December 16, 2013

Matter of Seconds: Injury And Death On America’s Farms

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We all need to eat. Our lives depend upon it. Yet, each day hundreds of thousands on the first line of making sure we have food put their own lives at risk for our sustenance. One slip and their lives can be changed forever, or worse, in a matter of seconds.

The following stories, videos and graphics put farm safety into perspective.


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Matter of Seconds: Tougher Farm Safety Regulation Hard To Come By In Iowa

BY SARAH HADLEY

Iowa’s small farms are on their own when it comes to work safety, even though farmers suffer more fatal occupational injuries than any other kind of worker in the state. Read here.


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Database: Iowa Farm Fatalities

BY LAUREN MILLS

Farm deaths accounted for more than 30 percent of all occupational fatalities in Iowa between 2001 and 2011, an IowaWatch analysis of data from the Iowa Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program shows.

This data includes farm-related fatality reports from 2001 through 2011 as well as charts illustrating trends in the data, such as the number of farm-related deaths as a percentage of the total occupational fatalities. Read here.


RuralHealthAndSafetyClinicMatter of Seconds: Getting Safety Information To The Fields

BY LAUREN MILLS

Andy Winborn, program manager for the Rural Health and Safety Clinic of Greater Johnson County, said he hopes to reach more farmers with safety information by traveling to fields and events with the clinic’s large trailer packed with safety equipment. Winborn said the trailer will let farmers see the equipment for themselves and learn best practices. View an interview with him here.


GrainSafetyFarm Safety Trainers: Consistent Advice For Preventing Grain Bin Fatalities Is Lacking

BY LAUREN MILLS

Grain bins, a common sight for anyone traveling through Iowa and other corn belt states, are a source of concern for agriculture safety specialists.

Lack of research means specialists are unable to provide consistent advice to farmers about working in the storage bins. The safety experts are “dropping the ball,” said LaMar Grafft, a rural health and safety specialist. Read here.


ETFarm Safety Experts: New Technologies That Improve Safety Are Here To Stay

BY LAUREN MILLS

New technology from drones to tractor rollover detection are aimed at keeping farmers out of dangerous situations.

Drones, modified from their current military use, could be flying soon over Iowa corn fields, allowing farmers to check on growth from comfort and safety. Devices installed in tractors could warn farmers when they are in danger of overturning and send alerts to loved ones and rescuers when accidents happen.

“The future is exciting in production agriculture,” said Paul Gunderson, director of the Dakota Precision Ag Center at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, ND. Read here.


PetersenVideo Interview: Central Iowa Farmer Says Need For Work Safety Has To Meet Farmers’ Needs

BY LAUREN MILLS

Chris Petersen, of Clear Lake, Iowa, has farmed and raised hogs for years. As a board member of the Iowa Farmers’ Union and Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, I-CASH, he has worked to raise awareness of farm safety issues.

He also helps bring a farmer’s perspective to developers of agricultural safety equipment.

“You know the simple of it is, I guess, farmers at a certain time of the year have one-track minds. And it’s getting that crop in and getting that crop out. And everything else is a side issue,” he said. View an interview with him here.


READ MORE FROM THE MIDWEST CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

 As Deaths Add Up, Farmers ‘Walk The Grain’ Unprotected
 OSHA Educates More Than It Enforces

 

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