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17 September 2017 - Let’s Be Safe

National Farm Safety and Health Week is observed September 17th through the 23rd this year. It was started back in the 1960's by the National Safety Council and was known as National Farm Safety Week. It has continued annually since and over the decades has changed titles and sponsoring groups but the emphasis is the same, safety and health for adults and children living and working on farms and ranches across the country.

Progress has been made, but farming is still the sixth most dangerous occupation in the U.S. Some hazards have gone away, but new ones have appeared and the attitude that ‘accidents never happen to me, they always happen to somebody else’ is still very much the mind-set of too many farmers and ranchers. So this year my slogan for the week is ‘Be Safe and Be Well’.

Tractor rollovers got a lot of attention in the early days, and still do, but one we didn’t have years ago is a major concern today, manure lagoons with quick-killing gases. Add to that, entrapment in grain bins, a major danger for children and adults and in both cases, there is one simple solution NEVER WORK ALONE, ALWAYS HAVE SOMEONE WITH YOU!

Hear these facts on grain bin entrapment.
It only takes four seconds for an adult to sink knee-deep in flowing grain.
At this point, the worker can’t free themselves without help.
An adult can be completely buried in less than 20-seconds.
Most engulfed victims don’t survive

Be very much aware of the other dangers that lurk for adults and children on farms and ranches. Let me go through a few of them.

- Careless treatment of harvest machines. They should be totally shut down while working to unclog them in the field to save time.

- 4-way country road intersections, cutting down visibility of approaching automobiles, and be careful of rural railroad crossings.

Several years ago I was talking to a young farmer who said . . . ”I was going to do some work on the combine and leave it running to save time, and the thought struck me . . . what if something goes wrong? How would my wife and children survive without a husband and a father? So I did it the safe way.”

Think about that the next time you think about taking a shortcut to save time - Be Safe, Be Well! The theme for me is not only during National Farm Safety and Health Week, but all year, every year!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.