Governor Proclaims Pa. Farm Safety and Health Week

Because farming has statically become one of the most dangerous occupations in the country, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell has proclaimed Sept. 17-23 Farm Safety and Health Week in Pennsylvania to remind farmers to work safely during the busy harvest season.

"Farming is a very dangerous but essential profession that contributes to the well-being of all Pennsylvanians," said Rendell. "As we salute the vital role our farmers play, it's important to recognize the hazards associated with farming and work to minimize the risks."

According to federal statistics, there are more than 25 deaths and nearly 4,500 disabling injuries on Pennsylvania farms.

"Unfortunately, accidents still happen on the farm," said Pennsylvania Agriculture

Secretary Dennis Wolff. "This year, there have been several tragic accidents, underscoring the need to continually be aware of the risks and to take proper precautions."

Pennsylvania Active in Protecting Farmers

Pennsylvania is one of two states with a Farm Safety and Occupational Health Act, with Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff serving as chairman of the advisory board.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture supports farm safety day camps for youth and adults; the PA Ag Rescue program, which offers agricultural rescue training for its first responders and farm families; and the PA Agromedicine Program for the development of new curricula for teaching farm safety. The Department also teams with Penn State University's Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the national Farm Safety 4 Just Kids program.

Some farm safety tips the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture offers includes:

  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Account for the mental and physical differences associated with age.
  • Be sure to include hazard and safety lessons when training workers.
  • No seat, no rider, no exceptions. Extra riders can cause distractions and block access to controls.
  • Use hydraulic equipment cautiously, and control operations from the tractor seat only.
  • Never attempt to unplug equipment while power is engaged.
  • Use safety identification markers, turn signals, flashing lights or escort vehicles when driving farm equipment on public roads.
  • Carry a fire extinguisher on every piece of powered equipment.
  • Prepare a safe play area for children away from machinery.
  • Enforce basic safety rules for others, and follow them yourself.
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