Since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that on average 240 agriculture workers suffer a “serious lost-work-time injury” each day. The rate of fatalities in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector continues to decline, but still remains the highest of any industry sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 100 children die each year in an agriculture-related incident. Of the leading sources of fatalities among all youth, 25% involved machinery, 17% involved motor vehicles (includes ATVs), and 16% were drownings. The skills and life lessons children learn while growing up on the family farm are priceless, but it is up to all of us to protect them and keep them safe.
Livestock production presents a wide range of workplace exposures that pose unique challenges. Such as working with heavy equipment, confined spaces, inclement weather, fall hazards, as well as the unpredictability of working around animals. Hazard awareness and effective safety training are key to reducing these injuries and fatalities on farms and ranches. Colorado Livestock Association members lead the industry in their commitment to creating safe workplaces.
“Safety is a number one priority on our farm. From their first day on the job we continually train our employees how to be safe. Animal safety and food safety are crucial to our farm, but equally as important is the safety and health of our family members and employees,” states Mike Veeman, a dairy farmer and President-Elect of CLA. “Over the years, we have developed a culture of safety on our operation and we continue to adapt and grow our safety program to fit the needs of our farm.”
CLA provides resources and training materials as well as assistance in development of effective safety programs for members. Established in 2001, the CLA Safety Group Program, through Pinnacol Assurance, has returned over $1.6 million in dividends to its members. If you are a livestock producer and are interested in learning more about the Colorado Livestock Association safety group call us at 970-378-0500 or visit our website at www.coloradolivestock.org.
For more information on safety awareness and resources click here.