Farm Safety is a concern year round every year, but this year because of more youth in virtual school, farm safety is even more important. According to Cheryl Skjolaas who is an Agriculture Safety and Health Specialist at the Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the UW Madison Division of Extension 12% of 2019 farm fatalities are youth under 18 in Wisconsin.
This means that with schools being virtual or part virtual this year, it is critical to have safe farm operations. This means keeping all safety features on equipment and choosing age appropriate chores for youth. Injuries are also a concern with all people involved on the farm, but especially youth. According to the Ag Injury Facts Sheet released by cultivatesafety.org, they estimate that 33 youth are injured per day on farms in the United States.
Incidents can happen anywhere on the farm but in the fall areas to take extra precaution are; around tractors and harvesting equipment, grain storage, and manure storage. Cheryl says, “The other thing that kind of surfaces in the fall is the potential for fires. We’re dealing with a lot of dry material, so having fire extinguisher available, keeping the equipment clean and maintained, so that plant material that’s dry doesn’t build up in that equipment and have the potential to start a fire.”
To learn more about what you can do to keep everyone on the farm safe not only this fall but year round, visit: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/agsafety/about/