California Agriculture Takes National Farm Safety Week Seriously
By Patrick Cavanaugh Farm News Director
California is focused on National Farm Safety Week across all commodities and in all areas of the state. Amy Wolfe, president and CEO of AgSafe, based in Modesto, said National Farm Safety Week takes place in September because it is such a critical juncture for folks. “We’re gearing up at the beginning of harvest, or the middle of harvest for some, and it’s the end of harvest for others,” said Wolfe.
“It’s really a great opportunity to make sure you’re either taking a look at what’s going on in your operation and making those necessary mid-harvest adjustments, or evaluating what went well or what could be improved upon.”
Sadly, Wolfe shared, Farm Safety Week follows a tragedy that occurred during the week of September 12 “when lack of agricultural safety cost somebody their life in the Huron area of Fresno County. We’ve had a fatality in our nut industry, which just continues to be—number one—a tragedy for those of us who work in agriculture. It is also a very significant reminder of the importance of addressing such issues as lockout-tagout, which ensures that equipment is properly shut down before any maintenance,” said Wolfe.
“There needs to be strict communication between everyone around the machine. Everyone should know why it may be shut down and why they should never restart the machine until everyone is cleared,” noted Wolfe. In addition, all equipment must be maintained so that it runs properly in the field. “We also need to make sure that good systems of communication are in place when someone is injured.
AgSafe is recognizing Farm Safety week in many creative ways this week. “This is the week to reflect on how well we are doing everything that we possibly can to protect our farmworkers,” Wolfe said. “If you book for Farm First Aid Training with us by Friday, you’ll receive a 10% discount. We are going to enter folks into a drawing at the end of the week for free attendance to the 2017 AgSafe Conference if you participate in some of the fun Q&As on Facebook and @ on Twitter,” Wolfe said.
“We will also offer specials every day this week on our tailgate training kits, our pesticide decontamination kits, and on our compliance binders,” said Wolfe. “Its our way of getting folks even more engaged, and giving discounts for our services in honor of a very important week for the industry.”
For more information on these tailgate training kits and other events, go to Agsafe.org.
AgSafe is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to providing employers and employees in the agricultural industry with education and resources to prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities.