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Note to Editors: Following are four brief news releases related to farm safety ahead of National Farm Safety and Health Week Sept. 19-25.

Released: September 09, 2004

Sept. 19-25 is National Farm Safety and Health Week

MANHATTAN, Kan. – “Yields for a Lifetime” is the theme of the 61st observance of National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept.19-25, sponsored by the National Safety Council and supported by farm safety advocates across the United States, including Kansas State University Research and Extension.

Safe farming practices are still as important as they were in 1944 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the third full week in September to be National Farm Safety Week, said John Slocombe, K-State Extension farm safety specialist. Today, we recognize the clear relationship between safety and health, therefore the focus has been expanded.

“Farming remains one of the most hazardous industries in the United States,” Slocombe, said. “As a result, many injuries and illnesses occur to farmers, farm employees and farm family members each year. Our goal with Farm Safety and Health Week is to call attention to the fact that we all need to pitch in and work more safely on the farm.”

- Source: Kansas State University Research and Extension

Quick Farm Safety Checklist

MANHATTAN, Kan. – One good way to manage safety on the farm is to establish a checklist. The Farm Safety 4 Just Kids program offers the following safety checklist suggestions:

* Are the keys removed from idle farm equipment?

* Are riders NOT allowed on tractors, farm machinery and wagons?

* Are slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblems in place and still reflective?

* Are power take off (PTO) shields in place on tractors and machinery?

* Are other safety shields and guards in place on tractors and machinery?

* Are warning and danger decals prominently displayed on all equipment, including grain handling equipment?

Farm Safety 4 Just Kids (FS4JK) is a nonprofit organization based in Iowa that provides resources and training to individuals and communities to conduct farm safety awareness and education programs. For more information, interested persons can visit its Web site:

- Source: Kansas State University Research and Extension

Extra Rider Accidents Still a Problem

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Children being carried along as extra riders on farm and lawn care equipment continues to be a concern among safety professionals.

“It is difficult, if not impossible, to pay full attention to operating the machine when you have a youngster in your lap or riding on the fender,” said John Slocombe, Kansas State University Extension farm safety specialist.

More than 100 children are killed on U.S. farms each year, he said. Many of these deaths are from accidentally falling off the operator’s station of a tractor or farm implement and being run over by the tractor or trailed equipment.

When there is only one seat, the rule of thumb is for the operator and no one else to occupy the seat. For safety sake, never allow extra riders. This rule applies to farm as well as lawn and garden tractors, he said.

- Source: Kansas State University Research and Extension

Tips For Older Farmers

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Like everyone else, older farmers must accommodate the effects of aging. Because farming is so dangerous, however, the risk of having an accident increases with age, according to John Slocombe, Kansas State University Extension farm safety specialist.

Normal aging processes such as quick onset fatigue, reduced vision, slower reaction time, hearing loss and arthritis can contribute to increased risk on the farm.

The Kansas AgrAbility Project offers tips for older farmers:

* Have your vision checked by a doctor regularly.

* Remember that vision is most difficult at dawn and dusk. Avoid driving tractors at those times. Also remember that during the aging process, eyes are more sensitive to glare.

* Get plenty of rest, especially during busy planting and harvest periods. Frequent breaks help protect against fatigue and stress.

* Use extreme caution when operating equipment. Be familiar with potential side effects of medications and how they will affect your reaction time, including over-the-counter as well as prescription medications.

* Make sure a family member or fellow worker knows where you will be working.

* Recognize and accept your limitations. Don’t push your mind and body beyond safe and healthy limits.

Kansas AgrAbility specialists are available to help farmers modify tasks and equipment to safely accommodate many of the limitations caused by aging. Contact Kansas AgrAbility at 1-800-526-3648 or 785-532-5813.

- Source: Kansas State University Research and Extension


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by:
Kerri Ebert
K-State Research& Extension News

Additional Information:
John Slocombe at 785-532-2906,  and Kerri Ebert is at 785-532-2976