Farm Bureaus across Indiana and the nation recognized last week as Agricultural Safety Awareness Program Week. ‘Get Out of My Space’ was the theme of the week. Kalena Bruce, chair of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers committee says the goal was to encourage respect for spaces around farm equipment and farm work. “Agriculture and farm safety is an issue all year ‘round’ so ‘get out of my space’ is something that we hope will grab them in and let them think truly about ag safety and ag awareness.” Bruce added this word of caution, “It’s easy to take these spaces for granted when you work around them every day on the farm and ranch, but it only takes a split-second for disaster to occur.”
Grain bins, grain wagons, manure pits, tractor seats and livestock zones are all ‘spaces’ on farms and ranches that require caution to avoid injury. Bruce says that they are working closely this year with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “We have paired with NIOSH this year to help promote the program.” Bruce added, “We’re using social media, videos, online quizzes as well as using a hashtag #KeepFarmsSafe.”
Bruce says Farm Bureau does two special ag and farm safety weeks each year. “One is now during planting season just reminding people that they will have increased equipment and activity.” The other safety week is during the other busy time of year, the harvest. Visit the U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers YouTube channel; (www.youtube.com/user/USagCenters) for new content and fresh ideas about how to stay safe while working in agriculture, forestry and fishing.