing; these devices can only amplify the sounds that can still be detected by the auditory nerves.

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

  199. Safety with Hand and Power Tools

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Now that harvest season is wrapping up, it is time to start planning for those projects or repairs that need to be completed before winter sets in. 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):
    - 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 unintentional 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 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 Program visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  200. Fall Fire Safety

    Cora Carter—OSU Ag Safety and Health Graduate Assistant

    As the chill creeps into the air, so do unique risks to the fall season’s festivities.  Simple precautions may be taken to prevent injury this year. One of the greatest dangers is that of fire and burns. Fall is a season known for crunchy dry leaves, dry corn stalks, bonfires, candles, and spooky smoke effects. Dry tinder and open flames greatly increase the chance of fire.

    Simple fire safety precautions begin with using small flashlights or battery operated candles in the place of candles. Decorations for special events, often involving candles, account for an annual average of 800 home fires annually, according to NFPA.

    In the United States, more than 100 people die each year as a result of their clothing becoming ignited. Only purchase costumes and fabric decorations that are labeled flame resistant or retardant. Avoid trailing features that present a higher risk of ignition.

    Keep all flammable decorations away from all heat sources. This includes candles along with light bulbs and space heaters. Jack-o-lanterns can be illuminated with small, battery-operated candles.

    Make sure all exits are clear and well lit. Do not block pathways or stairs with pumpkins or cornstalks. Ensure that children are supervised at all times.

    Keep in mind that a safe season is the best season! Enjoy all the fun of fall with your family!

  201. Safety Considerations at Your Grain Bins

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Harvest season is in full swing. For many farmers this includes a lot of activity at their grain storage facility filling bins with corn and soybeans. Throughout Ohio, on-farm grain storage facilities are being upgraded and newly constructed storage facilities are getting larger and larger. Common injuries associated with grain handling include slips, trips and falls; blunt trauma incidents; sprains / strains; entanglement; engulfment; and injuries due to fatigue.  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. Notify family members or coworkers before starting potentially dangerous work and tell them when you expect to finish.  If you are supposed to be done in three hours, someone can check on you if you are late.
    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. 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. Bridged grain or grain lining the wall of the bin is dangerous and should be handled at a distance.  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. If the grain is out of condition, poisonous gases may accumulate.  If you suspect that the air inside the bin is not safe, do not try to enter without first sampling the air.
    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. 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 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.

  202. Safe Combine Operation

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator
    As we head into fall and look forward to harvest season, consider safety as part of your harvest planning process.  Continuous activity, diminished daylight and stresses that can be associated with harvest can often lead to agricultural related injuries. It is a time that involves the use of multiple pieces of farm equipment working simultaneously, to reach the end goal of completing harvest. The most important piece of equipment during harvest is the combine and safe operation of the combine 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 insure 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 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 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.

     

  203. Identifying 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 of working safely 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, debris, 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 falling hazards that may be present in your workspace.
    - Consider factors like fatigue and repetitive motion that can have an impact over long periods of time.
     
    The final guideline is the most important. Take the proper actions required to fix a hazard once it is identified. If immediate action can be taken, such as cleaning up spills, repairing equipment, securing loads or adjusting work processes, then do so.
     
    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.
  204. Working in and Harvesting the Garden with Arthritis or other Physical Limitations

    Andy Bauer – Educational Program Coordinator Ohio AgrAbility
    Arthritis tends to affect most farmers and gardeners in their hands, knees, and hips because these joints take the most pressure. These same joints also are affected by people with other physical limitations such as limited mobility, knee pain, fatigue, and unable to get up if sitting on the ground. Simple tips will help in making the task at hand easier to do.
     
    - Plan your day ahead -Do the more physical jobs first early in the day when it is cooler and you are not as tired.
    - Don’t try to do all the jobs at one time, take regular breaks and allow your body time to rest and recover.
    - If the day is hot, get into some shade to cool off. Change the tasks you are doing to reduce fatigue.
    - Use a cart, wagon, or other means to take your bucket, tools and supplies to the garden at one time. Cut down on repeated trips.
    - Ask for help in doing cumbersome tasks.
    - Avoid stressful positions and change positions frequently.
    - Use a garden stool or chair when possible to take the weight off your joints.
    - Use knee or kneeling pads to reduce stress when working on your knees.
    - Use foam pipe insulation to build up handles on buckets, baskets, or other items used to reduce stress on the hands.
     
    Remember: Pain is the body’s way of telling you to slow down or stop for the day. Respect it. Have an enjoyable gardening experience.
     
    For more information on Arthritis contact the Arthritis Foundation at www.arthritis-ag.org for a booklet titled Arthritis and Agriculture: A Guide to Understanding and Living with Arthritis or the Ohio Agrability Program at www.agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at www.bauer742@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681.
     
    Photo courtesy of Fairfield County OSU Extension.
  205. Summer Stress

    Andy Bauer – Ohio AgrAbility Educational Program Coordinator

    Heat stress is a factor that we must all be aware of during the summer months. Working long hours during times of extreme heat and direct sun can be hard on your body. The body must get rid of excess heat to maintain a stable internal temperature. This is done mainly through circulating blood close to the skin and through sweating. When air temperature is close to or greater than normal body temperature cooling the body becomes more difficult. Sweating then becomes the body’s main way of cooling off, but is only effective if the humidity levels allow evaporation and fluids and salts that are lost are adequately replaced. If the body cannot get rid of excess heat then the core temperature increases causing the heart rate to increase. Here are some tips to follow during hot summer days:

    • Wear light colored, loose fitting cotton clothing
    • Try to schedule your workload around the cooler parts of the day
    •  Make sure tractor cabs are well vented and air filters are cleaned on a regular basis
    •  Make sure tractors with air-conditioning are checked on a regular basis and that their filters are also checked regularly
    •  Above all make sure you and your employees all stay well hydrated in hot weather and use sunscreen when working out in the hot sun
    • Avoid drinking alcohol and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar
    • Take regular water breaks and try to get out of the sun during breaks

    Heat stress injuries can become serious medical issues if precautions are not taken. For more information contact the Ohio AgrAbility Program at agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681.

  206. Safety Tips For June

    Andy Bauer – Ohio AgrAbility Educational Program Coordinator

    With most crops in the ground a lot of the long days are done and others are just starting. Working safely is still an important mission that everyone needs to follow.
    June brings on spraying of crops, baling hay, taking care of the garden and mowing grass. These are but a few of the tasks that must be done safely.

    Spraying pesticides:
    • Be sure to read all labels on pesticides and follow the safety precautions listed.
    • Follow the proper application rates for the product being used and be sure to use the proper personal protective equipment for that product.
    • Even though it may be hot outside, wear long sleeve shirts and long legged pants.
    • Wear eye protection when mixing and using pesticides.
    • Take your time and don’t rush the job, it may take a little longer to do the job but it’s your health your protecting along with others.

    Baling hay:
    • Be aware of PTO shafts and other moving parts on equipment.
    • Don’t wear loose torn clothing that could get caught in moving parts.
    • Do not jump down off wagons and other equipment; climb down and save your ankle, knee and hip joints.
    • Be safe when handling bales whether small square or large round bales, if lifting by hand lift properly, use your legs and if using equipment to pick them up beware of balance points.
    • Don’t overload wagons and trucks.

    Working around the yard and mowing grass:
    • Always wear good protective shoes not flip-flops.
    • Always shut the mower deck down when getting off riding mowers.
    • Keep your feet away from mower decks and blades so you don’t spend the rest of the summer with missing toes.
    • Be aware of your surroundings and where young children are and keep them away from the mower.
    • Be aware of the discharge of the mower so as not to throw an object at someone or something.     

    Always keep safety in mind and keep June and the rest of your summer SAFE!

    For more information contact Ohio AgrAbility at agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681.
     

  207. Safe Handling of Pesticides on the Farm

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

    Pesticide Storage:
    - Keep pesticides and related materials in a designated locked cabinet, isolated room or separate building.
    - Control access to the storage area and post “Pesticide Storage” signs to warn others.
    - Never store pesticides near food, seed, feed, fertilizers or other products that can become contaminated.
    - Always store pesticides in the original container with an attached label.
    - If storing pesticides on shelves, store liquids below dry powders or granuals.
    - Check pesticide containers periodically for leaks, breaks, or corrosion.

    Pesticide Handling:
    - Become familiar with the pesticide being used. Read and follow the information on the label.
    - Use all label recommended personal protective equipment for mixing, application, and clean up.  Examples include: chemical gloves, goggles, respirator, chemical apron, long sleeve shirt, long pants, and proper footwear
    - Mix or pour concentrated pesticides below waist level, to minimize any splash or fumes near the face.
    - Stand up wind so that fumes or dusts are blown away from the body.
    - Mix or pour in a well - ventilated area.
    - Prepare only the amount needed for application.
    - Clean up spills or leaks immediately.
    - Follow first aid procedures on the label if an exposure occurs.
    - Securely close containers immediately after use.
    - Use the proper equipment and follow the label requirements for application.
    - Exercise caution when applying in sensitive areas where drift could affect others.
    - Follow the pesticide’s re-entry time and procedures after application.
    - Triple rinse and dispose of empty containers properly
    - Wash personal protective equipment and exposed clothing immediately after use.

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

    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.
     

  208. Protect Your Back as Spring Planting Continues

    By Andy Bauer,  Ohio AgrAbility Educational Program Coordinator

    Now that spring planting is finishing up and summer work is coming on, we must remember to take care of and protect our backs. Agricultural workers are at a very high risk for back injuries since much of their job involves lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy loads, awkward working positions, vibrations and sudden jolts when driving across rough terrain as well as trips and falls from uneven ground.

    Back health is often ignored on the farm until an injury has occurred. Often individuals continue working in spite of pain. With an endless “to do list”, farmers often put off seeing a physician or even taking time to rest, which can many times add to the injury.

    Lets stop for just a minute and take a look at some preventive measures we can do to protect the back from injury. Think about your posture, balance, and body mechanics. Then remember to incorporate the following tips into your daily routine.
    • Stretch and warm up before starting warm muscles work better than cold
    • Use proper lifting technics keep your back straight lift with your legs keep object being lifted close to your body
    • Avoid twisting at the waist when lifting, turn with your feet
    • Get help if something is too heavy for you or if help is right there use it!
    • Take breaks operating equipment for extended periods of time, stop on a regular basis to stretch, walk around. Use this time to check equipment.

    Jumping down off equipment, prolonged sitting, vehicle vibration, jolts from rough terrain, along with twisting and turning of the trunk and neck to monitor equipment can all cause back pain or increase already existing back issues.
    Some things to consider to help with these are:

    • Replacing old worn out seats
    • Use mirrors or cameras to monitor equipment
    • Extend steps to make mounting and dismounting equipment easier
    • Modify tongues on equipment to reduce bending and pulling when hooking up equipment

    All of these measures should be considered to help reduce back injuries and make the long hard hours of spring work easier to handle and safer. A little bit of prevention now can help avoid a lot of pain for years to come.  For more information on prevention of back injuries contact Ohio AgrAbility at agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at bauer.528@osu.edu or (614) 247-7681.

  209. Recognizing Farm Equipment Hazards

    By: Kent McGuire,  OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Spring planting is in full swing. In many cases there are multiple pieces of equipment working simultaneously throughout the farm. Today’s equipment is powerful, very efficient and versatile in how it can be used. This includes tractors, tillage equipment, planting equipment, and even extremely specialized machinery for fruit and vegetable production. However, all agricultural equipment share many of the same hazards that can seriously injury someone if the hazards are not recognized. Farm equipment hazards can include:

    Wrap Points: Any exposed equipment component that rotates at high speed or with a high degree of torque.  Injuries occur because of entanglement with the part. The most common wrap points are associated with drive shafts or power take - off shafts.

    Shear / Cut Points: Shear points happen when two edges come together or move passed each other to create a cut. Cut points happen when a single edge moves rapidly and forcefully enough to make a cut or a solid object strikes a single edge. Injuries can range from severe cuts to amputation. Common equipment includes mower blades, disc coulters, cutter bars and parts with sharp edges.

    Pinch Points: Any equipment that has two objects that come together with at least one of them moving in a circular motion. The point at which the two objects come together becomes the pinch point. Injuries can include abrasions, cuts, or being pulled further into the part. Most pinch points involve belts and pulleys, chains and sprockets, gear drives, or roller assemblies.

    Crush Points: This occurs when two objects come together or a single object moves towards a stationary object creating a blunt impact. Injuries usually involve damage to tissue, bones, or internal organs. Crush points can include being caught under or between moving parts or equipment.

    Burn Points: Any area on a piece of equipment that can generate enough heat to cause a burn to the skin if touched. It only takes 5 seconds to create a 3rd degree burn touching something at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Common burn points include exhaust mufflers, engine or hydraulic fluids, friction of moving parts, and worn out bearing assemblies

    Free-Wheeling Parts: Some mechanical systems will take time to come to a complete stop, after the power source has been shut off. Many times these parts are moving silently after the equipment operator has dismounted the equipment. These parts can include rotary mower blades, flywheels, and equipment that must go through a full revolution or cycle to come to a complete stop.

    Stored Energy: Any amount of potential energy waiting to be released. Injuries occur when the energy is unintentionally or unknowingly released. This can include pressurized hydraulic systems, electrical circuits, spring tension, and chemical reactions.

    Thrown Objects: Occurs when material or objects are discarded from the equipment with great force. Injuries occur when the object strikes the individual. Objects can be throw during mowing processes, from discharge chutes, or tossed from rapidly rotating parts.

    By recognizing the hazards that can be present with the farm equipment and respecting the power and speed of the equipment, potential for injuries can be significantly reduced.

    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.

  210. Overexertion and Fatigue

    By Andy Bauer,  Ohio AgrAbility Educational Program Coordinator

    Hopefully spring weather is finally coming on, bringing with it long hours due to delays in getting field work done and crops planted. The extended winter weather will also cause delays in getting the garden planted in a timely manor. During this time of long hours and hard work don’t forget about your own health.  Overexertion and fatigue are two types of injury that long hard days of trying to get crops in the ground can cause. In the morning before going out to start the long days work take time to do some stretching exercises and warm the body up to get ready for long strenuous days.

    Remember to use proper lifting technics when lifting objects and try not to lift more than you can, don’t overextend yourself. Switch tasks often when bending, lifting and reaching out to do jobs. Your body is your most important tool so learn to respect it, pain is your body’s way of telling you to slow down a little and rest. When sitting in equipment for long periods of time, stop every couple of hours to get out, stretch your legs and do some stretching to loosen up your back. Stretching and walking around will help to prevent fatigue, also try to get a good nights sleep. Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as you work long hours and temperatures rise. Taking care of yourself will help prevent further planting delays.

    Overexertion and fatigue are also two concerns to be aware of when working in the garden. After working in the field all day pace yourself in working in the garden and be careful of bending and reaching out to plant the garden, don’t overextend yourself. Try to limit the hours worked in the garden and get some rest to prevent fatigue the next day. Plan your days out and work smartly.

    For more information contact the Ohio AgrAbiliy Program at agrability.osu.edu or Andy Bauer at 614-247-7681 or bauer.528@osu.edu

  211. Safely Working with Anhydrous Ammonia in the Field

    By: Kent McGuire,  OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Many farmers will be applying anhydrous ammonia in the next few weeks. Even though anhydrous ammonia is a very good fertilizer, there are hazards associated to working with it. 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.

    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.

  212. Employee Emergency Response Training

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Family farm operations and small agribusinesses often onboard new hires by launching straight into the immediate needs of the operation, using an information on as needed basis kind of approach. No orientation manual to read or video to watch. No HR Department to visit. An employee might be shown the fridge in office and then be about their way to the matter at hand – work. Learning the lay of the land, some hands-on equipment training, information about timekeeping and tax forms, livestock handling and care instruction, and mentoring of tasks are likely all lumped into to the schedule of the first few days or weeks. It is important to get an employee up and running with minimal hand holding because there is generally more work than can be accomplished in the light of a day.

    What goes uncovered?

    More times than not emergency preparedness. It is hard to compete with a priority list of chores for the day.

    Focusing on emergency or disaster response is not a priority because of the generally perceived minuscule threat. Emergencies and disasters happen! In fact, 76 percent of local governments have responded to a major disaster in the past 15 years (Source: the USDA funded Local Government Sustainability Practices Survey).

    Establishing training mechanisms for all employees in the area of preparedness will assist in familiarity with access to first aid tools and lower response time in providing support in the event of an emergency.

    The following are some things to consider in establishing an employee preparedness plan:

    • In the event of an emergency how will people reconnect to ensure everyone is safe? Do not count on cell phones, have a call list. Include emergency contact numbers like the fire and police departments, poison control, family doctor, a trusted neighbor, and home and cell numbers for all employees.
    • How will employees caught off-site make the reconnection? Will the scope or type of emergency have different effects on this process?
    • Is there livestock to move or transport in the event of an emergency? Is there space to shelter livestock in place? Is there adequate capacity of transport for all livestock should it become necessary to move animals? Where is the alternative shelter located?
    • Where are fire extinguishers located on the property? Are you certain employees know how to operate them? Is the proper type of extinguisher located near the various types of ignition sources present on the property?
    • Do employees know where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is stored for chemical handling? Do employees know what PPE to use for the various tasks performed? In the event of a chemical splash or spill, do employees know where the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are located?
    • Do employees know where a first aid kit is located? Have you established an injury response protocol for your team of employees and family workers?
    • Have instructions been given about how to handle inclement weather?
    • Do employees know all exit routes out of structures? Are there instructions on how to exit the property entirely if necessary?

    Working through a plan and making employees comfortable with the actions of response will reduce injury and loss.

    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.

  213. Building an Emergency Kit for Farm or Home Transportation

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Get a jump on inclement weather and stock a road emergency kit for all vehicles now. Many of the useful items you may find you already have on hand.

    • Jumper cables
    • First aid kit – take note to add a small supply of any necessary prescription medications
    • Cell phone – remember a charger and backup battery pack too
    • Local maps
    • Flashlight and some extra batteries
    • Food and water – energy bars and bottled water take little space, yet can be vital if you become stranded
    • Hats and gloves
    • Wool blanket
    • Ice scraper
    • Shovel
    • Pen and paper
    • Duct tape – can be utilized for many temporary holds/repairs
    • Matches in a waterproof container

    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.

  214. Combine Fire Precautions

    Rory Lewandowski – OSU Extension Educator, Wayne County

    Each year I see photos and video clips of combine fires come across my twitter feed.  This year has been no different.  Some of the comments on photos and videos of 2018 combine fires mention how quickly fires started, spread and engulfed the combine.  Crop residue accumulation near a direct heat source such as the engine or exhaust system, or on and around bearings, belts and chains where heat is generated, accounts for the majority of combine fires.  There are some good articles regarding steps to take to prevent and avoid combine fires and stay safe during the harvest season.  Below are some safety recommendations from Dick Nicolai, a South Dakota Extension specialist and John Wilson, a University of Nebraska Extension Educator. 

    • Keep the combine as clean as possible. During harvest, frequently blow dry chaff, leaves and other crop materials off the machine. Remove any materials that have wrapped around bearings, belts and other moving parts. Be sure to check those pockets that house wires or lights and where chaff accumulates.
    • Keep wiring and fuses in proper working condition.  Watch for frayed wiring and worn connectors.  Sparks produced can ignite grain dust, crop residues or fuel vapors. Check wiring and insulation for rodent damage and replace as needed.
    • Make sure the exhaust system is in good repair.
    • Keep fittings greased and watch for overheated bearings.
    • Use a ground chain attached to the combine frame to prevent static charges from igniting dry chaff and harvest residue, letting the chain drag on the ground while in the field.
    • Prior to fueling a hot combine, wait 15 minutes to reduce the risk of a spill volatilizing and igniting.  Never refuel equipment with the engine running.
    • Don’t park a hot combine in the shed or shop. After a long day of harvesting, smoldering hot spots may be present in the combine. If those spots suddenly flare up, at least you won’t lose the building!
    • Keep at least one fully-charged, 10-pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher with an Underwriter’s Laboratory approval in the combine cab.
    • Mount a second, larger fire extinguisher on the outside of the machine at a height easily reached from ground level.
    • Have a plan if a fire starts. Turn off the engine; get the fire extinguisher and your phone. Get out and get help.
    • Stay a safe distance away.
    • Call 911 before beginning to extinguish the fire.
    • Approach the fire with extreme caution. Small fires can flare up quickly with the addition of air (by opening doors or hatches).
  215. Upcoming Events Focused on Preparedness

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    It is a busy month on the preparedness awareness front. Join in some of the events listed below to help foster readiness in your community.

    Oct 1-5 Fungal Disease Awareness Week: Think Fungus!

    The CDC and partners have organized this week to highlight the importance of recognizing serious fungal diseases early enough in the course of a patient’s illness to provide life-saving treatment.

    Current wet weather conditions and harvest can be two environmental contributors that lead to increased fungus in the agricultural work sector. Wet conditions may lead to concerns of mold, to remediate link to CDC information by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/mold/default.htm. If harvest impacts your breathing assess the symptoms of occupational lung disease by visiting https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org, then seek advice from your medical professional.

    To learn more about the CDC’s October campaign, visit https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/awareness-week.html

    October 7-13 Fire Prevention Week: Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.

    The National Fire Protection Association recognizes the week as a time to focus on the lessons of fire prevention. The leading messages to reduce risk to fire:

    • Look for places fire can start
    • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
    • Learn two ways out of each room

    For more resources visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

    Oct 18 Ohio EMA Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

    Held annually on the third Thursday in October, ShakeOut is set for October 18th at 10:18AM. Ohioans are encouraged to Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

    The Ohio Emergency Management Agency media release conveyed, “People may say ‘Why do we need to practice earthquake drills in Ohio?’ We practice because Ohio does experience earthquakes,” said Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick. “Ohio has had four low-scale earthquakes so far this year. It is also good to know earthquake safety in the event you’ve traveled to another state or country where quakes can occur with higher magnitude and frequency.”

    The Ohio EMA wants ShakeOut to get people to talk about emergency preparedness and to plan for all hazards and disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes or hazmat incidents.

    For more information visit the Ohio EMA media release here or to register for the event visit https://www.shakeout.org.

    Flu Season is Upon Us

    Get a jump on the flu by scheduling an appointment to get the flu vaccine. See what influenza vaccination coverage has looked like in past years for the state of Ohio, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/reportshtml/trends/index.html.

    The easiest way to protect against the flu, the Ohio Department of Health reminds, is to get a seasonal flu vaccine every year!

    Some good flu prevention practices

    • Get a seasonal flu vaccine
    • Wash your hands
    • Cover your cough
    • Eat a balanced diet
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Exercise regularly
    • Get plenty of rest
    • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
    • Stay away from those who are sick when possible
    • Stay home if you get sick and keep sick children home from school or day care

    For more information about the flu you can visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website page covering the area at https://www.odh.ohio.gov/seasflu/seasonalinfluenza.aspx/, or the CDC’s flu section at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.

    For 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.

  216. Are you Prepared?

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

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

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

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

  217. Back to School Preparedness Tips and Resources

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Back to school is almost a season of its own anymore, one that sneaks in between summer and fall. Those weeks in August bring the familiar sight of aisle after aisle in big box stores dedicated to notebooks, pencils, and glue sticks. Sales signs and flyers appear everywhere. Endless medical forms are delivered via postal service or emailed for parents to complete. Back to school presents the perfect time of year to turn the focus on safety and health preparedness for youth. Listed below are some tips and resources to help put safety first for the start of this school year.

    Personal Safety and Security

    Transportation

    Sports

    Immunizations

    • Know the required vaccinations to start school and schedule a visit with your child’s pediatrician.

    Youth Preparedness

    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.

     

  218. Preventing Barn Fires

    Christine Gelley - OSU Extension, Noble County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator

    The fire department is a service you hope you will never need to use, but the one you are most thankful for when an emergency occurs and life as you know it is going up in flames. It is crucial that we all do our best to reduce fire risks in our homes and work environments.

    Barn fires are all too common and most are preventable. Common causes of barn fires include electric appliances, heaters and heat lamps, fans, exposed wires, dirty outlets, smoking, wet hay, and machinery. Few barns are appropriately equipped with fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, or smoke alarms. In addition, many barns are inadequately insured for their contents. In order to protect the valuable assets stored in barns including livestock and also the people who work in them, fire prevention needs to be a high priority.

    Here are some ways to improve fire prevention methods on your farm:

    • Make it a point to scout for hazardous conditions around the barn. Inform everyone who works in your barn of what area are concerns for fire development, what to do in the case of a fire, and to always keep exit pathways clear.
    • Establish a cleaning schedule to remove dirt and dust from areas where electrical outlets and appliances are used. Install appropriate covers on outlets and light bulbs. Extension cords should be industrial grade and checked for faults regularly. Permanent electrical wiring should be encased in conduit
    • Store flammable liquids, hay, bedding, and fuel away from animals and machinery. Keep brush and trees trimmed back from the structure and maintain space between structures to prevent fire from easily spreading. 
    • Some tools that are easy to install and help reduce the damage in the case of a fire include: ABC fire extinguishers in reach of high risk areas, smoke detectors with amplified sirens, and/or barn cameras equipped with audio.
    • Always have the contact information for your local fire department readily available in case of an emergency.
    • Check with your insurance agency to verify that you have appropriate insurance for your structures and their contents, just in case.
    • Once you think you have corrected the fire hazards in your barn, it may be a good idea to ask someone from your fire department to visit your farm and do a walk through of your barn. A second set of trained eyes may be the difference between life and death in the event of a barn fire.

    For information about how to select fire extinguishers for your farm, consult OSU Extension Fact Sheet AEX-790.25: Fire Extinguishers, available online at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-79025.

  219. Hay and Straw Barn Fires a Real Danger

    Jason Hartschuh, Mark Sulc, Sarah Noggle and David Dugan,
    Ohio State University Extension Guest Contributors
     
    We’ve heard of one barn fire here in Ohio this morning and a lot of hay was put up last Thursday ahead of the rain. Much of the hay was wetter than it should have been for safe dry hay storage. Watch those moist bales very carefully for the next two to three weeks! Use a hay temperature probe and monitor the internal temperature of the hay during these first three weeks after baling.
     
    Usually, we think of water and moisture as a way to put a fire out, but the opposite is true with hay and straw, which when too wet can heat and spontaneously combust. This is more common with hay than straw because there is more plant cell respiration in hay. When baled at moistures over 20% mesophilic bacteria release heat causing temperatures to rise between 130°F and 140°F. If bacteria die and bales cool, you are in the clear but if thermophilic bacteria take over temperatures can raise to over 175°F.
     
    The moist bales should be kept outside or in a well ventilated area. Don’t stack the moist bales, because that prevents the heat and moisture left in the hay from escaping. It is normal for hay to go through a “sweat” in the first few days after baling. Internal temperatures of 110° F in the first five days after baling are quite common in our region and are not a big concern.
     
    Assessing the Fire Risk
     
    Most hay fires occur within the first six weeks after baling
    Was the field evenly dry or did it have wet spots
    Were moistures levels kept at 20% or less
    If over 20% was hay preservative used
     
    Monitoring at-risk Hay
     
    If you are concerned that your hay or straw may be a fire risk, you should monitor it twice a day for the first six weeks or until low temperatures stabilize. Ideally, temperatures are taken from the center of the stack or down about 8 feet in large stacks.
     
    If you have a long probe thermometer it can be used but some homemade options are available. A ¾ inch pipe with the ends closed into a point and 3/16 inch holes drilled in the bottom 4 inches can work well, lower a thermometer on a string or the sensor wire of a thermometer into the pipe. The sensor on a long wire can work very well once in place you can read temperatures without removing it. Leave the thermometer in the stack for 15 minutes to get an accurate reading.
     
    Another cruder option is to stick a 3/8 pipe into the stack and pull out twice a day if the pipe is too hot to hold in your hand, you are at risk for a fire. Be very cautious when taking hay temperatures if the hay gets hot and a cavity burns out underneath you can fall in. Use planks to spread out your weight and have someone nearby in case you fall in a burned out pocket. Using a harness and tying yourself off would be even better as a safety measure when checking bales.
     
    Hay bale temperatures of 120° to 130° F will likely result in mold growth and will make the protein in the hay less available to animals. While those temperatures are not high enough to cause hay fires, the concern is if the mold growth continues and pushes temperatures upward into the danger zone.
     
    If the temperature in the hay continues to rise, reaching temperatures of 160° to 170° F, then there is cause for alarm. At those elevated temperatures, other chemical reactions begin to occur that elevate the temperature much higher, resulting in spontaneous combustion of the hay in a relatively short period of time. If the hay temperature is 175° F or higher, call the fire department immediately, because fire is imminent or present in the stack.
     
    Critical Temperatures and Actions to Take
     
    Temp. (°F)      Condition and Action
    125°     No Action Needed
     
    150°     Hay is entering the danger zone. Check twice daily. Disassemble stacked hay bales to promote air circulation to cool the hay outside.
     
    160°     Hay has reached the danger zone. Check hay temperature every couple of hours.  Disassemble stacked hay to promote air circulation to cool hay have fire department present while unstacking from here on.
     
    175°     Hot pockets are likely. Alert fire service to possible hay fire incident. Close barns tightly to eliminate oxygen.
     
    190°     With the assistance of the fire service, remove hot hay. Be aware the bales may burst into flames.
     
    200°+ With the assistance of the fire service, remove hot hay. Most likely, a fire will occur. Keep tractors wet and fire hose lines charged in the barn and along the route of where bales are to be stacked.
     
    If you are in the risk zone and there is machinery or livestock also in the barn, remove them before removing the hay for safety. Also call the fire department when you are in the risk range. They would much rather be present and not have to put a fire out them have to call mutual aid when your entire barn is on fire. For more information on Preventing Fires in Baled have and straw visit-   http://articles.extension.org/pages/66577/preventing-fires-in-baled-hay-and-straw
     
    Extreme caution needs to be taken when monitoring hot hay. Please read the article below for additional safety guidelines and procedures for monitoring hot bales and for preventing and controlling hay fires:
     
    Hay Fire Prevention and Control, Virginia Cooperative Extension http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/442/442-105/442-105.html
     
    References:
    Preventing fires in baled hay and straw. (2012). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from  http://www.extension.org/pages/66577/preventing-fires-in-baled-hay-and-straw.
     
    Hay Fire Prevention and Control, Virginia Cooperative Extension http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/442/442-105/442-105.html
  220. An Important Piece of Fire Prevention on the Farm

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Do you have fire extinguishers located on your farm property?

    Fire extinguishers can often be one of those out of sight out of mind tools. Or alternatively, extinguishers can be so frequently passed by that the location no longer registers. Stop and take a mental inventory of where the fire extinguishers on your farm are located. If you come up with a mental void, 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. A fire extinguisher may be able to put a small fire out 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 all during a day’s work on the farm, each of which can contribute to a fire under certain conditions.

    The National Fire Protection Association, Fire Analysis and Research Division gathered data reflecting during 2006-2010, an estimated 830 structure fires in barns were reported to U.S. fire departments per year, with associated losses of: 1 civilian death, 10 civilian injuries, and
    $28 million in property damage annually.

    Take the time and steps to establish fire prevention practices on your farm operation, starting with the installation of 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. Their resources breakdown to:

    • Explain the types of fire extinguishers
    • Help people decide when to use a fire extinguisher
    • Teach people how to use a fire extinguisher
    • Educate on the importance of fire extinguisher maintenance

    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.

    The OSU Agricultural Safety & Health website Employee Safety tab is another resource to explore for additional information pertaining to fire extinguishers, https://agsafety.osu.edu/programs/cfaes-osha/fire-prevention-fire-extinguishers.

    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.

  221. ‘Tis the Season for Funnel Clouds

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    It is not uncommon for a storm to brew up quickly at this time of year. Whether you are in the field, on the road, or back at the farmstead being aware of the changes around can allow for appropriate response. Knowing what signs to look for in the sky can alert you to a tornado and allow time for action. The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness advises to look for the following danger signs:

      • Dark, often greenish sky
      • Large hail
      • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly, if rotating)
      • Loud roar, similar to a freight train

    Tornado activity in Ohio occurs at the highest rates in the months of May and June. Tornado season is April – July, but the weather in Ohio last November points to the fact that anomalies do occur outside the traditional season with 17 tornados recorded that month.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shares information and preparedness tips to increase understanding of weather events and facilitate response.

    • Recognize during a tornado a majority of injuries and fatalities are caused by being struck or cut by falling or wind-borne debris. Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storm, with winds that can reach over 200 miles per hour and with paths of destruction more than one mile wide and 50 miles long.
    • Know the National Weather Service (NWS) terms that are used to describe changing weather conditions. These terms—advisories, watches, and warnings—can be used to determine the timeline and severity of an approaching storm.
    • Designate where to go for protection from a tornado and ensure adequate assistance and access for people with disabilities and plan for functional needs.
    • Outline emergency communications plans and policies with family and employees.
    • Sign up for community notifications.
    • Ensure there are basic supplies on hand to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs.

    Homeowners can find additional resources about how to secure proper insurance coverage prior to and mitigate loss following a tornado from the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness. Visit http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/TornadoFacts.aspx to check to see is you have proper coverage and inventory documentation, or to see their recommended before, during, and after actions.

    Keep an eye on the sky this spring and 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

  222. How Prepared Are You for a Potential Grain Engulfment?

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    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 in 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 along your path. You may look for an elevator when you take your elderly mother to visit her doctor because you know stairs have become difficult for her traverse. You may look for a map kiosk at the trailhead as you set out on a hike at the nature preserve. All of those actions, thoughts, and assessment are a part of preparedness, regardless of the depth of that specific planning. Think about and examine those split-second brain processes for a moment, from there reflect on your daily work and movement about the farm. What occurs to you? Are you thinking – no exit signs exist, no directional or roadway markers exist, there is not a property or building map to be found? Will you recognize the lack of wayfinding on the farm the next time you leave the back door of your house to head for the farmyard?

    Take this framework a step further and think about this in regard to working in and around grain on the farm. How will someone rescue you in that “what if” 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 victim or rescuer in certain incidents.

    Agriculture is no longer a piece of the common fabric of the lives of many of those performing emergency rescue today. 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 member, but additionally first responders that would be called upon in the event of an emergency on your property.

    The farm operator is often familiar with all of the processes involved in grain storage and handling at their individual 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 of the hazards that may exist in the process from beginning to end. Establish a protocol of safety specific to grain handling for your operation and clearly communicate that to anyone 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 and get you started in 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, and 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.

  223. Flood Safety and Preparation

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

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

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

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

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

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

    More information from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency can be found at http://www.ema.ohio.gov/. And, additional flooding resources can be found at the National Weather Service, http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/ or FEMA, https://www.ready.gov/floods.

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

  224. Weather Safety Awareness

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

    Please note the upcoming dates:

    Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 18-24

    Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 18-24

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

    For more information: http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/Default.aspx

  225. Is your Emergency Action Plan up to date?

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Late winter is always a great time to review your Emergency Action Plan. Whether it’s a structure fire, traumatic farm injury, or natural disaster, being prepared can help reduce the potential for loss of life or property. An Emergency Action Plan should include:

    - A list of emergency numbers that may be needed.

    - Evacuation and shelter in place procedures.

    - Procedures to shut down specific processes or equipment.

    - Location of electrical disconnects, water or gas shut – offs, and fuel storage areas.

    - Specifying locations of livestock facilities and relocation areas should they need to be moved.

    - Identifying confined space areas such as grain bins, silos or manure pits and hazards associated with each one.

    - Listing areas where chemicals, pesticides, paints, compressed gas cylinders or flammables are stored.

    - Locating access points to water sources such as ponds, rivers or streams, in the event of a large structure fire.

    - Identifying access points to the farmstead and to specific barns, buildings and structures.

    - Determine the use any specialty equipment needed to access remote locations on the farm. Example: Tractor, 4x4 truck, ATV / UTV, or boat.

    - Consider how emergency response could be affected by seasonal changes. (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)

    It is a good idea to involve your local fire department and emergency medical services provider. Ask if the local fire department could visit your facility to get familiar with the overall layout and general operation. This will give them the opportunity to identify any potential hazards or tactical approaches during emergency response and provide feedback on emergency planning.

    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. Preventing Barn Fires

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    Barn fires can be a farmer’s worst nightmare. The majority of barn fires end with tragic, costly, or even heartbreaking outcomes. These losses can include loss of human life, livestock, or valuable equipment and in many cases loss of the barn structure itself. The majority of barn fires end up being a result of lack of fire safety knowledge and even carelessness. Many barn fires could be prevented by: good barn layout, a usable fire plan, and clear policies about how the barn and equipment should be maintained.

    One of the most important steps to take is to create a fire plan. Have fire and emergency contact numbers posted in prominent locations in the barn. Make an evacuation plan with at least two exit routes. Plan an emergency exit route for livestock that leads to a fenced area away from the barn, also consider how to prevent livestock from trying to re-enter the barn while it is on fire. Finally, teach family or employees the fire plan and walk through it at least annually.

    Additional barn fire prevention tips that can be used to minimized risk of a fire include:

    - No smoking should be allowed in or near the barn. Post signs!

    - Maintain good housekeeping by removing combustible materials such as feed bags, oily rags, hay debris, excessive dust, or stored fuels.

    - If flammables such as fuels must be store in the barn, isolated them in a safe areaway from ignition sources and consider using a flammable storage cabinet.

    - Make sure electrical wiring is in good condition. All breaker panels and electrical boxes should have the proper covers in place. Keep all electrical components clean, free from layers of dust or cobwebs.

    - Use industrial grade extension cords, keeping them out of reach or travel path of livestock to prevent them from stepping on or chewing the cords. Also, do not connect several cords together; use a longer cord for longer distances.

    - Place fire extinguishers strategically in barn near electrical panels or potential ignition sources. Check the extinguishers regularly.

    - In a barn or building, maximum travel distance to a fire extinguisher should not exceed 75 feet. Add additional fire extinguishers if needed.

    - Portable space heaters should not be left unattended and turned off when you leave the area.  Space heaters should also have a shut-off device that activates if the unit is knocked over.

    - Follow the manufactures guidelines when using water tank heaters, heat tape or heat lamps. Keep heat lamps the recommended distance from combustibles such as bedding, cardboard boxes or dry lumber.

    - Store hay and other feed properly to prevent spontaneous combustion. More information about proper storage of hay or straw can be found at https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2017-19/hay-and-straw-barn-fires-real-danger

    For more information about the 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.

     

  227. Thanksgiving Fire Safety

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Thanksgiving is just around the corner and soon the stovetops, ovens, and turkey fryers will be the workhorses of the day. Alarmingly, according to the National Fire Protection Association (USFA), the number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving is three times as high as on any other day of the year. Keep your festivities from becoming a part of the statistic by following some basic safety tips.

    • Test your smoke alarms to ensure they are working
    • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it
    • Clean your oven in advance of the big cooking event
    • Call 911 without delay should a kitchen fire breakout
    • Avoid becoming distracted by guests
    • Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop
    • Thaw your turkey completely before using a fryer
    • Keep children away from the stove, oven, and fryer
    • Keep the floor clear of trip hazards
    • Keep knives from edges of work surfaces and out of reach of children
    • Be sure electric cords are not dangling off the counter or onto the stovetop
    • Get a good night’s sleep prior to hosting, so you can remain alert in the kitchen


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

  228. Fire Safety for Agritourism Operations

    Dee Jepsen – State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    Autumn is a season to be particularly alert for fires. During this season, we decorate our homes and businesses with dried fall foliage, light additional candles, burn yard leaves, and take in star gazing around bonfires.

    For fall agritourism venues, fire safety is especially important. These businesses take precautions to keep their visitors safe. However, it is also important for the visitors to share the responsibility to protect themselves from potential fires, and obey the rules set by these venues.

    Fire safety practices at agritourism venues include:

    • Have parking lots at least 75 feet away from dried fields and corn mazes. Vehicles should not be permitted to park in fields that contain any dried plant debris or corn fodder.

    • Do not allow smoking in or around corn or straw mazes. Signs should be prominently posted to alert visitors of the dangers. Visitors should obey these signs, and smoke only in designated areas,  if available.

    • Place fire extinguishers near the maze and inside buildings. Make sure employees have access to these extinguishers and have been trained to use them.

    • Maintain farm machinery – especially those used for hayrides – and have them carry 5lb fire extinguishers.

    • Have a first aid kit available for employees and visitors, and train workers for basic first aid and CPR.

    • Have an emergency response plan to handle fire or weather-related emergencies. Communicate this plan with employees for rapid response and evacuation. The plan can contain locations of first aid kits and fire extinguishers. The plan will also identify the emergency contacts.

    • Prior to the opening season, Agritourism operations are encouraged to invite their local fire department to the location. This serves several purposes: to review their fire safety plan; to inspect their fire extinguishers or refer them to a fire safety service for inspections; and to review access of entrance and exits in the event an emergency vehicle is called to the scene.

    The important message is for everyone to be aware of fire hazards. Having prevention strategies in place will reduce the potential for fires.

    Have a safe and enjoyable time at the local pumpkin patch and outdoor fall venue.

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

  229. Extension Disaster Education Network

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is among the USDA NIFA’s tactical sciences programs established to assist in protecting the U.S. food and agricultural system against threats from pests, diseases, contaminants, and disasters. EDEN fosters collaboration between extension educators with varying specializations from all across the U.S. There are 300+ technical specialists and educators that contribute research-based resources to the collective offering a presence in all phases of disaster. It is a vital resource for local recovery when information is essential in guiding timely establishment of partnerships and roles for guidance through the turmoil that follows disaster. EDEN also has a host of disaster preparation and mitigation materials to guide communities before disaster hits or during the rebuilding cycle at the far side of a disaster where there is potential for recurrence. Resources are easily accessible for extension educators across the country, no matter how remote the area. You can find information about the water requirements for cattle following a disaster or proper sandbagging techniques for use during flooding. Need information on how to seek humanitarian aid for your local community during the recovery process or how to prevent mold? EDEN has the educational resources to guide you. Stop by the EDEN website to explore, eden.lsu.edu.

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

  230. National Preparedness Month

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    FEMA launches their “Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can.” campaign for National Preparedness Month. They have may tips to get you thinking about the simple things you can do to get a jump start on an initial needs plan for yourself, family and friends. They break it down into five areas with tips for how to address each one. The following list is how they suggest you start the process:

    • Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can. Make an emergency plan today. www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
    • Preparing the family for an emergency is as simple as a conversation over dinner. Get started with tips from www.ready.gov.
    • Download a group texting app so your entire crew can keep in touch before, during & after an emergency.
    • Practice evacuating in the car with your animals, so they’re more comfortable if you need to evacuate in an emergency.
    1. Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area.
    • Get the @fema app with weather alerts for up to 5 locations:www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
    • Sign up for local emergency alerts in your area by searching online.
    1. Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan.

    2. Check your insurance coverage and review the Document and Insure Property guide.
    1. Plan financially for the possibility of disaster.
    • Protect your identity: watch out for fraud and scams, and keep your personal info secure.
    • Beware of frauds & scams when seeking disaster assistance. Federal/state workers never ask for/accept money and always carry IDs.
    • Financial prep tip: flood-proof important documents by putting them in plastic bags to protect against water damage.
    • Keep some cash on hand in case of emergencies.

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

     

     

  231. Flooding and the Aftermath

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Rain, rain, and more rain has been the common thread of our mid-summer month in Ohio. Rain, often desired by farmers in the weather forecast, can bring with it some less desirable aftermath when it all descends at once. The aftermath of impassable roadways, mud-laden pastures, flooded basements, washed up debris and rushing rivers can wreak havoc on farmstead operations. Below you will find a compilation of resources to help navigate the problems that can arise from the rapid rise of water. The resources provided by the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) can be helpful when trying to clean-up and recover from flooding. Remember to make safety your first priority!

    Links to explore:

    Floods, Disaster Fact Sheet, http://eden.lsu.edu/EDENCourses/FamilyPreparedness/Documents/Flood.docx

    Agricultural Issues, http://eden.lsu.edu/Topics/Hazards/Floods/Recovery/Pages/Agriculture.aspx

    Resources Collected, http://eden.lsu.edu/Topics/Hazards/Floods/Pages/ResourcesCollected.aspx

    Recovering from a Flood, http://articles.extension.org/pages/33184/recover-from-a-flood

    Advice for Saving Damaged Family Treasures, http://eden.lsu.edu/Topics/Hazards/Floods/Documents/Saving Family Treasures CO Flooding_0913.pdf

    Mold, http://eden.lsu.edu/Topics/HumanHealth/Mold/Pages/default.aspx

    Returning to a Farm after a Flood, http://articles.extension.org/pages/26794/returning-to-a-farm-after-a-flood

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

     

  232. A Recipe for Recreational Safety at the Farm Pond

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    The farm pond while often utilitarian in nature, can add the elements of both fun and danger to the warm days of summer. Allowing the fun to take center stage for your family, friends, and employees can be accomplished by establishing some safety protocols for swimmers. The National Safety Council states, “Not including boating incidents, on average about nine people die from drowning every day in the United States.”

    To make your pond environment safe:

    Test the water and verify it is free of contaminants and safe to swim in. Use the Ohio State University Extension Factsheets AEX-314, Water Testing, at http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-314 and AEX-315, Where to Have Your Water Tested, at http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-315 for resources.

    Post permanent warning signs and a set of rules at the pond. Be sure to include phrases like:

    • Do not enter unless you know how to swim
    • No lifeguard on duty
    • No diving
    • Life jackets required
    • Never swim alone
    • No alcohol permitted
    • Pond depth is X (feet)

    Install a rescue post or keep rescue equipment near the pond.

    Train in CPR.

    Always provide adult supervision.

    Remove submerged rocks and stumps from the pond.

    Keep debris and trash cleared from the surrounding surface areas at the exterior rim of the pond.

    Mow tall grass and weeds to maintain a well-manicured area for high visibility from all vantage points surrounding the pond.

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

     

  233. "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"

    The Ohio Emergency Management Agency advises to consider these tips if there is the potential for flooding:

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

    More information from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency can be found at: http://www.ema.ohio.gov/   Additional flooding resources can be found at:  https://www.ready.gov/floods

  234. Preparedness Is Having a Plan

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    Inclement weather is a part of spring in Ohio and being prepared is a means for preventing the worst outcome. Take a look at the loss of life in 2015 due to weather.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lays out a helpful preparedness list on their website. Tailoring it for the farm, here are some of the key components they included that you can enact before severe weather hits:

    • Develop a disaster plan. The American Red Cross offers planning tips and information on a putting together a disaster supplies kit at: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit
    • Identify a safe place to take shelter.
    • Know the county/parish in which you live or visit – and in what part of that county you are located. The National Weather Service issues severe weather warnings on a county/parish basis, or for a portion of a county/parish.
    • Keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
    • Have a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver unit with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warning bulletins. National Weather Service (NWS) watches and warnings are also available on the Internet. Select your local NWS office at: http://www.weather.gov

    Having an established Emergency Action Plan for the farm is a great tool to have access to in weather emergency as well. The EAP should include information that encompasses contact names and numbers, escape routes, maps of the farm property and remote fields/locations, a livestock inventory, chemical storage locations and contents, electrical shutoffs, chains of command, utilities coming into the property and how to control, and any additional emergency resources specific to the operation. This is not an exhaustive list, but a good list to start you thinking about what to include in an EAP specific to your farm.

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

  235. Severe Weather Awareness Week: March 19 - 25

    Dee Jepsen – OSU Ag State Safety Leader

    Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 19 – 25, 2017. You can find great information and educational materials from the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness at this link:  http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/

    Being prepared is something for every individual and every community to practice, especially when spring weather patterns have potential to catch us off-guard.

  236. Winter Travel Safety

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    When the weather outside is frightful, the roadways and travel may not always be so delightful. Remember to plan accordingly as you set out in inclement weather. Safety steps take a little extra time, but they may ultimately help protect you and your loved ones in foul weather.

    Winterize Vehicles

    • Fill antifreeze and windshield washer reservoirs
    • Check tire inflation levels and tread depth
    • Ensure you set out with a full fuel tank
    • Inspect battery condition and charge level at the beginning of the winter season

    Check and Restock Emergency Items

    • Investigate the condition of the spare tire
    • Pack ice scrapers, a flashlight, booster cables, and a phone charger
    • Keep a blanket in your car during the winter months
    • Locate maps you will need for your trip

    Be Responsible

    • Plan your travel and inform others of your planned arrival and departure times
    • Stow you cell phone while driving
    • Pull over if you need to check directions or use your phone
    • Bring some cash with you
    • Assign a designated driver before setting out if anyone will be drinking

    For great winter weather resources drop by the official website of the Department of Homeland Security at https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

    Questions about Emergency Management, visit http://www.agsafety.osu.edu or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at pfeifer.6@osu.edu or 614-292-9455.

  237. Preparing for That Outside of the Box Emergency, Are You Ready?

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    When events happen like the recent attack at OSU it strengthens our communities and state if we can step back and analyze our own plan of action, learn, adjust and grow. Emergency action plans are often done in an effort to meet a workplace mandate then tucked away in a filing cabinet and forgotten. It is time to dust off those plans, take a peak at them, update the missing pieces, and make a concerted effort to open a dialog about the “what ifs” as they relate to your workplace, farm, or home. Focusing on what can make us stronger in the aftermath of events like these is a way to build some unity and provide assurance to employees. Workers and family members want to know what steps to take and who’s lead to follow if an emergency situation arises in their own workplace.

     

    “Any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site,” is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) definition of workplace violence for today’s workforce.

    Here are a few ways to prevent and resolve conflicts before they erupt into workplace violence:

    ·      Establish a prevention and reparation policy against harassment and promote it within the workplace

    ·      Write clear codes of conduct

    ·      Provide awareness and training sessions

    ·      Intervene in conflicts to ensure they do no escalate into harassment or acts of violence

    ·      Open effective lines of communication

    ·      Manage work teams to create quality relationships among team members

    ·      Foster the acceptance of individual differences

    ·      Encourage everyone to report any violent incidents

    Workplace violence can escalate quickly, so the actions taken in the initial minutes of these types of emergencies are critical. Prompt warning to employees can save lives.

     

    If you find your organization looking for guidance on developing an emergency action plan to cover not only workplace violence, but also a wide realm of emergencies, there are many resources available. The links that follow may provide helpful information for your workplace, farm, or home.

     

    OSU has some great agricultural specific resources at the Agritourismready website, http://u.osu.edu/agritourismready/.

     

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designed a worksheet to get you thinking about the needs in your own workplace, however big or small your organization may be. Located at, https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/EmergencyResponsePlan.pdf.

     

    OSHA has a section of their website devoted to Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool, at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/eap.html.

     

    The OSU Department of Public Safety devotes a page of their website instructing how to respond to an active shooter with a Safety Messing Toolkit link included at the bottom of the page. It can be found at, https://dps.osu.edu/active-shooter

     

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

  238. Flu Season is Here!

    Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

    The easiest way to protect against the flu, the Ohio Department of Health reminds, is to get a seasonal flu vaccine every year! Some good flu prevention practices include:

    • Get a seasonal flu vaccine
    • Wash your hands
    • Cover your cough
    • Eat a balanced diet
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Exercise regularly
    • Get plenty of rest
    • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
    • Stay away from those who are sick when possible
    • Stay home if you get sick and keep sick children home from school or day care

    For more information about the flu you can visit the Ohio Department of Health’s website page covering the area at www.odh.ohio.gov/seasonalinfluenza, or the CDC’s flu section at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/.

  239. Hazardous Chemical Awareness

    Kent McGuire—OSU Ag Safety and Health

    According to the EPA's Emergency Response Community Involvement Program, individuals should stay informed about the presence of hazardous substances in their local area. An important aspect of emergency management is to recognize a hazardous substance release and understand what to do in the event of a release. Recognizing the warning signs of a chemical release can mean the difference between a minor incident and a tragic event. Should an individual discover a hazardous substance release, report it quickly to local officials and take precautions to put your own safety first.

    There are several ways to recognize the presence of a hazardous substance or the warning signs of a hazardous substance release. An individual’s senses may initially detect hazardous substances: a foul odor, unusually colored flames, visible leak or gas cloud from a storage container, vehicle or facility, even the increased pitch of a pressure relief valve on a container. Never assume gases and vapors are harmless because they lack odor, many odorless gases or vapors can be extremely harmful. It may also be possible to identify hazardous substances from a label or placard. The federal government has a system of labeling containers used to store or transport hazardous substances that uses colors and symbols to designate potential hazards. The following are some of the major colors and symbols of the different hazard classes:

     

    Hazardous Materials

    Hazard Class

    Color

    Symbol

    Explosives

    Orange

    Starburst

    Non-flammable Gases

    Green

    Cylinder

    Flammable Gases or Liquids

    Red

    Flame

    Flammable Solids

    Red/White Stripes

    Flame

    Oxidizers

    Yellow

    Flaming Ball

    Poisons

    White

    Skull & Crossbones

    Radioactives

    Yellow/White

    Propeller

    Corrosives

    White/Black

    Test Tube

     

    It is always best to be cautious and treat potential releases as real threats involving hazardous substances, until authorities have properly identified the chemical. For more information about the EPA's Emergency Response Community Involvement Program go to https://www.epa.gov/emergency-response/community-involvement-during-emergency-responses.

    For more information about Emergency Management contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at mcguire.225@osu.edu or 614-292-0588.

  240. Severe Weather Awareness Week

    Dr. Dee Jepsen—State Agricultural Safety and Health Leader

    Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 20-26, 2016. You can find great educational materials, videos, and spring weather campaign resources at this link:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/

    Being prepared is something for every individual and every community to practice, especially when spring weather patterns have potential to catch us off-guard.

  241. Is your Emergency Action Plan up to Date?

    Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

    As we continue to plan for busy spring season, it is a great time to establish or review Emergency Action Plans. Whether it’s a structure fire, traumatic farm injury, or natural disaster being prepared can help reduce the potential for loss of life or property.

    Emergency planning should include:

    - A list of emergency numbers that may be needed.

    - Evacuation and shelter in place procedures.

    - Procedures to shut down specific processes or equipment.

    - Identifying access points to the farmstead and to specific barns, buildings and structures.

    - Location of electrical disconnects, water or gas shut – offs, and fuel storage areas.

    - Specifying locations of livestock facilities and relocation areas should they need to be moved.

    - Identifying confined space areas such as grain bins, silos or manure pits and hazards associated with each one.

    - Listing areas where chemicals, pesticides, paints, compressed gas cylinders or flammables are stored.

    - Locating access points to water sources such as ponds, rivers or streams, in the event of a large structure fire.

    - Determine the use any specialty equipment needed to access remote locations on the farm. Example: Tractor, 4x4 truck, ATV / UTV, or boat.

    - Consider how emergency response could be affected by seasonal changes. (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)

    It is a good idea to involve your local fire department and emergency medical services provider. Ask if the local fire department could visit your facility to get familiar with the overall layout and general operation. This will give them the opportunity to identify any potential hazards or tactical approaches during emergency response and provide feedback on emergency planning.

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

  242. Fall Agritourism Preparedness

    Cora Carter – OSU Ag Safety and Health Graduate Assistant

    This festive fall season comes with a variety of safety concerns for owners of corn mazes, pumpkin patches, haunted houses, and other fall agritourism sites. A safe season is the goal for every agritourism operation. There are several ways that safety can come first for your farm this fall.

    Have fire safety and weather emergency plans in place. Make sure that all the workers are knowledgeable about these plans. Place clearly marked signs at the entrance and exit of mazes and buildings.

    There should be established rules for visitors to follow. Employees should monitor the behavior of visitors and prevent any unsafe behaviors.

    Fire is a serious hazard to corn mazes. Parking lots and roads should be at least 75 feet away from the maze. The paths should be clear and free of debris. There should be no smoking in or around the maze. Place fire extinguishers near the maze, and make sure that employees monitoring the maze have access to them and have been trained to use them.

    It’s a good idea to contact your local fire department prior to the beginning of your season. Let them know the exact size and coordinates of your agritourism activity. If possible, ask the local emergency personnel to visit so you can show them the different areas of your farm. Give them a copy of your fire safety plan and a map of your operation with water sources and hazards well marked. This will assist them if any emergency occurs on your location. It is best to be overly prepared rather than have the fire department get lost because they don’t know where your field is. Oftentimes the agritourism activity is not at the farm address, or can be accessed via an alternative and faster route.

    Pumpkin patches seem like simple locales of safe fall fun, and they can be, if safety precautions are taken by visitors and staff alike.  Ensure that the paths in the patch are clear and free of debris. Have wagons and staff available to help lift and carry the pumpkins for guests.

    Use caution when shooting pumpkin cannons! Keep people out of the path of flying pumpkin debris. Use safety glasses or goggles and hearing protection.

    Inviting the public to your farm can be both risky and rewarding. Minimize the risks with simple precautions and have an enjoyable season!

    For additional safety information your fall agritourism operation, visit the OSU Ag Safety and Health website, https://agsafety.osu.edu/news/ohio-state-university-offers-agritourism-safety-tips-consumers-farmers

  243. National Preparedness Month

    2015 Theme: Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.
    September is National Preparedness Month.  This year we are asking you to take action now – make a plan with your community, your family, and for your pets.  Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. We ask everyone to participate in America’s PrepareAthon! and the national day of action, National PrepareAthon! Day, which culminates National Preparedness Month on September 30.
     
    2015 weekly hazard focused themes:
     Week 1:  September 1-5th            Flood
     Week 2:  September 6-12th          Wildfire
     Week 3:  September 13-19th        Hurricane
     Week 4:  September 20-26th        Power Outage
     Week 5:  September 27-30th       Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day                                                    
    The official Social Media Toolkit will be released the first week in August.
    Social media accounts to follow include:  @Readygov and @PrepareAthon
    Official Hashtags include: #NatlPrep and #PrepareAthon
     
    For more information on National Preparedness Month visit www.ready.gov
  244. Manure Pit Safety for First Responders

    By: Michelle King, Ag Rescue Program Coordinator Intern
     
    There are many hazards located on a farm. One of these hazards, which can be deadly as well, is a manure pit. Farmers use a manure pit to store any manure their animals produce on the farm and to use that manure for fertilizer later in the growing season for their crops. There are many dangers that come with a manure pit. The biggest dangers are the harmful gases that are produced from manure sitting in a pit. These gases include hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane.

      What are some factors that might cause a manure pit emergency?

    1. Changing or fixing a part in the pit without checking the air quality
    2. Retrieving tools or an object that has fallen into the pit
    3. Improper ventilation in the pit
    4. Agitation in the pit (causes gases to be moved and released in the pit)

    As first responders, please be aware of the dangerous gases located in a manure pit.

    • In some cases there may be more than one victim because of failed attempts to rescue by family members.
    • Make sure the area is properly ventilated.
    • Check for air quality and dangerous gases.
    • Make sure to wear the proper gear such as a full respirator to ensure you can breathe to make a successful rescue.
    • Have an attendant at the entrance of the pit that can monitor the rescue attempt.
    • Have additional personnel suited up in the event they are needed to assistant in the rescue.
    • Training is also important to know what to do in this situation. Those responding to manure pit emergencies should have training in confined space rescue.

    Be aware of the dangers on a farm and be prepared to make a successful rescue when called out to a farm situation.

    For more information or questions contact the OSU Safety and Health office at (614) 292-6008 or at jepsen.4@osu.edu

  245. Safety Santa

  246. Brutus Wears PPE

  247. Take the Stairs

  248. Tractor Safety

  249. Personal Protectve Equipment

  250. Moving Hay Bales

  251. Sun Safety

  252. Tech Support....

  253. Spot the Safety Issue

    Can you spot the safety issues in this photo? 

    Click here to see the answers.

  254. Spot the Safety Issue

    Can you spot the safety issues in this photo? 

    Click here to see the answers.

  255. Spot the Safety Violation

    Can you spot the Safety Violations in this photo? 

    Click