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National observance urges farmers to exercise workplace safety

National observance urges farmers to exercise workplace safety

RICHMOND—Farming is a difficult trade, and farmers’ work often puts them in potentially dangerous situations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hazardous nature of farming makes agricultural occupations the most dangerous in America, with 23.1 deaths per 100,000 workers.

During National Farm Safety and Health Week—observed during the third week of September since 1944—farmers are reminded that safety should always be their top priority.

The 2022 observance will run Sept. 18-24 and is themed “Protecting Agriculture’s Future,” to remind producers that America’s farming future depends on their safety.

“We owe our gratitude to farmers for so much, whether it’s for the food we eat, the fiber we wear or the fuel we use to get us to our own jobs,” said Dana Fisher, chairman of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Safety Advisory Committee.

“As much as we rely on farmers, they also have families and communities who are counting on them to get home safely at the end of each day,” he continued. “That’s what makes National Farm Safety and Health Week so important. It affords farmers a timely opportunity to reflect on the occupational hazards of their work so they can take the appropriate steps to mitigate them and work safely.”

Daily themes for the week include tractor and rural roadway safety; farmer health; safety and health for youth in agriculture; confined spaces; and safety and health for women in agriculture.

Also on tap for the national observance are free webinars hosted by AgriSafe, a nonprofit organization representing health professionals and educators who strive to reduce health disparities in agricultural communities.

Two webinars will be held each day from Sept. 19-23 and will touch on topics such as ATV and UTV safety; mental health among agricultural workers; grain bin safety; and promoting physical and mental health among youth in agriculture.

Interested individuals may register for the webinars online.

Farmers and other rural residents can access additional farm safety resources through the VFBF safety website. Information on the site was compiled by the VFBF farm safety committee and addresses topics such as accident response, agricultural hazards, mental health and rural road safety. Site content also includes links to safety resources offered by other farming advocacy organizations.

Media: Contact Fisher at 540-975-1849 or Adam Culler, VFBF communications, at 804-240-6272.