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Farm Family Safety and Health Workshop  Revised edition


Farming is one of the most hazardous occupations in America.  Hundreds of people of all ages die each year from farm-related injuries, and thousands more suffer from disabling injuries and work-related illnesses. How do we reduce this significant number of deaths and injuries? Unlike most other businesses, the majority of farms are exempt from most government safety and health regulations, such as those enforced by federal or state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) programs. The responsibility for educating farm family members about safety and health issues falls upon the farm family itself, and the information they receive from the farm media, Extension Service, farm organizations or rural community groups who are interested in making farming a safer way of life.

Over the years, Extension, local farm organizations, FFA chapters, and other interested groups have sponsored countless farm safety programs. These activities have been directed towards children, farm wives, farm operators, or the entire family. Although there is no way to completely measure the impact of such programs, they have become an integral part of most farm safety efforts and are generally believed to be an effective method of educating farm families and agricultural workers about the dangers of farm work.

This Leader's Guide is designed to assist you in organizing farm safety and health workshops in your local community. Whether you are planning a program for children, farm operators, or a general program for the entire family, many of the steps required for a successful workshop remain the same. The Leader's Guide provides insights on obtaining community support for your program, and provides a plan of action for organizing and conducting farm safety workshops. In addition, recommendations for potential resources such as videos and publications appropriate for particular audiences are included, as are instructions for conducting various demonstrations that illustrate the dangers of certain farm activities. Feel free to modify the recommendations and sample agendas to fit local needs and resources.

Organizing a farm safety and health workshop can be challenging, but this manual should make the job easier.  Remember, a single farm safety and health workshop, regardless of how well attended, is no guarantee that your community will become free from farm-related deaths and injuries. These workshops and educational programs should be considered an essential part of a comprehensive community-wide effort to make your farms and rural neighborhoods safer and healthier places to live and work.

Last updated: 18-May-2006 11:08 AM